Summit sets new pathway for African healthcare innovation

Wednesday, December 6th, 2023 06:50 | By
Panellists during the health tech summit in Nairobi. PHOTO/Print
Panellists during the health tech summit in Nairobi. PHOTO/Print

Healthcare systems in Africa are in urgent need of innovations that can achieve more with less and for more people, participants at a meeting in Nairobi have been told.

The Futurize HealthTech Summit, a joint initiative by Futurize and AstraZeneca under the A.Catalyst Network, an interconnected and dynamic global network of more than 20 health innovation hubs concluded this week, signaling a new era in African health technology. Hosted at Strathmore University Business School in Nairobi, the exclusive event welcomed over 120 attendees, each dedicated to enhancing the industry.

Experts engaged in critical discussions on nurturing healthtech ecosystems through collaboration among private, public, and academic entities as well as the role of academic institutions in innovation. “Fostering a thriving healthtech ecosystem goes beyond individual efforts; it hinges on our ability to connect, share insights, and build upon each other’s strengths. This collaborative approach is what we champion at AstraZeneca,” said Jonathan Calder, Head of Digital & IT, African Cluster at AstraZeneca.

As funding is a crucial part of the entrepreneurial journey, “Your second investor is your client, your first is yourself,” Sewu-Steve Tawia, co-founder at Jaza Rift Ventures said alongside fellow panelists Mia von Koschitzky-Kimani, Robert Karanja, and Dr Emma Waiyaya, illuminating the dynamic nature of startup funding.

Serving as a vital networking platform, numerous healthcare startups were present engaging with the ecosystem and connecting with potential investors.

The summit spotlighted 10 startups from the FuturizeU incubator, exemplifying the powerful combination of academic excellence and business savvy through the Fuel Africa Programme. Rhea Singhla, co-founder of Futurize, highlighted the company’s commitment to advancing African healthcare innovation and plans for next year.

“We aim to not only continue this momentum but to elevate it, focusing on sustainable, accessible, and patient-centric solutions while bringing even more diverse voices to the stage,” she said. –PD Reporter

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