In a resounding testament to Africa’s untapped potential in the field of medical technology, Villgro Africa and Jaza Rift Ventures, in partnership with Rice 360 and Kenyatta University, have just concluded the inaugural pan-African medical technology conference. The two-day event, held at the Mercure Nairobi Upper Hill, Nairobi, from August 24 to 25, 2023, has not only ignited hope but has set a clear course towards a future where African healthcare flourishes through innovation and collaboration.
The conference gathered luminaries from diverse fields—medical experts, IT virtuosos, government dignitaries, and representatives from various organisations—all under one roof to deliberate on a singular vision: to revolutionise the African medical technology industry.
Africa’s medtech market stands at a staggering $7 billion yet remains highly fragmented. The conference aimed to shed light on the prevailing challenges while galvanising stakeholders towards a unified solution. MedTech, encompassing medical devices, robotics, artificial intelligence, and wearables, took centre stage as the conference’s defining scope.
One of the defining themes was a clarion call to focus on manufacturing sustainable medical equipment, ensuring the availability of spare parts, and imparting essential training to maximise its efficiency. Collaborations and partnerships were celebrated as the linchpins of innovation, with universities identified as breeding grounds for the next generation of MedTech innovators.
Key questions arose during the conference, seeking to map the demand for MedTech in both the public and private sectors and to understand specific strategies to foster growth and sustainability within the ecosystem.
In his closing remarks, Wilfred Njagi, CEO and co-founder of Villgro Africa, expressed profound gratitude and inspiration. He declared, “With a heart full of gratitude and inspiration, we bring the curtains down on the remarkable journey that was the Transforming African Medtech Conference 2023. These two days have been a whirlwind of insights, connections, and shared visions for the future of African healthcare.”
Special recognition was extended to Prof. Wainaina, the Vice-Chancellor of Kenyatta University, who graced the event with his presence, offering invaluable inspiration. Dr. Victor Konde and Prof. Kioni from DEDAN KIMATHI UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY (DeKUT) were applauded for their illuminating contributions.
Additionally, visionaries like Dr. Moses and Dr. Mary shared poignant insights that echoed the challenges faced on the ground, strengthening the collective resolve to create impactful solutions. Notably, the conference featured pioneering startups that pitched groundbreaking ideas, underscoring the force that drives change.
Acknowledgment was also reserved for the esteemed judges, Mr. Sewu-Steve, Dr. Emma, and Anold Mwangi, who meticulously selected winners of special prizes. These awards recognised the exceptional potential of MedTech startups that are poised to make waves in the industry.
The Transforming African Medtech Conference 2023 has illuminated a path forward for the continent, one where innovation converges with dedication to usher in a new era of healthcare excellence. With unity, vision, and unwavering commitment, Africa’s medical technology industry is set to soar, bringing accessible, sustainable, and transformative healthcare to millions across the continent. This historic conference is only the beginning of what promises to be a momentous journey.
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Ndasi Tata is a Bitcoin entrepreneur from Cameroon, who holds an M.Sc in Blockchain and Digital Currency from the University of Nicosia. He is an advocate of Bitcoin in Africa and uses various social media platforms to promote his ideas and ventures. Tata has a background in state journalism and has established himself as a significant figure in the Bitcoin community.