By Sharon Atieno

The search for winners in a continental competition to provide young entrepreneurs in the healthcare sector an opportunity to develop their business ideas and advance promising solutions dubbed the Africa Young Innovators for Health Award, is ongoing.

The Award, a flagship programme by the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations (IFPMA) and Speak Up Africa, offers three winners up to $40,000 to help bring their healthcare innovation to the next development stage. Also, they will benefit from a business mentorship programme and expert support, as well as advice on intellectual property protection.

“The demographic dividend offers an incredible opportunity to leverage the power of the entrepreneurial youth. Young people not only have the potential but are currently finding new ways to solve pressing healthcare problems,” says Sobel Aziz Ngom, Executive Director, Social Change Factory, one of the competition’s supporters.

“Young people are the changemakers of today and the engine to fuel innovation to help advance promising healthcare solutions. The Africa Young Innovators for Health Award is an investment in the human capital of Africa’s promising young entrepreneurs. We are proud to be a supporter,” explains Gustavo Raiter, Business Development Lead, Microsoft4Afrika.

With 2021 being selected as the International Year of Health and Care Workers (YHCW) by the World Health Organisation, this year’s edition of the competition will be searching for innovative healthcare solutions that will support, equip, protect, and train healthcare workers.

The applications were opened from 11 January 2021 and will run to 31 March 2021. The applicants must be between 18 and 35, a resident or national of an African country, and show that their invention is scalable, measurable, has a sustainable and positive impact on healthcare workers and is commercially viable. Detailed information of the award, including eligibility, is available at

The Africa Young Innovators for Health Award is supported by AMREF Health Africa, BroadReach, Ecobank Academy, Forum Galien Africa, IntraHealth International, Microsoft4Afrika, the Organisation Africaine de la Propriété Intellectuelle, the RBM Partnership to End Malaria, and Social Change Factory, alongside our media partners:, Télésud and SciDev.Net.