2019 WHO Africa Innovation Challenge

Deadline: December 10, 2018.

The World Health Organization (WHO) in the African Region has launched the first WHO Africa Innovation Challenge calling for health innovations with the potential for having significant social impact and addressing the unmet health needs on the continent.

This Innovation Challenge recognizes the critical need for innovations to address the continent’s challenges in healthcare,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa. “WHO champions the promotion of homegrown solutions to address health challenges in reproductive, maternal and child health, infectious diseases, noncommunicable diseases and other key areas. We hope this challenge will spark the entrepreneurial spirit of innovators and lead to credible health innovations across the continent”. This Challenge will prioritise innovative and scalable healthcare solutions for selection. The three submission categories are Product, Service and Social Innovation.



Solutions that will be considered should be broadly categorized as either product or technological innovations, process or service innovations or social innovations, as further defined below. WHO AFRO recognises that a single solution may apply to more than one of the categories but applicants must choose the category that suits the best strength for their solution.

1. Product or Technological innovations: Activities that contribute to the research, development and design of new products or to improving existing products, and that generate new technological knowledge for adoption by the marketplace e.g. medicines, products, supplies, infrastructure, mHealth, etc.

2. Process or service innovations: Refer to the implementation of a new or significantly improved production or delivery method e.g. innovative financing mechanism etc.

3. Social innovations :Are new strategies and organizations that meet social needs of all kinds, from working conditions and education to community development and health, that extend and strengthen civil society e.g. community health initiatives, health workforce etc

Other eligibility criteria include that:
  • This Challenge is open to individuals, teams, for-profit, non-profit entities (including hybrid entities i.e. social enterprises), academic institutions or research institutions.
  • Entrants are not required to be formally registered in order to qualify for the Challenge
  • Applicants must be:
    1. Africa nationals residing in Africa or outside of Africa; or
    2. Foreign nationals either based in Africa or, if not based in Africa, then working with an African-based entity.


1. Selected finalists will be awarded a sponsored opportunity to attend the Africa Health Forum. At this event the finalists will get the opportunity to profile their solutions and gain access to political, government and business leaders in the health sector for potential market and investment opportunities. This sponsorship will cover flights, accommodation and exhibition costs of the selected finalists.

2. Selected finalists will then stand a chance to exhibit their solutions at the 69th Session of the Regional Committee that will take place in August 2019, in Brazzaville. This Regional Committee is a meeting of all African Ministers of Health.





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