Africa's largest innovation incubator, CcHub, will offer technology projects and technical support for technology projects to curb COVID-19 and its social and economic impact.
The Lagos and Nairobi-based organization released an open application on their website this week, CcHub CEO Bosun Tijani told theinformationsuperhighway when calling.
CcHub will provide companies with COVID-19-related projects $ 5000-100,000 blocks of finance covering last mile communications, helping the infected and vulnerable, basic medical care production, and disrupted food supply chain support .
The organization and its iHub According to Tijani, the subsidiary will also provide funded support and resources from its CcHub Design Lab to funded companies.
He noted that established startups wishing to create COVID 19 related projects alongside their core business can apply.
The initiative is based on concerns that Africa may be less prepared than other regions for the outbreak of the virus, which has spread to China, Europe and the United States and is causing economic devastation worldwide.
Tijani hopes that CcHub can use its network and resources to limit the spread and harm of COVID-19 in Africa.
The Lagos-based innovation space acquired the Kenyan iHub in 2019 and united two of the most powerful technology centers in Africa according to member networks, VC, program volume, incubators and global visibility.
"A number of African countries, when they reach the level of Italy or the UK, I don't think the system … is robust enough to support that," said Tijani.
Reported cases in major population countries such as Kenya and Nigeria were single-digit last week, but these numbers are increasing. According to the latest statistics from the World Health Organization on Wednesday, there were 463 COVID-19 cases and 10 confirmed deaths related to the virus in Africa.
Governments take action. South Africa, which has the second largest reported outbreak of Koran viruses on the continent, declared a national disaster this week, banned public gatherings and announced travel restrictions for the United States and the United Kingdom. Kenya has also introduced its own travel and mass restrictions.
Only two cases were registered in Nigeria, but CcHub's Tijani fears that the actual scenario could be much worse for the West African country and Kenya.
"I think Lagos and Nigeria deny it. Some governments in Africa are taking action, but the focus in Africa was on the port of entry (action), which is not reliable because … I suspect it is already here … people may not yet have symptoms, "said Tijani.
If there is a rapid outbreak, he fears that this will overwhelm a number of systems in countries like Nigeria and Kenya.
"We do not have the health systems to contain this. We do not have the social system that is suitable for the most vulnerable, such as the elderly. We do not manufacture most of these medical supplies and our food (supply chain) is not reliable," added Tijani.
CcHub hopes to support these upcoming challenges related to COVID-19 in Africa in its recent open call to fund projects.
The innovation incubator is not the only tech player on the continent to respond to possible coronavirus crises.
Pan-African on-demand truck logistics company Kobo360 has asked employees who can work remotely in Ghana and Nigeria to do so, according to chief strategy officer Kagure Wamunyu. The startup, supported by Goldman Sachs, is also planning contingent liabilities to ensure continuity in the supply chain should COVID-19 disrupt business and mobility in its markets.
In Kenya, the country is turning to its leading mobile money product, M-Pesa, to reduce the likelihood of an outbreak. Safaricom has waived transaction fees for the app this week to increase the use of digital payments and reduce the risk of spreading the COVID-19 by physically handling cash.