Entrepreneurship in the New Health Economy

Entrepreneurship in the New Health Economy

Date: Friday, 22 October 2021
Time: 10:00-11:30

Unlocking digital health innovation in Africa

As COVID-19 is accelerating countries’ digital health reform, and government realize the complexities of delivering health care in a decentralized market, the opportunity to improve Africa’s weak state of health-care infrastructure should not be lost. Africa’s health care can be greatly improved through digital innovation and the pandemic offers an opportunity for this great reset. The fastest-growing mobile ecosystem on earth should be leveraged. Indeed, 70% of the continent has mobile coverage with 3G connection and 30% with 4G networks.

The growth of e-health digital platforms, the provision of medical insurance through mobile innovation, and the adoption of new technologies by medical workers and citizens are dependent on the entrepreneurship ecosystems of the continent.

As such, the objective of this sessions is to discuss the role of entrepreneurship and micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in the development of the new health economy in Africa. Experts will share practical experiences and insights on challenges and opportunities MSMEs face in the health sector, including in responding to the current pandemic crisis. They will also debate on policy reforms needed to enhance the role of entrepreneurship in that sector to advance the SDG agenda.

Issues to be addressed:

  • How can digital health start-ups in Africa be scaled up?
  • How can entrepreneurs contribute to the delivery of e-health services in rural Africa?
  • How can governmental institutions and policy support the participation of start-ups and MSMEs in health care?


  • Ms. Janet Byaruhanga, Senior Programme Officer, AU-NEPAD Health Programme
  • Mr. Nazeem Mohamed, International Pharmaceutical Consultant
  • Mr. Robert Karanja, Co-Founder and Chief Innovation Officer, Villgro Africa
  • Mr. Onyenoha Chukwumerije, Founder, OnyexxPharma and Consultant, World Health Organisation (WHO)
  • Mr. Adereni Abiodun, Founder and CEO of Helpmum, Nigeria
  • Ms. Stephania Bonilla-Feret, Economic Affairs Officer, UNCTAD


  • Mr. Abdu Mukhtar, Director Industry and Trade Development Department, AfDB

Event manager: Mr. Philippe Rudaz
Contact email: Philippe.Rudaz@unctad.org