07 December 2021
Amidst the COVID-19 health crisis, young African entrepreneurs have developed region-specific technologies and solutions to ensure continued access to healthcare while supporting, protecting, and equipping healthcare professionals in the delivery of essential care. Who are those innovators shaping the future of Africa’s public healthcare? How are their innovations improving and transforming communities’ lives?
On the 4th edition of Galien Forum Africa, held from 8th to 9th December, 2021, the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations (IFPMA) and Speak Up Africa will host virtual conferences promoting youth and women innovations in Africa’s healthcare entrepreneurship space. The virtual conferences will gather high-profile African health influencers, experts and business leaders including Professor Awa Marie Coll-Seck, Minister of State of Senegal and President of the Scientific Committee at the Galien Forum Africa; Greg Perry, Assistant Director General of IFPMA; Karim Bendhaou, Chair of the IFPMA Africa engagement committee, Yacine Djibo, Founder & Executive Director of Speak Up Africa.
A specific focus of discussion will address the status of women in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) sector, the challenge of eliminating gender imbalance from science, technology and innovation disciplines in Africa and future actions to advance women-led innovation in the continent’s healthcare entrepreneurship ecosystem. This discussion will also celebrate women innovators and participants of the Women Innovators Incubator (a program from the Africa Young Innovators for Health Award) developing high-impact solutions to Africa’s various healthcare needs, namely Nuriat Nambogo (CEO, MobiCare), Marie Chantal Umunyana (CEO, Umubyeyi) and Angella Kyomugisha (Co-Founder and COO, Kaaro Health).
Women account for 30 percent of Sub-Saharan Africa’s researchers and innovators and face limited access to funding and skills gaps that are key to business enterprises’ formation, scale-up, and sustainability. By not bridging the gender gap in STEM, Africa is also missing out on a more gendered perspective in addressing critical issues in global health. This persistent gender disparity will prevent women innovators from achieving their potential and effectively contributing to development challenges.
African women are an untapped economic force. They will be integral in addressing the many health development challenges Africa faces. There is a need for efforts to close the gender gap in STEM to ensure that women as much as men benefit as citizens and contributors to their societies.Professor Awa Marie Coll-Seck, Minister of State of Senegal and President of the Scientific Committee at the Forum Galien Africa.
In response to the persistent gender disparities, IFPMA and Speak Up Africa, partners of the Africa Young Innovators for Health Award launched the Women Innovators Incubator. The initiative focuses on providing a supportive environment for women entrepreneurs to create and grow high-impact and sustainable solutions to Africa’s most pressing healthcare needs. Women entrepreneurs on the incubator benefit from financial support, mentorship, media training, expert advice on IP protection and access to the rich network of supporters of this Award.
We continue to work to break through the long-standing barriers that are holding back women from making their mark in science, innovation and technology. We want to play a small part in tearing down barriers by supporting some of Africa’s brightest female innovators with the tools they need to turn their innovative ideas and aspirations into a reality. We want to see their creations take shape to help improve the health and wellbeing of African communities; and we want them to inspire the next generation of young women scientists and engineers.Thomas Cueni partner IFPMA Director-General
Women and girls can play a more active role in boosting the transformation of African economies, fueling innovation and getting us closer to critical healthcare solutions quicker.
We continue to champion initiatives that will provide opportunities and support them grow further and be an example to future generations venturing into science, technology and innovation fields.Yacine Djibo, Executive Director at Speak Up Africa
On 8th December 2021 : Leadership and innovation: Meet the Africa Young Innovators for Health Award winners from 9 AM GMT (Register here).
This session will introduce the first three winners of the Africa Young Innovators for Health Award. Conrad Tankou, CEO, GIC Space (Cameroon); John Mwangi, CEO, Daktari Media (Kenya) and Imodoye Abioro, CEO, Healthbotics (Nigeria) will highlight the value of Africa’s young population towards developing solutions that support, equip and train health workers delivering critical care to African communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. The winners shall be joined by Karim Bendhaou, Chair of the IFPMA Africa engagement committee and Whintey Mwangui, African Union Commission Advocacy, Partnerships & Communications Specialist. The session will be moderated by Maelle Ba, Communication director at Speak Up Africa.
On 9th December 2021: Women in STEM in the context of global health security from 11 AM GMT (Register here).
The session will address the status of women in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) sector and their critical role in Africa’s development. Key speakers will be Prof. Awa Marie Coll-Seck, President of the Scientific Committee of the Galien Forum and Minister of State of Senegal, Greg Perry, Assistant Director General of the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA), Yacine Djibo, Founder and Executive Director of Speak Up Africa; and the participants of the Women Innovators Incubator. The session will be moderated by Mohamadou Diallo, Founder & Editor in chief of CIO Mag.
The Africa Young Innovators for Health Award is supported by AMREF Health Africa, BroadReach, Ecobank Academy, Forum Galien Africa, IntraHealth International, Microsoft4Afrika, the Organisation Africaine de la Propriété Intellectuelle, the RBM Partnership to End Malaria, and Social Change Factory, alongside our media partners: Africa.com, Télésud, and SciDev.Net.