On September 24, the African Diaspora Network, in partnership with ALIMA USA, convened a dialogue on how Africa is helping to inform innovation and entrepreneurship in the areas of information technology, media, humanitarian medicine, venture capital, and philanthropy.
Our speakers were able to show how each of these sectors were growing in Africa. Josh Ghaim shared about the many entrepreneurial successes including: Pedal Tap (Uganda), Kernel Fresh (Liberia), and Agateka (Burundi). Josh also shared Johnson and Johnson’s commitment to increasing the number of African Women in the Science and Innovation careers. For example, the Women in Innovation (WiIN) mentoring program plans to reach 1000 female college graduates in Rwanda alone. These are just few of the examples he shared.
Josh reiterated the fact that “Africa doesn’t need handouts rather investment in human capital and entrepreneurship.”
Matt Cleary, CEO, Alliance for International Medical Action (ALIMA) shared the innovative work that his organization is doing to reduce Ebola and other infectious disease in Africa. ALIMA, he said, works in collaboration with researchers, doctors, academic centers and other sectors to find innovative solutions to improve health outcomes on the continent. Matt spoke about ALIMA’s recent innovation: CUBE. CUBE is an individual isolation unit for patients of EBOLA and other infectious disease. The idea is to give patients, caregivers, and families to have a safe place to interact with patients. (View the CUBE video at ALIMA.)
Pazion Cherinet, CEO, Orbit Health, Digitalization of Healthcare Systems in Africa said that Orbit came to be as result of his experience with hospital and doctor care waiting in Ethiopia. He observed that patients were waiting to be seen by a doctor for more than four hours. This was personal for Pazion as he was trying to help his mother get the necessary medical care in the fastest way possible. As a U.S-educated former Boeing Employee, he had the commitment and knowledge to create a platform that can help streamline the patient continuum-of-care process. Today, Orbit uses technology to provide access to easy patient appointment, patient record, and organized health practice in Ethiopia. His goal is to scale the program to other parts of Africa.