Makers Assemble! Ghana Tech Lab unites digital warriors in the COVID-19 fight
Make-IT in Africa has collaborated with Ghana Tech Lab on a new programme, Makers Assemble, to better leverage digital innovations in the fight against COVID-19. Launched in June 2020, the collaborative project connects various ecosystem players in Ghana. The goal is to maximise the support of local innovators and accelerate the production of their solutions related to the pandemic.
The first phase was a bootcamp – a week-long event where selected innovators and makers converged to brainstorm ideas and create prototypes. The innovations focus on leveraging local resources and expertise to produce more Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) but also include Internet of Things solutions and other digital technologies that help contain or manage the pandemic.
During the subsequent five-week production phase, the participants have been working together to produce large quantities of the innovations conceptualised in the bootcamp phase. Following quality control, products will then be distributed to those in need, such as frontline workers and others in at-risk situations. One of the major success stories has been 3D printing of medical-grade healthcare equipment, incl. face shields, ventilators, and respirators. The 3D-printed face shields have even received official approval as medical-grade Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) by the Ghana Food and Drugs Authority.
Makers Assemble thereby provides a new forum for ecosystem players to come together and share knowledge and resources, collaborating on the rapid scale production of innovations. As a result, promising new players and solutions are certain to emerge in Ghana to help fight against the spread of COVID-19.