Women-led innovation in Africa: Achieving sustainable health and gender equality on the continent
8 March 2022
10:00 - 12:00
IFPMA, Speak Up Africa
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The virtual event aims to demystify the notion that women have a limited role in innovation, celebrating the contribution made by women leaders, innovators, and creators to the development of societies and economies. The underpinning argument is that, without the considerable and equal participation of women in policy making, business and innovation, it will be impossible to achieve the SDGs by 2030.
This International Women’s Day, those determined to close the gender gap in business and innovation will come together to share their journeys and how they are working to provide real life innovative solutions to global problems. Throughout the session, we will seek to explore questions such as: What are the key challenges these women have overcome in their journeys? What challenges have changed over time, and which remain the same? How can female entrepreneurs be best supported and how can they support each other? How do we overcome the gender innovation gap and uplift women in innovation not just on International Women’s Day, but every day?
The panel will be part of Speak Up Africa’s broader African LeadHERs Forum. This Forum aims to celebrate and promote women’s leadership, actions, voices, and innovations from across the continent.
Dr. Eva Njenga, is a well-respected and world-renowned endocrinologist with a vast experience and knowledge in tropical medicine, Social Medicine and Medical Anthropology.
She has been practicing medicine for over 30 years and has been a lecturer at the University of Nairobi’s School of Medicine for more than 10 years.
Dr Eva is the Founder Director of Diabetes Management and Information Centre; the Chairperson of the Kenya NCD Alliance and also the first female Chair of the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Council. She Co- Chairs the NCD Intersectoral Coordinating Committee, sits on the advisory Board of Diabetes Africa, is an advisor of the African Research Universities Alliance, and is a member of the Centre of Excellence in Non-Communicable Diseases, the Kenya Diabetes Study Group, Kenya Medical Association Kenya Association of Physicians among others.
Dr. Njenga has played a critical role in the mitigation of the COVID-19 pandemic and is also the team leader of the Ministry of Health Technical Team for Mitigation of COVID19 Pandemic and strengthening of Health Systems for UHC in the 47 Counties in Kenya.
In recognition for her lifetime commitment to people’s health, Dr Njenga has State Honours by Her Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta for her distinguished and outstanding services to the nation and was bestowed upon the title, Moran of the Order of the Burning Spear (MBS).
Desiree Joule-Adam is the Deputy Director of Communications & Development for the African Women’s Entrepreneurship Cooperative (AWEC), a program hosted by the Center for Global Enterprise (CGE), New York.
The program builds the capacity of female entrepreneurs to enable resilient business growth. The organization develops innovative, applied, and collaborative learning experiences that create immediate and long-term business impact for the hundreds of small- and mid-sized enterprises that are served across Africa.
A beneficiary of AWEC’s flagship program, Desiree is also Founder & Director of Start-Up Africa, a boutique media communications and business development consultancy that supports Small & Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) across Africa.
With a background in business start-ups, media, telecommunication, education and youth empowerment, she is also passionate about facilitating project initiatives and opportunities to engage in Africa’s development.
She holds a degree in Media and Business Applications from Birkbeck, University of London.
Angella Kyomugisha is the co-founder and co-CEO of Kaaro Health, a social enterprise that aims to increase access to healthcare in Africa’s most remote areas. Kaaro Health deploys telehealth-enabled container clinics staffed by a nurse and a lab technician from the local communities in villages that otherwise have no clinic and access to doctors within a 25-kilometre radius.
She is a professionally trained economist & statistician and holds a post graduate diploma in project planning & management. She is a small business advisory specialist with over nine years of experience leading and managing finance and accounting functions in banking, telecom and not-for-profit sectors. Angella is also a fervent advocate for vulnerable women and children as well as rural communities.
Jean Philbert Nsengimana (Phil) is the Africa Managing Director at the Commons Project, working to unlock the full potential of technology and data for the common good. He has also recently been appointed as the Chief Digital Advisor at Africa CDC. Prior to those roles, he served as the Minister of Youth and ICT in the Government of Rwanda for 6 years.
During his tenure, he spearheaded the Smart Africa Alliance and YouthConnekt Africa – two pan African organizations focused on accelerating digital transformation and youth empowerment. Before joining the government, Phil led national and pan-African organizations in the domains of digital health and e-government.
Phil holds a Masters of Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, a Global MBA in Information Technology from the SP Jain School of Global Management in Singapore, a Masters in Software Engineering and Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from the University of Rwanda. He serves on many boards including the Alliance for Affordable Internet where he is the Honorary Chairperson, IntraHealth International and Place Fund.
Jennie Nwokoye is the co-founder and CEO of Clafiya. She is a systems engineer with over 8 years of experience working at big tech companies, management consulting, and the United States Federal Government.
She has a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Science and a Minor in Anthropology from the University of South Florida, a Master of Forensic Science from Stevenson University as well as a Master of Science in Systems Engineering from Georgetown University.
The most important issue to her is making good healthcare ubiquitous to all vulnerable populations, especially in Nigeria. She recognizes that good health and well-being is key to a life well lived and starts with access to fast and affordable primary care and maternal health services. This is what led to the birth of Clafiya – a platform that connects patients to community health workers to provide fast and affordable health care in semi-urban and rural parts of Africa.
As an entrepreneur and mentor, her passion for social impact has spanned through several sectors, focusing on young entrepreneurs developing solutions to address some of society’s toughest issues. In Washington DC where she lives, she has established herself as a reference person for capacity building and youth development, supporting young and minority entrepreneurs with business case and business plans development, pitch competitions preparation, and fundraising advisory. As a result, she has helped over a dozen young entrepreneurs in the National Capital area raise more than $100,000 in the past two years.
Dr. Nyalita did her undergraduate training in Pharmacy at the University of Nairobi, Kenya and obtained her post-graduate degree in Business Management, MBA, from the same University. She is also a certified Corporate Governance Trainer as well as a Board Evaluations & Assessments Trainer.
She has a solid background in Business Leadership, Commercial Operations and Technical Operations, having led and excelled in these roles during her tenures in various Multi-National Pharmaceutical Organizations with responsibilities across Sub Saharan Africa and South East Asia.
As the Chief Executive Officer of Kenya Healthcare Federation, she is currently leading the Policy & Advocacy agenda for the Private Health Sector in Kenya, including Public-Private Dialogues (PPDs) and Public-Private Partnerships, PPP, in the Kenya Private Health Sector.
Founder and award-winning Entrepreneur behind the Madi Group – A group of private sector sole trader companies, and some not for profit organisations, with a philosophy to create innovative ideas tailored to local action which can achieve global impacts beneficial to society. She is an expert in female entrepreneurship and women’s economic empowerment.
Madi has received the honours of Asian Woman of Achievement and UK’s Best
Boss and as well as the Woman of the Decade – Entrepreneur and Leadership,
All Ladies League Award. In May 2018, Madi was listed as one of the
Apolitical’s 100 World Most Influential People in Gender Policy.