Johnson & Johnson is proud to announce the 2017 Africa Innovation Challenge Winners.

Please find the video here and press release here.

Mahmud Johnson


Johnson & Johnson will support Mahmud Johnson to grow his company, turning local palm kernel oil into organic cosmetics.

Grace Nakibaala


Hear Grace Nakibaala speak about how Johnson & Johnson will help scale PedalTap to improve infection control and save water.

Francoise Nibizi


Francoise Nibizi’s project helps girls attend school month-round. Support from Johnson & Johnson will allow her to employ local women.

1:30 The Africa Innovation Challenge explained in 90 seconds

The Africa Innovation Challenge

Throughout Africa, we are looking to drive entrepreneurship and help advance promising consumer healthcare solutions. Chosen applicants will receive a combination of awards including funding up to US $100,000, potential lab space in Africa and/or business and technical mentoring from some of the brightest minds at Johnson & Johnson to help bring their idea to life and create meaningful change in their community or country.

You could receive up to US $100,000 in funding

  • Potential access to lab space in Africa
  • Ongoing mentorship

Promoting Early Child Development & Maternal Health

Improving maternal health helps nurture happy, healthy babies and generates positive child development. We are looking for non-pharmaceutical product or technology solutions that will help ensure women and newborns in Africa stay healthy during pregnancy, childbirth and throughout child development stages.

Examples Ideas
An example idea for the Promoting Early Child Development & Maternal Health category might include antibacterial/antiviral cleansing and leave-on products that help consumers combat worms, cold, and/or flu.

Empowering Young Girls

Access to good education and basic needs such as feminine care products is important to make sure young girls across Africa realize their full potential. We are looking for consumer product, technology and educational innovations that address these needs, making a brighter future possible for young women.

Examples Ideas
An example idea for the Empowering Young Girls category might include a cross-country mentoring program that encourages science education to help girls better understand their body hygiene.

Improving Family Well-being

Families need reliable health care information, access to health care professionals and effective everyday products in order to thrive. We are searching for innovative technology-driven solutions that help promote access to health care knowledge, advice and products to enhance the well-being of consumers in Africa.

Examples Ideas
An example idea for the Improving Family Well-being category might include reliable mobile tele-health information via a smart device that provides families with access to consumer over-the-counter products.
We invite you to apply by submitting NON-CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION ONLY. The information you provide will only be used to contact you regarding your application. All information you provide will be governed by our Privacy Policy.

Why this challenge matters to us

The Johnson & Johnson Credo lies at the heart of every aspect of our operations throughout the world. It is our undertaking to be agents of positive change in the countries in which we operate and the communities in which we live and work. 

Johnson & Johnson’s engagement in Africa dates back more than 80 years in over 25 countries. Beyond our growing commercial presence, we have worked extensively with partners based in Africa and internationally to support the underserved in local communities.

To that end, Johnson & Johnson is introducing the Africa Innovation Challenge, to encourage entrepreneurial thinking in Africa and the creation of consumer health care solutions that address the critical unmet needs of the continent and her people.

Johnson & Johnson is not granted any rights in the ideas of applicants to the African Innovation Challenge as a result of their participation in the challenge.  Applicants and winners remain free to continue the further development of their ideas on their own.

Learn more about the application process

The submitted consumer health care solutions will be evaluated based on their ability to meet the following criteria:

  • Idea submission addresses at least one of the three challenge categories:
    1) Promoting Early Child Development & Maternal Health in Africa,
    2) Empowering Young Girls in Africa,
    3) Improving Family Well-being in Africa
  • Idea submission is innovative and creative
  • Idea submission is scalable
  • Idea submission outlines how the award would help them reach a critical milestone within the timeframe of a single year and provides a full commercialization plan

You have to sign up for an account to get started, and you will receive an email to activate your account. You will be guided through the application process which will include signing our general Terms and Conditions Agreement, filling out your application form and uploading your non-confidential project plan.

Deadline to apply is January 17th, 2017
Winners will be announced by the end of February 2017

Meet the mentors from
Johnson & Johnson

Johnson & Johnson Consumer products in Africa
Thank you to our supporters and collaborators