Three startups from Kenya, Nigeria and Zimbabwe have been named winners of the first Kofi Annan Award for Innovation in Africa, and will each receive EUR250,000 (US$250,000) in grants, international visibility and long-term mentoring.
With its focus on the rapid digitisation on the African continent, the Kofi Annan Award aims to contribute to the achievement of UN Sustainable Development Goal 3 – “Good Health and Wellbeing”. It challenges more traditional developmental approaches and focuses on innovative, disruptive, and entrepreneurial approaches to overcome global challenges.
More than 330 applications were received from 38 African countries, and last week an awards event was organised in Vienna at the Austrian Academy of Sciences. The event took place under the aegis of Austrian Federal Chancellor Karl Nehammer and with the participation of members of the high-level jury, as well as national and international guests.
The three startups named winners were Kenya’s Flare, which uses a digital platform to coordinate ambulance services within minutes; Nigeria’s MOBicure, whose myPaddi service is a discreet counseling network that aims to increase the sexual health of young people; and Zimbabwe’s Vaxiglobal, an online solution that aims to facilitate broadly effective vaccination campaigns.
Each winner will receive EUR250,000 (US$250,000) in grant funding, as well as access to international visibility and long-term mentoring.
“With the Kofi Annan Award, the Federal Chancellery not only supports innovative startups from Africa with EUR250,000 euros each but also helps them gain centre stage. In this way, we are giving them the chance to network with experienced companies and to drive their projects and ideas forward even more effectively. It is a true pleasure and honor to be the patron of this great initiative. I wish the winners all the best and much success in their future endeavours,” said Nehammer.