Johnson & Johnson has named the winners of the first Africa Innovation Challenge at the Global Entrepreneurship Congress at a function held in Cape town ,South Africa on 14 march 2017.
A statement by Johnson & Johnson said that the initiative, which received nearly 500 submissions from innovators and entrepreneurs across the continent, sought the best ideas for new, sustainable health solutions that will benefit African communities.
The Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies comprises the world’s largest healthcare business and its presence in Africa dates back to 1930, including business operations, public health programs and corporate citizenship. The Africa Innovation Challenge is part of the company’s comprehensive approach to collaborate with and support Africa’s vibrant innovation, education and health systems institutions.
African scientists working at a lab
“Africa is one of the fastest growing regions of the world, and Johnson & Johnson is proud to support this growth through strong collaborations that encourage innovation and accelerate advancements in the continent’s health systems,” said Paul Stoffels, M.D., Chief Scientific Officer, Johnson & Johnson. “We are seeing a surge of activity among entrepreneurs and health system leaders to develop important solutions that overcome longstanding health and societal challenges. By working together, we hope to bring meaningful solutions to patients and consumers more rapidly, to help cultivate the next generation of scientists, and to support Africa’s entrepreneurial base.”
The winners are Burundi with project Aregeka for a development of a sustainable solution to support girls who are unable to afford menstrual pads and underwear is an important need for young women.
In second position was Liberia’s Project Kernel Fresh which sources natural palm kernels from smallholder women farmers, increasing their income. In third position is Uganda’s pedal tap project which seeks to
prevent disease transmission, and a reduction of water use.
“This was an extremely difficult competition to judge as there were many terrific ideas,” said Josh Ghaim, Chief Technology Officer, Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. “The three winning projects demonstrated a strong benefit to local communities and the ability to empower young women, and they also have the potential to deliver ongoing economic support. We look forward to working with these entrepreneurs over the course of the next year to help them build sustainable operations.”
Each country will be given funds to carry on with their project,