Health Tech Platform (HTP)

Emerging transformative technologies have high potential to change the trajectory of disease and general well-being if they are successfully developed and effectively deployed. Photo credits: ktsdesign/stock photo
One of the target technologies for the project will be gene drive with a specific focus on genetically modified mosquitoes for the elimination of Malaria because of the notable ongoing research and prioritization of the technology in Africa. Photo credits: Wael Muhammad/Flickr
Efforts to eradicate long standing diseases like Malaria should explore widespread use of transformative technologies that have potential to transform disease trajectory. Photo credits: Romolo Tavani/Stock Photo

The Health Technologies Advocacy project aims to create an African driven advocacy platform —the Health Tech Platform (HTP)— to facilitate informed, objective, transparent, gender inclusive, open and balanced discussions on development and use of transformative tools and technologies to address key health challenges in sub-Saharan Africa. The overall purpose of the project is to ensure that Africans are meaningfully involved in driving conversations about the need for transformational tools and technologies, their design, development, testing, and uptake by governments, other development actors, and communities, including youth and women.

The African Union’s development road map -Agenda 2063- recognizes the critical role of technology as a catalyst for growth on the continent. Emerging transformative technologies such as genetically modified mosquitoes, drones and artificial intelligence have high potential to change the trajectory of disease and general well-being if they are successfully developed and effectively deployed.

The Health Tech Platform will employ multi-pronged advocacy approaches and tools to meaningfully engage a wide range of stakeholders including policymakers, scientists, academics, ethicists, gender experts, media/journalists, and civil society actors on the need and widespread use of transformative technologies to address various health challenges. The initiative will primarily engage at national, regional and global levels to reinforce the multi- and bi-directional synergies among these levels.

One of the target technologies for the project will be gene drive with a specific focus on genetically modified mosquitoes for the elimination of Malaria because of the notable ongoing research and prioritization of the technology in Africa.

During the project’s inception phase, a landscape and political economy analysis study will be conducted to inform entry points to promote discourse and action for development, and determine select African countries to work with in implementing the project.

The primary outcome that the HTP project seeks to realize is increased African leadership in promoting discourses and actions on the development and use of transformative technologies and tools for tackling health challenges in Africa. Three intermediate outcomes will contribute to the realization of the primary outcome:

  1. Increased understanding, commitment and action by policymakers to facilitate the development and use of transformative technologies/tools for tackling health challenges at national and regional levels in Africa
  2. Increased voices and engagement of African scientists, media, development experts, and Civil Society Organisations in discourses to promote development and use of transformative technologies/tools for tackling health challenges in Africa at national, regional and global levels

Strengthened advocacy capacity of African Institutions in promoting discourses and actions on the development and use of transformative technologies and tools for tackling health challenges in Africa

The HTP project is a three-year project to be delivered by AFIDEP in partnership with relevant regional and local organizations in select African countries, and in collaboration with relevant continental bodies.

This initiative is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Key Details

Dates: October 2020 to Present
Aim:

African driven advocacy platform to facilitate informed, objective, inclusive and balanced discussions on the design, development and use of transformative technologies to address key health challenges in sub-Saharan Africa

Where: Select African countries, Regional
Project Manager:Rose N. Oronje, Ph.D.

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