KENYA – Zuhura Innovation Africa, a women-led and youth-focused organization has launched the 3rd edition of the Africa Basque Challenge (ABC) targeting young people from around the world.

The Africa Basque Challenge is a youth innovation competition that brings together young people together to co-create effective solutions for their communities.

This year’s program runs from the 29th of October to the 4th of November under the theme Access to Healthcare. The goal is to bring together multicultural teams for the co-creation of innovative solutions in healthcare systems.

Mondragon Team Academy, Zuhura Innovations Africa, Anesvad, and Diversity 4 Equality are collaborating on the challenge.

The challenge is open to young persons between the ages of 18 and 35 who live in Kenya, Senegal, or the Basque Country (Spain). They will build multicultural teams to develop new solutions to remove barriers to health care access, allowing citizens to get the products and services they desire and need.

 “Our vision is that health digital innovations should improve health for everyone and everywhere. They should be appropriate, accessible, affordable, scalable and sustainable person-centric digital health solutions to prevent, detect and respond to epidemics and pandemics,” Mr Leonard Cosmas, Kenya Representative, World Health Organization said during the launch of the program.

Three winning teams will be selected at the end of the program to receive seed funding for their innovative concepts to carry ahead as social enterprises at the final pitching event in the Basque country in January 2022.

They will also receive 3 months of membership and coaching from Bridges for Billions in addition to the seed funding.

There has been an increase in innovation-oriented funding campaigns. In September, the Kenya National Innovation Agency (KeNIA) and Villgro Africa launched the Kenya Healthcare Innovation Programme which opens opportunity for all with the potential to improve optimal health outcomes or make healthcare more to present their ideas.

The program by KeNIA will award participants with the best solutions with cash prizes and access to other resources courtesy of the partnership with Villgro.

Similarly, at the beginning of the month, Kigali-based non-profit Norrsken partnered the Novartis Foundation to build and launch what it says will be the leading hub and accelerator for e-health startups in East Africa.

Under the same guise, Norrsken also launched a HealthTech Hub Challenge, a competition to find the 30 most promising healthtech startups in Kigali and East Africa.

Challenge prizes include a one-year subsidy to sit at the HealthTech Hub Africa and participation in the 2022 HealthTech Innovation Programme. The top three selected winners will also receive US$30,000, US$20,000 and US$5,000 respectively.

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