Kenya’s COVID-19 ICT Advisory Committee has picked 63 innovations for potential support and scale up, in the first round of call for submission of ICT innovations that facilitates the efforts towards stimulating economic activities.
The 63 were identified out of the 412 applications received in the first round of call for submission to the committee. The potential innovations identified are divided into the five (5) categories: health 24, education 7, agriculture 3, transport 8, economy 21.
Among the committee’s mandate is to identify, support and aid in scaling up local ICT solutions that can support the country in its efforts to combat the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond.
The Committee will link the identified innovators to Government Agencies and connect them to incubation hubs, funding opportunities and accelerators where applicable.
Kenya’s COVID-19 ICT Advisory Committee’s Cabinet Secretary, Joe Mucheru, noted in a recently held virtual showcase that the quick response to call for innovations presented a clear demonstration of the kind of technical capabilities that Kenyans have and which the country must now tap into as a way out of this pandemic and for future national growth.
“In examining the viability and scalability of the proposed solutions, the Committee has forwarded several proposals to my office for review on key ICT initiatives and policies to respond to the pandemic and beyond, in order to mitigate the effects of the pandemic on individual livelihoods, communities and the economy,” said Mucheru.
It was demonstrated by the COVID-19 ICT innovation webinar that the fourth industrial revolution provides a springboard for Africa to leapfrog the industrialization roadmap whilst leveraging Kenya’s competitive strengths in health, Research & Development and ICT for preventive healthcare and development of diagnostic and therapeutic health technologies.
As such, it requires a sector specific innovation system that brings together government, academia and the private sector to harness the scientific, innovative and entrepreneurial capacity.
Further, noting that COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the fragile nature of the health system due to historical underfunding and overreliance on imported health technologies due to the collapse of global supply chains, there is a need for more sustainable homegrown solutions to ensure access to healthcare.
The second call for submissions is ongoing and closes on 21st August 2020 as well as the second showcase is scheduled for 24th August 2020.