Rwanda to Host First-Ever HealthTech Summit For Africa

Rwanda is set to host the first-ever HealthTech Summit for Africa, bringing together players, and innovators in the healthcare sector to discuss and showcase the potential of healthtech on the continent.

Organised by HealthTech Hub Africa, a Kigali based health-tech accelerator, the summit will take place from June 2 to 4, 2022, and it comes at a critical time when the Covid-19 has exposed weaknesses in global public health systems, particularly in Africa.

It is expected to attract some of the leading health-tech firms and startups working towards transforming the health sector on the African continent.

It is being organised in partnership with Norrsken and the Novartis Foundation as well as the government of Rwanda.

The continent has, in recent years, recorded impressive growth rates as more health startups continue to raise funding, with the latest data showing that investments into Africa’s health-tech startups grew by 81 per cent in 2021.

“The growth opportunities are enormous, and we need to leverage this momentum. The HealthTech Summit Africa will be an opportunity to chart the way forward for the health-tech sector and identify the gaps and opportunities,” said Pascal Murasira, Managing Director of Norrsken East Africa.

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The summit will focus on three main themes dedicated to building successful public and private partnerships: Inspire, Learn and Transform.

During the summit, participants will learn from successful innovations and the challenges they overcame, join inspirational dialogues on health and technology trends, discover some of the most advanced innovations in the 2022 startup cohort, and have the chance to engage in new partnership opportunities.

“The summit is an opportunity to define new solutions for the most pressing health and care challenges, and convene the multisector organisations needed to implement these solutions at a scale that can transform the health of entire populations,” said Dr. Ann Aerts, Head of the Novartis Foundation.

The 30 health-tech start-ups that are part of the HealthTech Hub Africa are expected to participate in the summit and showcase the different innovations and solutions they are bringing to the health-tech space.

“We are excited to showcase E-Heza Data Solutions as a mature Rwandan homegrown point-of-care digital health solution that facilitates data-driven decisions and personalized health education to improve health outcomes while establishing a one-person, one-record system that serves all primary health care needs for families,” said Theophila Huriro Uwacu, the Director and Founder of E-Heza Solutions

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“We hope to increase our visibility and inspire others to join us in our journey to transform healthcare delivery across Sub-Saharan Africa and achieve Sustainable Development Goals for health.”

Co-Founder of Goal 3, Jelle Schuitemaker, a health-tech firm, said that the summit will be an opportunity to network and share ideas.

“I expect that the HealthTech Summit will bring a lot of energy, excitement, networking, and learning to us as GOAL 3, touching base on the mentors, investors, and startups we have been working with in the last months is something we really look forward to,” Schuitemaker added.

Key topics to be discussed during the summit include ‘Acceleration of HealthTech innovation- how to create a pan-African model to fast-tracking innovation for public health’; ‘The Integration of HealthTech in Smart Cities for health equity; How to build a unicorn: Global Problems, Local Solutions in Health; Navigating Data Sharing, Consumer Protectionism, and Privacy Laws in the Region; and Artificial Intelligence powering efficiency in the public health system.

Speakers and panellists at the summit will include Minister Paula Ingabire, the Minister of Information Communication Technology and Innovation for the Republic of Rwanda, Dr. Ann Aerts, the Head of Novartis Foundation, EduAbasi Chukwunweike, the Business Development Manager of Microsoft-Cloud, ISVs & Start-ups and Dr. Shivon Byamukama, and the Managing Director of Babyl Health Rwanda. Others are Dr. Brian Chirombo, the Representative of the WHO to Rwanda, Lacina Koné, the CEO of Smart Africa, and Bocar Ba, the CEO of Samena Telecommunications Council.

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During the summit, there will be different masterclasses with experts as well as pitching sessions where health-tech startups will be able to pitch before prospective investors.

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