Dakar summit set to boost healthtech start-ups across Africa


Building upon the success of the inaugural summit in Kigali, Rwanda earlier this year, the Senegalese capital, Dakar, is gearing up to host a consequential follow-up summit on health technologies and innovation in the realm of public health across Africa.

The event is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, 29 August at the Radisson Blu hotel in Dakar. The forthcoming summit is expected to convene a cadre of esteemed government officials hailing from various African nations, alongside enterprising start-ups and discerning investors.

Titled the “Dakar Health Tech Hub Summit,” the conference will be held under the overarching theme of “Fast-tracking Innovations in the Field of Public Health in Africa.” A collaborative endeavour, the Dakar summit is jointly organised by the Ministry of Health and Social Action of Senegal, the Novartis Foundation, and HealthTech Hub Africa, a pioneering health technology accelerator headquartered in Kigali.

Its primary goal is to foster collaborative efforts between governmental bodies and nascent start-ups in crafting data- and technology-driven solutions that bolster Africa’s health systems.

This forthcoming summit is an extension of the dialogue initiated during the initial summit in Kigali, which transpired in March of this year. That inaugural meeting bore fruit in the form of an Intergovernmental Working Group (IWG), designed to facilitate multinational discourse between public health administrators and innovators.

The IWG’s overarching objective is to identify policy resolutions that can expedite the integration of technological innovations within public health frameworks across the African continent.

The African continent is beset with formidable health-related challenges. Despite shouldering 22% of the global disease burden, Africa lays claim to a mere 3% of the world’s healthcare workforce and less than 1% of the planet’s financial resources earmarked for health initiatives.

Moreover, projections indicate that by 2030, Africa will count approximately 374 million working-age youth. Presently, these young individuals constitute a staggering 60% of the continent’s unemployed population. In this context, technology has emerged as a pivotal instrument for bridging these yawning gaps in healthcare and employment.

The Dakar Health Tech Hub Summit will convene an array of regulators, policy makers, and innovators with the aim of scrutinising and ratifying insights derived from the deployment of technological solutions within the public health systems of African nations.

The event is poised to showcase the tangible fruits of digital health and e-health solutions that have been implemented by Senegal’s Ministry of Health and other similar initiatives across Africa. Notably, discussions will gravitate around the sustainability and widespread adoption of effective technological interventions for bolstering public health standards across the continent.

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