Worldwide: AfricaVsVirus Ideathon

African Development Bank
Economic & Private Sector Development; Information & Communication Technology; Education & Employment Promotion

project description

Over 25,000 innovators from all 54 African countries came together in the AfricaVsVirus Challenge, the largest virtual citizen engagement initiative on the entire continent. The 72-hour challenge, which took place on April 17–19, was a global hackathon — or “ideathon” — to develop effective solutions to the coronavirus pandemic.

The AfricaVsVirus Challenge, hosted by the African Development Bank Group, called on socially committed citizens, entrepreneurs, companies, civil society organizations and governments to create tech and non-tech solutions to some of the most pressing challenges posed by COVID-19 on the African continent. Participants were invited to submit challenges framed within 9 themes: Public health and epidemiology, vulnerable populations, business and economy, community, education, entertainment, government support, environment and energy, and food security.

Over 3,000 ideas were submitted in the days prior to the event, which were further developed by multicountry and multidisciplinary teams formed during the ideathon. More than 4,000 moderators and mentors assisted participants during this process, ensuring smooth team building and providing advice and feedback to shape and develop ideas.

The AfricaVsVirus ideathon resulted in 750 solutions. The best will be fully implemented with partners and donors in Africa and worldwide.

The #AfricaVsVirus Challenge is part of the African Development Bank’s strategy to support young African entrepreneurs — especially young women entrepreneurs — and their SMEs and start-ups by providing an enabling environment to innovate appropriate solutions to the COVID-19 crisis. This project was implemented with the support of Seedstars and WAAT.

services provided

  • Developed the Ideathon concept: objectives, structure, themes, timeline, target audience
  • Set up the tech infrastructure and platforms needed to host the ideathon
  • Developed and implemented the communication strategy and plan
  • Managed the 3-day virtual ideathon
  • Coordinated community building activities and IT infrastructure support for 25,000+ registered participants
  • Managed and supported 4,000+ mentors and moderators with methodologies from systemic innovation, design thinking, ideation, lean start-up and rapid prototyping
  • Communicated education concepts with workshops and visual storytelling
  • Curated and evaluated 3,000+ Challenge submissions and 778 final solutions developed
  • Onboarded partner organisations and support team