UNDP Ghana Accelerator Lab announces winners of its COVID-19 Innovation Challenge

The UNDP Ghana Accelerator Lab has announced winners of its COVID-19 Innovation Challenge that aimed at creating a nationwide platform to identify local solutions designed to help the society in this period of adjustment.

The challenge covered technological and social innovations across public and private organisations including businesses, non-governmental organisations, the creative industry and informal sector.

The shortlisted applicants will receive cash prizes of upto $ 2,000 each to support their projects as well as receive other forms of support and mentorship from Ghana Accelerator Lab. The Accelerator Lab will also collaborate with organisations to support testing and scaling up of selected innovations.

 “Congratulations to all the winners. Your innovative solutions are a testament to the wealth of creativity and home-grown solutions available across Ghana. UNDP and our partners will continue to support emerging entrepreneurs and innovators as we step up our efforts to recover from the impact of COVID-19 by building back stronger and smarter. Our support to innovation is a critical component of our collective efforts to contain the spread of the virus and its impact on human development”, noted Angela Lusigi, Resident Representative of UNDP in Ghana.

The winning innovations include:

  • Efuom Ghana: a digital platform that enables smallholder farmers to reach bulk buyers easily without physical interaction.
  • Computer-Aided Detection “4” COVID-19 (CAD4COVID): an artificial intelligence (AI) software tool deployed in health facilities across Ghana to increase COVID-19 testing capacity and patients’ throughput. 
  • IXAM: ensuring inclusive learning for people with disabilities during the pandemic.
  • Suma Deliveries App: facilitating delivery services by connecting senders to dispatch riders via a mobile app and text messages.
  • Auto Tap: a low cost all-inclusive automatic hand washing tap.
  • Extending Social Insurance to Informal Sector Workers through Circular Economy: this is adopting a digital system of waste collection from subscribed individuals, households, facility owners and waste pickers through text messages/USSD for recycling and composting.
  • Tendo: an online selling platform, which reduces physical contact.
  • Ponaa Briquettes: transforming agricultural waste such as rice husks into smokeless charcoal briquettes as an alternative to the conventional charcoal and firewood for cooking and heating.
  • Deafcantalk: facilitating access to information on COVID-19 for the deaf.

The challenge received 198 applications from all the 16 regions of Ghana of which 44 applications were shortlisted, with 22 winners (10 first place winners and 12 runners ups).Of the winners, 12 were Health-tech/AI solutions, 3 sanitation and waste management, 3 Education and social welfare, 2 Medical/sanitary device and 2 for vulnerable groups.