* The partnership will help local offline producers increase their capacity in response to COVID-19
* Workshops will target those with minimal internet access
* Intervention runs from the 8th to 21st March 2021
(Abuja, Nigeria – March 8): Local offline community producers and manufacturers in Kenya, Nigeria, and Uganda are set to benefit from a partnership between AfriLabs and COVIDaction, funded by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO). The intervention will deliver workshops to build and increase their capacity to create vital health and community resources in response to the pandemic.
In August 2020, AfriLabs, partnered with COVIDaction’s Local Production Local Solutions theme, which focuses on crowdsourcing and mapping innovative responses dealing with the demand for personal protective equipment (PPE) and other unavailable goods. Through the collaboration, AfriLabs helped lead the successful scouting of viable offline applications from local producers in various communities across seven (7) focus countries in Africa: Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon, Uganda, Zambia, Kenya, and South Sudan (read about it here, here and here).
Through a review by expert judges, we have identified capacity gaps and manufacturing challenges. The offline local producers told us they needed capacity-building support and access to markets to scale their innovations and businesses. To tackle these diagnosed constraints, COVIDaction, in partnership with AfriLabs, is leveraging AfriLabs’ existing pipeline of innovation hubs across Kenya, Nigeria, and Uganda to deliver tailored workshops to 30 offline producers to strengthen their operations and performance.
The intervention aims to build the capacity of local offline producers who have limited internet connectivity, helping them improve their processes and scale production. The key objectives of the training are to help selected local producers build the necessary skills that will:
- Increase resilience to the impact of COVID-19 restrictions and similar scenarios
- Increase confidence in growing their businesses
- Increase knowledge of local support systems and networks
- Increase self-reliance to lower concerns about competing businesses.
To facilitate this support to offline communities, AfriLabs has recruited 3 of its experienced member hubs to deliver localised workshops to 30 offline ventures across 3 locations. The hubs are:
- FabLab Winam – Kisumu, Kenya
- Impact Hub Lagos – Lagos, Nigeria
- Makerere Innovation and Incubation Centre (MIIC) – Kampala, Uganda
The programme kicks off in all three locations using diverse training schedules. The workshops are designed to fit local needs and realities in each area and will be delivered through culturally appropriate approaches in each offline community.
The target participants are ventures who are local producers and providing local solutions, including but not limited to, the following:
- PPE – 3D-printed face shields, washable masks, and coveralls with a broad range of innovative approaches
- Sanitation – pivots towards sanitiser and disinfectant manufacturing, as well as washing facilities in various contexts
- Food & Agriculture – both consumer-side and producer-side approaches to filling gaps
- Repair & Maintenance – proper preservation of equipment and replacing spare parts, which are key to sustainable local systems
The workshops are scheduled to run from 8th March to 21st March 2021 and will all operate under strict Covid-19 protocols and regulations.
COVIDaction is a partnership led by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO)’s Frontier Technology Hub, along with other collaborators including AfriLabs, to build a technology and innovation pipeline to support activities related to the COVID-19 pandemic. COVIDaction identified four key thematic areas to work across that have emerged through consultation with investors, entrepreneurs, and networks across Africa and South Asia; one of which is the Local Production and Local Solution (LPLS) Theme.
AfriLabs is a pan-African network organisation supporting 240 technology and innovation hubs across 48 African countries. The organisation supports the growth of technology hubs and their communities to raise high potential entrepreneurs that will stimulate economic growth and social development in Africa. We do this by providing capacity building resources, financing, mentoring and networking opportunities to our network members.