WHO Africa Innovation Challenge

Promoting African Solutions for Africa’s Health

The World Health Organization (WHO) in the African Region has launched the WHO Africa Innovation Challenge. This Challenge is calling innovators, researchers and community-based initiatives including, youths and women that are working on novel solutions to improve health outcomes and apply new and fresh thinking to address unmet health needs for Africa.


This Challenge is open to solutions that comply with the following eligibility criteria listed below – solutions that are:


Solutions that are developed in and/or relevant to Africa in addressing one or more health-related problems or applying an innovative approach for delivering solutions in Africa.


Solutions that address one or more problems in a new and different way often through a simpler and more effective means that is novel.


Solutions that are realistic and have the capability and potential to be enlarged and replicated.


This Challenge is open to individuals, teams, for-profit, non-profit entities (including hybrid entities i.e. social enterprises), academic institutions or research institutions.
Entrants are not required to be formally registered in order to qualify for the Challenge

Applicants must be:

Africa nationals residing in Africa or outside of Africa; or
Foreign nationals either based in Africa or, if not based in Africa, then working with an African-based entity.
Stages Definitions
The stage of solution development definitions considered in this Challenge include:

  • Idea: A solution that has not been tested yet.
  • Proof of Concept: A solution that has been tested for evidence, typically deriving from an experiment or pilot project, which demonstrates that the solution is feasible.
  • MVP: Minimal viable product. The solution has been developed and formally tested with enough features to satisfy early customers, and to provide feedback for improvement and further development.
  • Pilot: The solution is being piloted under a small-scale, short-term experiment that helps show how a large-scale project might work in practice.
  • Go to market: Solution is formalised with a go to market strategy i.e. target market, pricing, value proposition defined. The solution is ready to launch.
  • Ready to scale: Solution is in the market and there is active customer base. The solution now has the capability and potential to be enlarged and replicated to extend its reach.


Preference will be given to:

  • Solutions that have already either
    Gone beyond the “proof of concept” and are at the pilot stage of development or in the process of being scaled up; or
  • Solutions that are in the early stage of commercialization after all the regulatory procedures have been completed and only require scaling up; as well as
  • Solutions that demonstrate ability or potential to address key health concerns in an accessible, affordable and sustainable way; and
  • Solutions that demonstrate evidence of ease of use, replicability, durability, and other relevant factors to justify appropriateness for low resource settings.

The specific criteria for classifying innovations as either product/technology or process/service or social innovations are as follows:

1. Product or Technological Innovations

  • The solution must clearly show innovation (i.e. novelty or invention)
  • The solution must address existing health problem/s
  • The solution must be ready to go to market
  • The solution must be completely developed or be at prototype stage

Process or Service Innovations

  • The solution must clearly show innovation (i.e. novelty or invention)
  • The solution must address existing health service delivery problem (i.e. demonstrate efficiency, effectiveness or cost effectiveness)

Social Innovations

  • The solution must clearly show innovation (i.e. novelty or invention)
  • The solution must be addressing existing social challenge affecting health service delivery such as accessibility, affordability or awareness
  • The solution must support and empower people to change their lives/to get motivated/encourage behavioural change (i.e. clear societal value add)



December 10, 2018
Organizer World Health Organization
Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo, Congo, Democratic Republic of the, Côte d'Ivoire, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Northern Africa, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Tanzania, United Republic of, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe
Sectors Healthcare, Healthcare providers and services