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20 Ghanaian Makers Team Up To Innovate Against COVID-19 In The Makers Assemble Initiative

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July 29, 2020, 2:56 p.m.

A total of twenty young enthusiastic local Makers across Ghana have been selected and are currently contributing to the Makers Assemble initiative to support frontline workers, with rapidly built solutions in the fight against COVID-19.

The project with support from Make-IT In Africa, GIZ was launched in a partnership between Ghana Tech Lab, Ministry of Communications, Kumasi Hive, and some ecosystem actors including Hacklab Foundation, Impact Hub Accra, and IoT Network.

The aim of the project is to rapidly mobilize resources and support local innovators to build solutions that can especially help frontline workers in their operations during these times. In addition, the program seeks to enhance the skills and capacity of Makers to position them to be innovative and produce local solutions in response to the call by the government of Ghana for increased local production capacity during this pandemic.

In a week-long Bootcamp from the 10-16 July 2020, the selected Makers immerse themselves in trainings around the design processes involved in creating prototypes worthy of validation by the FDA in Ghana. During the on-site Bootcamp, the 20 Makers were grouped into 5 teams of four to build these COVID-19 solutions.

Each group committed to building a specific solution over the period. Some of the innovative solutions resulting from the bootcamp include; face shield, ventilator, respirator, thermometer gun, nose mask strap, and an automatic handwashing machine. All solutions resulting from the bootcamp are set to be presented to the relevant local authorities for validation to ensure quality assurance and market fit. Vetted and approved products will be mass-produced over a period of one month and distributed to areas with the most need.

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According to Gideon Mensah, The Makerspace Associate of Ghana Tech Lab, the program is expected to create ten thousand units of the solutions and is projected to benefit about 1000 health workers across the country.

According to the Ghana Health Service, the current COVID-19 count has hit 27,667 with active cases at 4,270 as of June 20, 2020. The increasing numbers in case count require an increase in resources to assist the government in tackling this pandemic.

The Makers Assemble initiative is a collaborative approach that aims at connecting with COVID-19 solution-focused ecosystem players to maximize efforts and support the production of local solutions to assist the government in tackling this pandemic.

The initiative is a collaborative project between Ghana Tech Lab, Ministry of Communications Ghana, Kumasi Hive, and ecosystem partners including Hacklab Foundation, Impact Hub Accra and IoT Network with support from ‘Make-IT in Africa’, (implemented by Deutsche für Gesellschaft Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.

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Dorcas

Dorcas Benewaa Author

Dorcas is an upcoming journalist. She loves the creative arts and loves to write about startups, digital arts and issues in the tech sector.

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