Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Residence

Developing Innovation and Entrepreneurship Ecosystems in Tanzania

Ifakara Innovation Hub


Four observations:

  • According to the UN, in the next two decades, the urban population will double in the two poorest regions of the world – South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, mainly due to the lack of employment and the need to escape the poverty trap.
  • Access to primary healthcare services is where the challenges and unmet needs are greatest.
  • Scientific researches highlighted the critical importance and the link between children’s access to good health in their early years and the education and productivity in adulthood. 
  • There is a gap between research and industrialization in most of the low and middle income countries.

The Project

The project will provide a platform to promote open innovation and entrepreneurship in order to achieve and sustain public health impact, contribute in job creation, attract investment and social enterprises in Tanzania.

The prior successfully completed phase was aiming at harnessing the local innovation ecosystem and building a reliable network in Tanzania, then studying the health system, selecting potential partners, sites and hospitals which will serve as testbeds for the prototyping phases, and proposing a pipeline of projects. This was achieved through  partnerships with the Ifakara Innovation Hub and the Ifakara Health Institute in Tanzania.

Based on the output of the first phase, The EssentialTech Center is setting up a bi-directional flow of entrepreneurs between Switzerland and Tanzania to further strengthen the collaboration between Tanzanian and Swiss partners. Two batches of three Tanzanian entrepreneurs will participate in an exchange program. They will develop their projects, elaborate on business models, meet and brainstorm with scientists and business experts and discuss complex business challenges related to projects ideas such as cervical cancer, pre-eclampsia, babies’ incubators, traffic road accidents, mental health, sexual and reproductive health, malnutrition.

Narcisse Mavoha

Narcisse Mavoha

Project Manager


Academic Partners