The government of Kenya through Konza Technopolis Development Authority (KoTDA), has partnered with the Association of Countrywide Innovation Hubs, private sector, academia, non-governmental organizations and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), to launch the Great Covid-19 Innovation challenge.
The Innovation Challenge seeks to harness the collective capability of the technology and innovation sector, in a structured manner in response to three grand challenges that recognize the combined package of infrastructure, technological tools, human capacity and data delivered by a unique combination of multiple stakeholders (public and private sectors will revolutionise service delivery, spreading the reach of new developments to the poorest and most remote communities and improve development outcomes for all.
This challenge seeks to also bring together the innovator communities, technology and innovation sector players together to demonstrate the power of partnerships and provide new models for government-private sector collaboration to birth the next frontier of the techno-developmental-governance interface needed to address the immediate challenges during the current pandemic period as well as with a long term impact to our Big 4 Agenda, Vision2030 and SDGs.
The challenge, therefore, is looking to match issues articulated by Ministries, Departments and Agencies, with scalable solutions that can be co-created and adopted for use, matched by policy and financial incentives.
The categories in this challenge include:
COVID19 is creating a tremendous strain on Kenya’s health system. As evidence in developed economies such as Italy, Spain the UK, the disease can easily overwhelm existing health service capacity, placing at risk health service providers, but also creating near impossible situations in the allocation of critical health commodities and supplies.
Governments around the world are grappling with flattening the curve, creating a rush for the acquisition of PPEs, ventilators and other essential commodities and supplies, precipitated by the disruption of the global supply chain. Countries that are wealthy are scooping any surplus of these precious commodities globally.
This category, therefore, seeks solutions that can help with:
The Agricultural sector contributes 26% of (GDP), another 27% of GDP indirectly through linkages with other sectors. It further employs 40% of the total population and more than 70% of the rural population in Kenya.
The impact of COVID-19 on overall economy would equally affect the agricultural and food security sector, especially in the understanding that a majority of farmers over the age of 57.
In this regard, there will an adverse impact on food security and nutrition as the pandemic coincided with the commencement of the long rains, which marks the planting season for Kenya’s staple foods. The pandemic also comes at the heels of a drought that ravaged the Country in 2019 and a continued locust invasion.
This category, therefore, seeks to harness data, innovations and solutions to secure our entire food systems, that assures continuous access of affordable and nutritious food across the entire republic of Kenya such as:-
The COVID19 pandemic is adversely affecting the economy.
In Kenya, there are major disruptions in the tourism and export sector that area a major source of foreign exchange. Similar to other Stock Exchange in the world, the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) halted trading on 13 March 2020 after wiping out Ksh120 billion off investors financial portfolios.
With the introduction of 7 pm to 5 am curfews, work from home order, closure of restaurants (only open for take-outs), social distancing measures in markets, supermarkets and public transport, the informal, that employs a majority continues to suffer. A majority of these workers earn daily wages and have therefore no other means of income.
The longer the pandemic, the high the unemployment rate, exposing people to break the current COVID19 containment laws. It also exposes the young population to crime or allure towards violent extremism.
The challenge is, therefore, to leverage technologies and innovative solutions that will spur inclusivity and opportunity for dignified work, enabling:
The challenge is open to Individuals, Start-up teams and organisations working on innovative solutions to address the Covid19 pandemic.
Click here for more information on how to apply and be part of the innovation challenge!