Press release 8 December 2020

Speak Up Africa and IFPMA launch the “Africa Young Innovators for Health Award” to fuel innovation and help advance promising healthcare solutions

  • The first edition of the “Africa Young Innovators for Health Award” aims to support entrepreneurs develop their pioneering solutions to support, equip, protect and train healthcare workers.
  • Three award winners will receive funding of up to $40,000 to bring their healthcare innovation to life, and benefit from a business mentorship programme and support to protect their Intellectual Property assets.

Dakar, Geneva, 8 December 2020 – The International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers & Associations (IFPMA) and Speak Up Africa launch the first edition of the “Africa Young Innovators for Health Award” at the Galien Pre-Forum Africa session focused on Youth Leadership.

Prof. Awa Marie Coll-Seck, Minister of State and President of the Scientific Committee of Forum Galien Africa, who is also a Jury Member for the Award and Speaker at the launch event says “The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us more than ever how healthcare professionals and social workers are on the front line in responding to major health challenges. This multisectoral and community response contributes to building a strong and resilient health system. However, despite the increased investments in human resources and the many innovative financial mechanisms put in place across the continent, the work of these professionals and the health systems as a whole have been severely put to the test. We must support them.”

The “Africa Young Innovators for Health Award” is an investment in the human capital of Africa’s promising young entrepreneurs. “Young people across the continent are already driving forward innovation in life-saving technologies to respond to the COVID-19 health challenge and this Award will support them further. The youth are key to unleashing the human potential within the continent” explains Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa and Jury Member. This Award provides financial and in-kind support to three winners so they can advance their healthcare solutions and develop their great potential as enablers of change.

Applicants must be between 18 and 35, a resident or national of an African country, and show that their innovation is scalable, measurable, has a sustainable and positive impact on healthcare workers, and is commercially viable. Details of the award, including eligibility is available at Applications will be open from 11 January 2021 until 31 March 2021.

The “Africa Young Innovators for Health Award” is supported by AMREF Health Africa, BroadReach, Ecobank Academy, Forum Galien Africa, IntraHealth International, Microsoft 4Afrika, the RBM Partnership to End Malaria, and Social Change Factory, alongside our media partners: and SciDev.Net.




The International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA) represents over 90 innovative pharmaceutical companies and associations around the world. Our industry’s almost three million employees discover, develop, and deliver medicines and vaccines that advance global health. Based in Geneva, IFPMA has official relations with the United Nations and contributes industry expertise to help the global health community improve the lives of people everywhere. For more information, visit

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Elliot Dunster