Africa’s first Assistive Technology Accelerator, Innovate Now, is launching a call for application from innovators across the African continent to develop technologies and services designed to assist people living with disabilities around the theme of the Future of Inclusive Employment. Led by the Global Disability Innovation Hub as part of the AT2030 Programme, Innovate Now is implemented by Amref Enterprises Limited (AEL).
Innovate Now supports startups to create technologies and services enabling persons with disabilities to find quality employment and flourish in the workplace by accessing assistive technology. With ambitions to support 60 startups, the programme has already seen two successful cohorts around mobile solutions and general assistive technology.
The future of inclusive employment cohort is looking to support startups who leverage digital platforms to match people with disabilities with job opportunities, accessibility products to improve the work environment and startups who creatively finance assistive technology through employers.
Beginning in November 2020 for 12 weeks the accelerator will provide a hands on approach delivering curriculum implementation, expert mentorship and user research through a Live Labs network to accelerate scalable assistive technologies.
Director of Innovate Now, Bernard Chiira says
“We are delighted to launch the third Innovate Now call, as we begin cohort 3 of the accelerator with a focus on Inclusive Employment. Over the past year, we’ve seen first-hand the impact of the accelerator programme, enabling African pioneers to develop ideas and early stage products into market ready Assistive Technologies – capable of changing lives. Like the rest of the world we have adapted to COVID-19. Our third cohort will be digital, maximising accessibility and opportunity to disabled innovators across the region.”
Africa is the youngest and fastest-growing continent in the world. There is a unique opportunity to accelerate inclusive workplaces, providing wider societal benefits from reducing poverty to improving economies. According to the International Monetary Fund, population growth on the continent means that by 2035, there will be more young people entering Africa’s workforce each year than in the rest of the globe combined.
Innovators with passion for change and a product or idea around the future of inclusive employment are encouraged to apply and be part of this groundbreaking new approach to empower African pioneers to build an inclusive world.