Building a Resilient Innovative Africa in a COVID-19 world

Our panel of experts unanimously agree that the pandemic has given rise to new innovations. These include recent technologies and services that help in the fight against the virus itself. There is research showing that Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, and Uganda are amongst the top 80 countries globally that are innovating to combat the impact of COVID-19. These findings mirror the InnovationHotspots findings in the Executive Summary section outlining the countries fromwhich we received the highest number of entrepreneurs and start-ups responses. This underscores the need for youth-led innovation in Africa to be placed at the forefront of economic development because it will allow the continent to benefit from the global economic potential SMEs offer as drivers of job creation, tax receipts, innovations, and value chains. Innovating tofight COVID-19 Some of the most unusual but innovative and creative ideas to tackle COVID-19 and the problems that it has caused have come from unlikely places – with many embodying the African spirit of innovation that belies an inherent resilience in the face of adversity. Examples include a wooden handwashing machine invented by a nine-year-old Kenyan schoolboy, which uses a foot pedal so that users do not have to touch surfaces. The foot pedal dispenses liquid soap and tips a bucket of water. The nine-year-old called Stephen 9 lives in Mukwa village in Bungoma country in western Kenya – which has not reported any cases of the virus. Other COVID-fighting inventions include a solar-powered hand-washing sink, featuring a hand sensor and 25-second alarm from Ghana. Awooden money sanitizer has been invented in Kenya, which cleans notes that are passed through a slot in the wooden machine, while in Tunisia, authorities deployed makeshift police robots on the streets of Tunis in April to help enforce lockdown measures. The robots, called PGuards, can identify whether an individual is illegally walking the streets and question them. Engineers in Tunisia have also created an online platform 10 that can scan lung X-rays to determine if a person may be suffering from coronavirus. TheAfrican spirit of innovation– fromhandwashing to robot doctors

9 BBCNews: Coronavirus: Kenyan boywhomade hand-washingmachine awarded, 2nd June 2020 10 Afri-Update, Tunisia researchers useAI, x-rays to create online virus scan tool, April 17th2020


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