COVID-19 virtual innovation challenge

Covid-19 Virtual Innovation Challenge

COVID-19 has reached all the countries in Africa and has yet relatively less been affected by this deadly epidemic compared to other continents, with more than 8,500 cases and nearly 420 deaths and increasing. However, recent data from other countries show that numbers can grow exponentially in a relatively short amount of time.

In response to COVID-19, the Federal Government of Somalia and its member states have taken a series of strong responses such as increasing public awareness in terms of  sanitation ( hands hygiene), self-distancing, the closing of schools, closing of all international and local flights, mandatory quarantine of passengers from affected regions, prohibiting mass gatherings and allowing people to work from home. Hormuud Telecom and FGS partnered on opening a toll-free number to report COVID-19 cases and messages to all its subscribers about the virus in Somalia language. Recently, additional effort to spread awareness by Hormuud was listening to a message about the corona virus when you call someone on your Hormuud line.

But unfortunately, it seems the message is not reaching the masses. Bank halls and mosques are filled, entertainment spots and restaurants are full capacities and people are still shaking hands and hugging each other even with the intense messaging through social media, radio, and TVs.

Somalia faces specific challenges in the coordination of its response, including weaker health systems, a proliferation of informal economy and internally displaced population in major cities, which can pose additional affects efforts to combat the highly infectious disease.

COVID-19 being highly contagious, Somalia must take the window of opportunity offered to her to take vigorous measures to contain the propagation of the Coronavirus epidemic.

In pursue to face this unique crisis, by its magnitude and its impact on society, We are calling health experts, public health practitioners, innovators, designers, storytellers, humanitarian workers, policymakers in all sectors to support digital and innovative health services projects that aim at improving and accelerating the Somalia governments response to the challenges of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

About the Virtual innovation challenge

This is to bring together top talent and experts in the country and across the globe in government, private sector and humanitarian agencies to discuss the pandemic and how possibly slow down the spread of the virus. This will provide a platform to bring together experts in the health care sector, workers and government authority to come up with solutions both tech and non-tech-based on how to flatten the curve. By utilizing the latest available collaboration tools, we will make sure the experience to be similar to as if the organizing team and participants are together in one room.

The application is open for everyone who is interested across and

Current challenges identified in Somalia 

  • How can we address our health system capacity issues?
  • How do we enhance real-time information sharing?
  • How will we effectively manage remote and populations (eg. IDP population)?
  • How can we increase education and awareness and promote healthy practices?
  • How can we increase the participation and effectiveness of social/physical distancing?
  • How can we manage productivity while distancing and isolating ourselves?

Focus Areas

  • Low cost easy to implement – tracking of infected persons and their contact with other persons
  • The spread of the virus and prediction if possible.
  • Easy to detection if a person is infected
  • System Readiness for such Pandemics
  • Progression cycle on The Pandemics
  • Pandemics effect on other Health Sectors


We will post a call for application on our social media to attend our two-day virtual innovation challenge and share it with partners for amplification. The applications will be collected through typeform for better collaborations and getting started with the selection process as the applications are trickling in from across the world.

After the selection is complete, we will share the full agenda with the participants via email. In the process, we will prepare how the two-day challenge will be handled since the whole program will be done virtually and this needs to be done in the most effective way possible without wasting time.

As an innovation hub, this is our contribution to address COVID-19 pandemics that affected the lives of millions of Somalis in the country and across the globe.  We organized social innovation challenges before with our partners to create solutions for rampant problems in Somalia by bringing together experts and innovators. We believe in somalia problem, somali solution since the world is currently in lockdown.


Apply: COVID-19 Virtual Innovation Challenge