Three startups from Kenya, Nigeria and Zimbabwe have been named winners of the inaugural Kofi Annan Award for Innovation in Africa, with each set to receive EUR250,000 (US$250,000) in grants.
The winners beat 330 applicants from 38 countries who entered the competition. The startups include Kenya’s Flare, which uses a digital platform to coordinate ambulance services within minutes; Nigeria’s MOBicure, whose myPaddi service is a discreet counselling network that aims to increase the sexual health of young people; and Zimbabwe’s Vaxiglobal, an online solution that aims to facilitate broadly effective vaccination campaigns.
The Kofi Annan Prize for Innovation in Africa aims to contribute to the faster achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 3 – “Good Health and Wellbeing”. The award’s aim is focused on innovative, disruptive and entrepreneurial approaches to solving global challenges.
Kenya’s Flare Emergency Response launched in 2016 and has since saved over 10,000 acute patients and enabled the safe delivery of 4,000 babies with its network of ambulances, hospital providers, and national emergency services. Over 1 million people already use the 24/7 platform in Kenya. The firm leverages technology to respond to emergencies, dispatching help almost instantly and providing life-saving care over the phone as well as coordinating the quickest pathway to progressive care.
Besides the monetary prize, the winners will also, take part in an Innovation Bootcamp organized by the WFP Innovation Accelerator, and benefit from a strong network of partners and international visibility.
The Kofi Annan Award for Innovation in Africa award ceremony was held in Vienna at the Austrian Academy of Sciences.