Funding tech startups to transform African health systems

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Tech startups and other innovation-focused emerging businesses in Africa will have the opportunity to collaborate directly with continental leaders to transform health systems during the second Africa Health Tech Challenge, organizers said.

On September 10, the Health Tech Hub Africa announced the second Africa Health Tech Challenge for tech startups which is part of a new investment push to revolutionize health tech development.

“It helps governments and start-ups collaborate on data and technology-driven innovations that strengthen health systems in Africa,” reads a shared statement. Monitor saw.

Based in Rwanda’s capital, Kigali, the hub “aims to work with local authorities to address the greatest health challenges of low-income and underserved populations through a catalytic partnership between the Novartis Foundation and Norrsken House in Kigali. , in Rwanda”.

During the November 2022 challenge, the next cohort of health changemakers across the continent (selected startups) will benefit from a 10-month health and technology accelerator program, access to a network of public-private partners, funding opportunities to validate their innovations in public health systems, and 24/7 access to a state-of-the-art coworking space that offers engagement community and connecting partners.

The challenge is a competition that selects 30 high-impact pan-African health technology startups and 10 scale-ups with business-to-business solutions in the fields of cardiovascular health, breast cancer, virtual care and health, or the use of data for decision making. do healthy. Participating startups are expected to have business models that can have a transformational impact on people’s health in Africa.

“This is a great opportunity for us to help address population heart health challenges and other health issues in Africa by leveraging local solutions, validating them and supporting their integration into systems. local healthcare providers,” said Ann Aerts, director of the Novartis Foundation.

“The Health Tech Hub Africa uses its annual challenge to bring together startups from across the health tech environment to innovate and collaborate, with a mission to transform healthcare for low-income and underserved communities,” said said Pascal Murasira, managing director of Norrsken East Africa. .

The statement also noted that the startups in the 2022 Health Tech Hub cohort have since increased their beneficiary count from 113,091 in January 2022 to 634,940 in July 2022, collectively raising more than $10.8 million and creating more than 300 full-time jobs across Africa.

According to Joris Cyizere, Managing Director of the Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution in Rwanda, agile multi-stakeholder collaboration is fundamental to accelerating innovation in health technologies while enabling a direct link between government, civil society and innovators to co-design Health Tech Applications aligned with policy instruments that enable an enabling environment for innovation.

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