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Latest Update: Announcing the innovators piloting their technologies on the ground in East Africa


From over 415 applications across 50 countries, 17 innovative health tech startups from 11 countries were successfully matched with 11 leading healthcare providers across Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda to jointly implement 20 pilot projects and build long-term partnerships. The tech solutions range from AI-enabled point of care diagnostics, clinical decision support tools, imaging, patient engagement, emergency response and beyond. The solutions will be piloted in hospitals, clinics, labs, pharma retail outlets, and with health insurers over the coming one year. We are excited to see new business relationships between startups and East African healthcare providers that can help improve healthcare delivery and patient outcomes, and we would like to thank our Advisor Network for their support and taking these technologies forward. The TechEmerge Health East Africa program is supported by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment of Finland, The Israeli Ministry of Economy and Industry and the Government of Japan.



About the Program:

TechEmerge brings technologies to new markets to drive sustainable innovation in regions that need it the most.

We do this by matching best-in-class, proven, affordable technology solutions from around the world with local partners in emerging markets to conduct pilot projects and build commercial partnerships.

After successfully implementing the program in the healthcare sectors in India, followed by Brazil, IFC is now building on this knowledge and networks to bring the program to the East African healthcare sector to improve access to healthcare delivery and patient outcomes.

Over 20 leading private healthcare providers in Kenya, Uganda, and Ethiopia have signed on to the program and are interested in working with health tech companies that can address their needs. Through a competitive selection process, with the support of an network of external technical advisors, shortlisted innovators meet with local organizations to demo their products and discuss potential pilot opportunities. With our support, selected innovators and local healthcare providers partner to test and validate technologies in the local setting.

Selected innovators receive funding and guidance from the TechEmerge team to pilot their tech solutions in the East African market, with the ultimate goal of wider commercial deployment of the technologies. IFC provides support during the market-entry and tech transfer process for both innovators and healthcare providers – mitigating financial and operational risks associated with market entry for innovators and reducing adoption risks for local healthcare providers.

The TechEmerge Health East Africa program was launched at CES 2020 as part of a World Bank Group (WBG) – CES Global Tech Challenge.





  • Access to robust network of East Africa health systems and potential users/buyers of technology
  • Access to a pool of up to $1M in funding to support pilot projects in East Africa (competitive selection)
  • Guidance from the TechEmerge team and global network of advisors to develop pilot implementation and market entry strategies
  • Potential investment from IFC


  • Proven product, installed with at least one health system
  • Privately owned company, typically with less than 50 employees and less than US$100M in venture capital funding (with some exceptions)
  • Meets the needs of the East African Healthcare Providers
  • Demonstrated managerial capacity and scalability
  • Ability to allocate time and resources to participate in the Project, including attending periodic meetings, and implementation of field testing/pilot project in East Africa



  • Assess: We identify challenges and gaps in emerging markets, talking in person with local organizations to ensure we understand which technologies could best meet their needs.
  • Source: We launch an open call for innovators from around the world with market relevant solutions to apply to join the program.
  • Select: With the support of a network of expert advisors, we select high-performing innovators with proven technologies that can meet the needs of participating local organizations.
  • Match: Through a carefully curated process, we arrange events and meetings for the shortlisted innovators to meet local organizations, demo their products, and discuss the potential to pilot projects together.
  • Pilot: With our support, selected innovators and participating organizations partner to test technologies in a local setting.
  • Commercialize: If the pilot is successful, the local organization and innovator may decide to enter into a commercial contract.


This program is implemented in partnership with:



Market Context

East Africa is comprised of a diverse set of countries and the region as a whole has experienced rapid economic growth over the past five years. The TechEmerge Health East Africa program will predominantly focus on the Kenyan private healthcare sector, while including select healthcare providers from Uganda and Ethiopia as well. The combined population for Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia is around 207 million people, and is projected to grow to 270 by 2030. The healthcare market across these three countries is $8B, and set to grow to $15B by 2030. The majority of patients pay for healthcare out-of-pocket, which drives healthcare providers to seek new approaches to improve healthcare delivery and reduce costs.


Over 20 leading private healthcare providers in Kenya, Uganda, and Ethiopia have joined the program. Participating providers range from multi-specialty hospitals to primary care clinics, to lab chains, pharma retails and health insurers. These health organizations serve a variety of different income populations and regions, operating over 250 facilities, with over 2,500 beds, serving over 5 million patients annually.


Advisor Network

The TechEmerge Health East Africa Program is supported by a network of advisors with vast experience in growing health technology innovation across the world.