African Development Bank and partners are set to host an online #AfricaVsVirus Challenge from 16 to 19 April 2020. The 72-hour competition is a global hackathon – or “ideathon” to develop effective solutions to the coronavirus pandemic.
The #AfricaVsVirus Challenge is open to entrepreneurs, companies, civil society organizations and governments with bankable solutions or ventures to address the pandemic.
The top pitches will be eligible to win thousands of dollars’ worth of financial, technical and skills-learning support to advance their implementation.
“COVID-19’s impact on the global economy is pushing millions of people, especially women and young people, into unemployment, underemployment and working poverty. Part of our response is the #AfricaVsVirus Challenge,” said Tapera Muzira, Coordinator of the African Development Bank’s Jobs for Youth in Africa Strategy.
“This online Challenge will channel youth creativity and innovation to real-life solutions that mitigate the impact of the coronavirus on health, the economy, SMEs and jobs,” he added.
The #AfricaVsVirus Challenge opens on Thursday, 16 April at 6:30 pm CET and runs non-stop through to Sunday, 19 April at 6:30 pm CET.
Entrants can choose to submit ideas under one of the following sectors: public health and epidemiology; vulnerable populations; businesses and economy; community; education; entertainment; government support; environment and energy; and food security. Alternatively, they may choose their own theme.
An expert panel will select the twenty best solutions submitted, and these finalists will be invited to take part in a one-month educational program by Seedstars. The top three winning ideas will receive up to $50,000 worth of in-kind prizes.
#AfricaVsVirus Challenge is part of the Bank’s strategy to support young African entrepreneurs – especially young women entrepreneurs – and their SMEs and startups by providing an enabling environment to innovate appropriate solutions to the COVID-19 crisis.
The Bank’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Lab, working closely with the Youth Entrepreneurship & Innovation Multi-Donor Trust Fund is hosting the ideathon, with partners Seedstars, digital agency WAAT and development consultants Luvent Consulting.
Roll out of the Challenge follows the African Development Bank’s launch on 8 April of a $10 billion COVID-19 response facility, and the sale of a record $3 billion debt issue last month to raise financing to help African countries confront the pandemic, which is already wreaking havoc on their economies.