Combat Covid-19 Africa, an African initiative whose mission is to enable a connected and collaborative approach to solve the COVID-19 pandemic across the continent, has amassed over 5300 users and organisations in its innovative platform, reaching over 208 cities globally in only six months since its inception.
After a successful digital industry response to a previous project (more information on that event can be found here), its mentor, South African businessman Andile Ngcaba requested a follow-up online meeting with a group of African technology entrepreneurs and software engineers to discuss the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the continent. During this online meeting, many ideas were presented, with the sole goal of leveraging technology to solve the pandemic across Africa, and thus Combat Covid-19 Africa was born, through an open participatory process which was later described by the ATU Secretary-General Mr. John OMO as a “platform of platforms”.
This platform allows for Africans to combat the pandemic through sharing, collaboration and resource allocation, thus enhancing African collaborations and providing meaningful data for understanding common challenges of this global pandemic, adapted to the particularities of African nations.
Fast-forward to today, it is safe to conclude that considerable strides in achieving that vision have been made. Combat Covid-19 Africa has since then been given the opportunity to present to a number of important stakeholders working tirelessly to control the spread on the continent, including the African Union, African Telecommunications Union, NEPAD, African Risk Capacity, African CDC, WHO and UNESCO.
Combat Covid-19 Africa’s top 10 cities, by number of users, are:
- Dar es Salaam
- Cape Town
On August 12th, the initiative also successfully hosted their inaugural ‘Innovating for COVID-19’ virtual symposium in 3 languages (English, French & Portuguese). A video of the session can be found here.
The symposium had over 25 speakers covering a range of topics, such as:
- Global Health Technology Ecosystem & Atlas;
- AI as a Service, computer vision;
- Investing in Africa’s digital future;
- Africa reinventing itself in the 21st century;
- Genomics Technology and COVID-19;
- Accelerating Africa towards Quantum computing in the post-COVID-19 world;
- Exploring a COVID-19 health data science collaboration framework;
- High Altitude Platform Solution for Africa’s 30 million square kilometre.
“Combat COVID-19 platform thé best African digital collaborative response to drive a vision of a digital continent where every African Can innovate and exchange ideas”, remarked Koffi Fabrice Djossou.
“The combined efforts of various entrepreneurs, engineers and investors from different African countries in the spirit of Ubuntu to combat COVID19 in Africa is the reason for the platform that has transcended the continent over the last 6 month.” – said Eric Osiakwan, Chanzo Capital.
These initiatives are being built by young Africans who have taken to digital, representing a trend of technological advancement in Africa, which not only is the youngest continent globally but also more digital-native than any other region in the globe.