Time for African Governments to say “I do” to Innovators

Moraa, a 22-year-old Computer Science major at Nairobi University, wants to change the world through technology. That’s why she entered her latest idea—an app for expectant mothers that doles out on-demand advice—in a campus-wide contest to win $10,000 in startup funds.

Born in a small village far from a hospital, Moraa witnessed her mother, aunt and sister give birth at home, only to lose the babies to complications. So her app also provides users with the opportunity to buy low-cost maternity insurance coverage—at only $2 a month—to ensure that they can give birth in a hospital.

Moraa won the prize money, and with it, the opportunity to tackle a healthcare problem plaguing Kenya and beyond with the power of mobile technology.  With a great name “Mamtoto” (a play on “baby mama” in Swahili), a team and a desk at the local innovation hub, she thought “this should be easy.”