COVID-19 is taking its toll on Africa, reemphasising persistent structural weaknesses that overexpose countries like Kenya to the social, health and economic impacts of the pandemic. These include a high dependency on imports in areas such as drugs, machinery and equipment, weak local production systems, limited digital connectivity and the prevalence of informal micro businesses.
However, as well as highlighting reasons for concern, Kenya's response to COVID-19 also has the potential to accelerate innovation, improve the response of healthcare systems and ignite a growth recovery, unlocking industrialisation, modernisation and continental integration.
In this first event of the Innovators Forum, we will be convening a diverse group of experts to share their experiences and insights. Together, we will explore the channels through which trade and industrial policies can help launch a renewed, job-rich and sustainable development agenda in Kenya; one that leverages immense untapped national and regional potential, enables homegrown innovation to thrive and opens up new opportunities for local business to create new and better jobs.
Date: 17th June 2021
Time : 2.00pm - 4.00pm EAT
Venue : Online. To register visit Bobab
Inclusive Innovation Exchange will be hosting a webinar on how to embed collaboration into your innovation approach to transform health access.
Open innovation is a tool to generate new ideas from new sources. For healthcare in emerging markets, it has the opportunity to promote inclusion, local connection, and long-term sustainability by engaging stakeholders who have historically been excluded.
Wilfred Njagi will join Meghan Majorowski and Pamela Hill to share their experiences and lessons learned in deploying open innovation for global health, to help others better leverage this powerful tool to transform health products, systems, and outcomes.
With the onset of the pandemic, the healthcare scene in Kenya has shifted. Fewer households are willing to pay for health insurance as it is no longer a basic need.
Research shows that households in developing countries spent $148 billion out-of-pocket for healthcare expenses in 2015, and each year 100 million people are pushed into extreme poverty because of the high cost of healthcare. Most Kenyans pay for their healthcare “out of pocket”. When it comes to insurance, only 11% of Kenya’s population have health insurance. Covid-19 has had a continued impact on the same.
How can we help the majority of Kenyan households - many of whom are unemployed, casual, or gig workers - to get access to and afford primary health care?
Spindle Design organized this timely and insightful conversation with experts in the field on the opportunities for innovation and how we can create impactful businesses in health financing.
Wilfred Njagi, Villgro Africa Chief Executive Officer & Co-founder, joined the panel discussion alongside Wanza Mbole, Senior Economic Inclusion Advisor of FSD Kenya, and Alice Machichi, Lead, Digital Health Innovation of PharmAccess Foundation.
“The coping mechanisms we employ lead to catastrophic effects because the disease doesn't wait. The only way out of the vicious cycle is if we start prioritizing healthcare. Governments & households need to start prioritizing healthcare by putting aside money for it. “ - Wilfred Njagi
Pitfalls Innovators Fall into While Innovating for the Low- & Middle-Income Segments
BioInnovate Africa is a regional science and innovation-driven initiative, supported by Sida and implemented as a programme of the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (icipe). It operates in Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda. We also collaborate with partners in South Sudan.
BioInnovate Africa enables scientists in Eastern Africa to develop and translate innovative bioscience research ideas, technologies and inventions into practical uses in society, which promote economic growth, create jobs, and reduce poverty. Thus, BioInnovate Africa fosters the development of a sustainable bioeconomy in the region by strengthening the capacity of scientists and institutions to link innovative ideas from the bench to business.
As part of the initiative, a 5-day bioscience innovation bootcamp has been organized for entrepreneurial scientists in eastern Africa to empower them to develop innovative and commercially viable biological-based ideas in areas including but not limited to;
Who is eligible to apply?
This call shall be limited to citizens and/or nationals of the seven (7) BioInnovate Africa participating countries attached to a university, research institution, private company, or other related organization (either as an employee or student).
How you will benefit
How to apply
Applicants are invited to submit the following as part of their application:
All applications will be uploaded through the online portal
The deadline for receiving applications is 5th October 2020 at 23:59hrs Nairobi Time. Late submissions will be disqualified.
Successful teams will be notified through email by 9th October 2020 Selected teams are expected to participate in the bootcamp for five days on 17-21 October 2020.
The teams will pitch their innovative ideas during the 1st Regional Bioeconomy Conference to be held on 22 October 2020.