Venue: Makerere University School of Public Health ResilientAfrica Network (RAN) Innovation Lab on Plot 30, Upper Kololo Terrace, Kampala Uganda.
ResilientAfrica Network’s Eastern Africa Resilience Innovation Lab (EA RILab) at Makerere University is pleased to announce award worth 952M (Nine hundred fifty two million shillings only) to 8 innovation teams. Each team has taken home 119M (One hundred nineteen million shillings only), funds to support the innovators to further develop their ideas for the benefit of the communities in need.
The funds will specifically be utilized to develop quick prototypes that will be incubated and brought to scale by closely working with key partners. The RAN team believes that the community challenges we are seeing and facing today can only be solved by transformative and creative ideas. “We the Africans are the best developers of solutions to address challenges in the African communities because we live in these communities, interact with and better know these shocks and stresses” noted Prof. William Bazeyo, Dean Makerere University School of Public Health and RAN Chief of Party/Lab Director.
All the 8 innovations are focusing on addressing the community challenges in northern Uganda that are mainly related to the slow pace of recovery from the chronic conflict that devastated these communities. These solutions are intended to catalyze and incentivize the recovery process by impacting agricultural production and markets, enhancing skill building through better curriculum, leveraging good governance approaches, diversifying the livelihoods of communities and financial inclusion for wealth creation among others.
These Innovative solutions include the following;
An Integrated Model to prevent malnutrition among mothers and children 0-2 years in Uganda: This team will test the feasibility of an already packaged supplementary food product codenamed “Grand Nutrition” and nutrition education to prevent malnutrition. The Grand Nutrition supplementary food product is made from local foods grown in the East Central region, eaten as a porridge in an addition to the daily diet of pregnant mothers, lactating mothers and children below 2 years to prevent malnutrition and optimize growth and development.
Digital Financial Service Delivery: This team will develop and test a web and mobile based platform codenamed Akellobanker to offer financial services like credit/loan through interlinking rural financial service providers to deliver inclusive financial services to rural poor especially farmers. The solution will be integrated with mobile tools such as Mobile money, SMS, USSD enabling farmers to transact, trade as well as access loans and financial information.
Enhancing the remedial potential of common herbs for commercial production of oral health care products: This team of medics is harnessing local herbs to address the neglected oral conditions that have been aggravated by lack of treatment, lack of income, expensive dental treatment and long distance to urban dental facilities. The team will bring to market a wider range of cheaper oral formulations made from locally available medicinal plants (Ocimum gratissimum and Cymbopogon citratu).
Media Based Financial Literacy: This team has proposed a unique approach to share educational information through media platforms with secondary school students. In particular, the financial literacy information will be published in form of a well-designed weekly educational pull-out (‘pakasa’) in one of the leading newspaper. Students will be exposed to different entrepreneurial ideas, saving methodologies and different bank accounts to encourage them save and get alternatives in life after education.
Platform for inclusive participation on good governance & best practice: This project presents an opportunity to communities that are grappling with conflicts to revitalize their cultural leadership and systems to competently address these conflicts.
Yiya Engineering Solutions: This team will develop a curriculum that unlocks the potential of students to build key skills and entrepreneurship experience. The team will design new learning tools that improve the quality of education in mathematics and science as well as developing a series of engineering challenges that empower students to take on and solve problems in their local communities.
Solar Autoclaves for Health Disaster Relief in Conflict Hit Areas: This team of engineers is designing a solar powered autoclave for sterilizing equipment and medical waste.
Empowering Tanzanian communities to achieve economic sustainability and resilience: A trainer of trainer approach for value addition of avocado and rosella products. This team will train local communities in value addition of locally grown products (such as avocado and rosella) to improve their livelihoods and income.
The award of RIC4CONF innovation teams now brings the innovation portfolio for the EA RILab to 40 innovations that have directly received a total of 3,088,549,800 shillings only (over 3 billion shillings) in grants. These innovative solutions will soon be launched in the market as ‘Game Changers’. The RAN team continues to appreciate efforts of all other development partners and specially applauds the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) for the continued support to these efforts.