The African exception: how Africa copes with COVID 19


One death is too many. However, Africa is remarkably navigating the COVID-19 pandemic. Here’s why (in numbers) and how (showcasing the most inspiring innovations happening on the ground).


Waiving mobile money transaction fees

Mobile money service providers  in Kenya, Ghana and Francophone countries in West Africa waived fees on select transactions to discourage cash usage and reduce face-to-face interactions.


Cameroon’s automatic walk through disinfection system

Local engineers in Cameroon designed disinfectant tunnels and  walk through doors to support decontaminating people who step out.


Ghana’s pool testing

This involves testing up to 10 samples in a single test.  If any of the samples tests positive, then the entire batch is tested individually to identify the infected sample. If no individual is infected, the test will be negative and individuals can therefore be returned to work simultaneously — thus expanding screening capacity  and a valuable time saver. 


Ghana’s medical drones

Ghana’s aviation authorities employed health care logistics startup Zipline’s aerial drones to ferry testing kits and samples between the country’s rural areas and the capital, Accra.  


Rwanda’s frugal alert drones

Rwanda has deployed drones equipped with loudspeakers to broadcast covid19 news and messages in towns and rural areas.


Rwanda robots

Rwanda has enlisted anti-epidemic robots used for mass temperature screening (can screen 50 to 150 people per minute), deliver food and medication to patient rooms, monitor patient status, and keep medical records of COVID-19 patients.


Morocco MIDAD mask

A team of moroccan engineers and doctors invented “MIDAD” an Intelligent Mask to detect COVID-19. The 3D-printed mask has a map and sensors to take temperature and humidity to measure the pressure of the respiratory cycle and also measures the amount of oxygen in the blood. The mask is associated with  a mobile app to promote social distancing.


P-Guard robots

Tunisia deployed locally-manufactured police robots to patrol streets during coronavirus lockdown



The respected Malagasy Institute of Applied Research developed “Covid-Organics” — an herbal remedy combining artemisia, a plant with proven efficacy against malaria, with other ingredients as both a cure and a preventative against COVID-19. While large clinical trials have yet to be done, the remedy has been enthusiastically welcomed by the public opinion in Africa and is largely used in Madagascar, that has seen an extremely low number of deaths.