Africa Innovation and Investment Forum 2020
Monday, June 15, 2020 to Friday, June 19, 2020
Virtual Forum


Background paper on rapid COVID-19 testing

Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) are widely considered the ‘gold standard’ for medical diagnostics. However, PCR and RT-PCR testing requires a fully functioning lab, a strong supply chain, long wait times, and trained technicians, which may be lacking in some resource-constrained testing locations. Rapid testing has been studied as a quicker and easier diagnostic method for low-resource settings, especially for diseases with high transmission rates such as COVID-19. Tracking of infected individuals for early detection using Information & Communication Technologies (ICT) solutions, and lung ultrasound are increasingly used in resource-constrained settings


Background paper on innovations in medical devices and PPEs

During the COVID-19 pandemic there have been worldwide shortages of critical personal protective equipment (PPE) and medical devices, primarily ventilators and oxygen therapy devices. In response to the increased demand for these technologies during the pandemic, the U.S FDA enacted Emergency Use Authorizations (EUA) during the COVID-19 crisis to expand the availability of PPE, ventilators, and other critical medical equipment. EUAs intend to increase the availability of PPEs and medical devices to respond to the COVID-19 crisis by allowing flexibility for manufacturers to make appropriate modifications to the design of these devices to address current supply shortages. These special authorizations have led to the development of innovative design and manufacturing approaches for PPE and ventilator technologies. Although the increased need for these technologies has sparked the development of open source and locally and rapidly manufactured solutions, there are many design and manufacturing standards that must be followed to uphold quality.


Following the successful completion of the Africa Innovation and Investment Forum 2020 took place 15– 19 June 2020; 7 outstanding and successful innovations and products have been selected from the total of 168 submissions.


Winners of the First Africa Innovation and Investment Forum 2020; Innovation Challenge and Innovation in Government Challenge.



***Winner*** Investment Ready Rapid and Point-of Care Testing Innovation



Mountaga keita, Republic of Guinea


Email: mountagak@tulipindustry.com

Focus Area: Medical Technologies

Preject Key Word: Telemedicine Kiosks / Covid-19 Symptoms Scanner Tablets

Project Description:
Tulip Industries has designed and manufactured an interactive terminal and a tablet health scanner, ready for telemedicine and unique: the OCTOPUS and the HEALTHSCAN. Our covid-19 scanner is bringing here a cheap and renewable way to prescreen the public outdoor, the patients indoors and save lives by prioritizing urgencies. In addition, the tablets can be reused after the Sars-Cov-2 pandemic to assess remote patient’s health, assist them at home and use telemedicine as well on our GSM connected tablets. The tablets have successfully undergone and performed at clinical trials in the largest hospital in Guinea (DONKA) and currently in use to monitor patient’s health daily.




***Winners*** Investment Ready Medical Devices and Personal Protection Equipment

Shona McDonald , South Afirca and Yared Yaregal, Ethiopia



Shona McDonald , South Afirca


Email: shona@shonaquip.co.za

Focus Area: ventilator and PPE

Preject Key Word: Respirators, Local Production, Business for Good, Inclusive Local Employment.

Project Description:
The Shonaquip Social Enterprise can manufacture multiple use, full-face respirators for front line workers, health care workers or any at-risk person to prevent exposure to Covid19. The respirators provide: Full head masks, Easy to fit, Comfortable, Re-usable, Can be sterilized, Relatively low cost. Further Advantages include: Reduce the risk of face touching, Can be used comfortably in warm environments, Can be manufactured using “off the shelf” local products at our existing ISO 9001 certified wheelchair production site in Cape Town,  Rechargeable battery lasts max 9 hours before needing to be recharged, Initial outlay equivalent to 3 months of KN95 mask




Yared Yaregal, Ethiopia


Email: yared.yaregal@hahucomputers.com

Focus Area: Multi Patient Ventilation System and Patient Mentoring

Preject Key Word: Medical Device, BioTech, Bio Medical Engineering

Project Description:
Engineering a system that uses single mechanical ventilating unit to support multiple patients with advanced controlling and monitoring techniques. By utilizing cheap electronics and cutting edge technology the system is expected to meet all the safety and medical device requirements. The mass breathing aid operates with two motors specially designed to maximize and control air flow. The prototype utilizes a vacuum cleaner motor which spins at high revolution per minute (rpm) and has large amount of airflow with static pressure. These motors can be used straight away with some mechanical modifications using PVC pipes and each unit is capable of ventilating up to 10 patients.



*** Winner*** Investment Ready Personal Protection Equipment Technologies and System


Tewodros Tessema, Ethiopia


Email: tayalew950@gmail.com

Focus Area: Portable Sanitizer delivery tool with wristband

Preject Key Word: Sanitizer delivery tool

Project Description:
Portable Hand Sanitizer  with capability to be tied on hand like a watch with wristband. The opening and the slide closer will be at the top of the main reservoir. The slide shutter will have two steps the first step with only small hole to pour out the needed amount at a time (outlet) and the next step will result in wider opening which will make adding sanitizer to the tool easy(inlet). Whenever one needs to use it, the steps will be as follows opening the slide shutter at the first step and invert hand with the tool upside down and pour on our hand then revert our hand back.


 *** Winner*** Investment Ready Contact Tracing Technologies




Magdalena Johanna Grobler, South Africa


Email: leenta.grobler@nwu.ac.za

Focus Area: Engineering, IoT Technologies in Healthcare

Preject Key Word: mobile app health data collection: Standard Covid-19 risk assessment questionnaire, temperature recording, mask confirmation

Project Description:
is a mobile app based system which conveniently collects and stores health vitals of students, pupils, staff and customers without the paper work. It saves considerable time and effort at screening points, it stores data safely off site and relays or reports selected data packets to designated addressees. It requires basic electronic thermometers and smart phones, which are generally available. It currently operates on Android phones, but the Apple app version is already under development.


***Winner*** Innovation in pharmaceutical production


Eluemuno Blyden, Sierra Leone


Email: Eluem.blyden@avrilbiopharma.com

Focus Area: Development and production of potential drugs and vaccines in Africa

Preject Key Word: Egg-based Vaccines, Diagnostics, Therapeutics

Project Description: 
Low cost mass production of diagnostic, vaccines and therapeutic products using AdCEV™ in chicken eggs. With our unique synthetic biology production platform called AdCEV™, a fertilized chicken egg can be usedto make milligrams of molecular proteins for vaccines, diagnostics or therapeutic drugs. (We can also make a wide range of high-value biosimilar products like insulin, erythropoeitin, interferon, and many others inexpensively). AdCEV™/Egg technology offers significant improvements in yield of vaccine doses. Using the same facilities and logistics 5-20 times more product yield can be achieved!



***Winner**** investment ready innovation in government




Corrin Varady, South Africa


Email: corrin@myideafrica.com

Focus Area: Digital curriculum, assessment, professional development and data analytics, Learner Management System and digital content

Preject Key Word: Digital Education, Interactive Learning, Virtual Schools, Professional Development, Digital Transformation, 21st Century Learning, Remote Learning

Project Description:
IDEA has created an outcome, data-driven and interactive virtual school solution that is device and connectivity agnostic. Working on a mobile phone, tablet, computer or projector the IDEA platform provides an immediate release plan for government Departments including a learner management system, digital curriculum, assessments and professional development training. Having created all grades, for core-curriculum subjects, IDEAprovides an easily adaptable, fully aligned national syllabus education platform