Speakers Announced: The Official Africa Young Innovators for Health Award Ceremony

01 September 2021.
By the Award program team

The International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations (IFPMA) and Speak Up Africa (SUA) will announce the first-ever winners of the Africa Young Innovators for Health Award at the official virtual ceremony on Thursday, 16 September from 09:30 GMT *online (Register here).

The three winners will be revealed live at the Award Ceremony, where health leaders, innovators, and entrepreneurs gather online to celebrate African innovation. And to highlight the vital role innovation plays, especially amongst young people in Africa, in tackling some of the most pressing healthcare challenges facing healthcare workers on the continent.

Award winners will be joined by high-profile personalities making an impact on the continental healthcare landscape through policy, innovation, and business. These include (in order of appearance); Professor Awa Marie Coll-Seck, Minister of State of Senegal; Thomas B. Cueni, Director General of IFPMA; Yacine Djibo, Executive Director, Speak Up Africa, Sobel Aziz Ngom, Executive Director, Consortium Jeunesse Sénégal; Vèna Arielle Ahouansou, CEO of KEA Medicals; Dr. Lindiwe Makubalo, Assistant Regional Director, WHO AFRO and Dr. Margaret Agama-Anyetei, Acting Director of Health and Humanitarian Affairs, African Union Commission plus many more.

The Award is IFPMA and Speak Up Africa’s flagship program, focused on supporting pioneering young health entrepreneurs across Africa with financial and in-kind opportunities to develop their business ideas. And also advance promising solutions to support, equip, protect, and train healthcare workers who have been working tirelessly to protect and treat the public amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.  Winners will receive financial support worth a total of $75,000 (first prize: $40,000; second prize: $20,000 and third prize: $15,000); a three-month business mentorship programme, media training, expert advice on Intellectual Property protection, where relevant, as well as access to a network of supporters and partners working across digital, healthcare, and media.

In congratulating the winners, Partners IFPMA’s Director-General, Thomas B. Cueni, explained the importance of the Award.  “Since Africa is the youngest continent in the world – in part due to progress in health outcomes – it is very exciting to contribute to an Award that fosters and honours the spirit of innovation among young Africans.  We hope that our winners will be instrumental making a difference to the lives of healthcare workers who have been working tirelessly to protect and treat the public amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.” said Thomas Cueni, Director-General of IFPMA.

“As a Jury member, I know the road to winning this competition was extremely demanding, competitive, and rigorous. We have seen immense creativity in the innovations reviewed – showing that Africa’s greatest assets are its young people and their entrepreneurial spirit.” Explained Yacine Djibo, Executive Director, Speak Up Africa, “Local solutions, designed by Africa’s youth, signal to the world their role in shaping and improving health futures.”

*Please note due to COVID-19 measures the Ceremony will be a fully online event.