Three startups from Kenya, Zimbabwe and Nigeria 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.
The Kofi Annan Award seeks to assist in achieving UN Sustainable Development Goal 3: “Good Health and Wellbeing” with its emphasis on the rapid digitalization of the African continent.
38 African nations submitted more than 330 applications, and the Austrian Academy of Sciences hosted an awards ceremony last week in Vienna. Members of the high-level jury, as well as local and foreign guests, attended the event, which was overseen by Austrian Federal Chancellor Karl Nehammer.
The three startups that were named winners were Flare from Kenya, which uses a digital platform to quickly coordinate ambulance services, Vaxiglobal from Zimbabwe, which develops online tools to facilitate widely successful vaccination campaigns and MOBicure from Nigeria, whose myPaddi service is a covert counseling network that aims to improve young people’s sexual health.
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.