The African Development Bank (ADB) has announced 20 finalists for the 2020 AfricaVirus Challenge. The finalists will receive 20,000 USD in grants and access to business development and related services. The finalists were selected form a list of 100 shortlisted applicants who submitted innovative solutions to combat the health and economic challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Maisha Technologies is one of the businesses listed among the 20 finalists for the challenge.
Maisha Technologies is an aviation and aerospace company that employs tech-based solutions for medical and social issues for communities that have difficulty accessing pharmaceutical and other medical services. It develops drones and other aero-technology that facilitates the delivery of medical goods and services to rural communities.
The company was nominated as a finalist for the AfricaVirus challenge for developing drone technology that delivers COVID-19 testing kits to rural health centers in Ethiopia. In 2017, Maisha was also the recipient of a Gates Foundation grant for drone technology delivering blood from blood banks to areas with limited access.
Some of the other ideas and innovation that were selected include a distance learning device from Cameroon, color-coded soap from Nigeria, and digitally-encoded health records from Senegal. More than 25,000 participants pitched their ideas at the Innovation and Leadership Lab hosted by ADB and the Youth Entrepreneurship and Innovation Multi-Donor Trust.
Maisha Technologies’ Tizzita Tefera commented on the role of the challenge in bringing companies that illustrate the unique African experience surrounding the pandemic has allowed these companies to be part of the dialogue for public-private partnerships to lead the fight against COVID-19.