Nigerian entrepreneur lauded for digital healthcare initiative 

Sat, May 25, 2024
By editor


By Kenneth Abwao

A digital healthcare initiative that has enabled some 260,000 patients in Nigerian villages to access healthcare is among innovations celebrated by a top American university.

The Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), lauded the MDaaS Global, which has brought modern, tech-enabled healthcare to clinically underserved communities in Nigeria as part of initiatives launched by its alumni network over the past one and a half decades across Africa. 

The venture currently serves over 260,000 patients and has established 1,300 clinical partners in 25 Nigerian cities. MDaaS Global, has invested US$6.8 million since 2017, to improve diagnosis in hospitals.

The e-health start-up is raising new capital to further develop the company’s technology platform, BeaconOS, which it launched in 2023 and to expand its healthcare network to all 36 states in Nigeria through a mix of company-owned and affiliate clinics, Chief Executive Officer Oluwasogi Oni said.

The company’s innovative e-health solution is among fellows of the alumni of the Legatum Center’s two fellowship programs. 

The student fellowship for MIT students includes 69 alumni who have focused on building ventures in Africa—a remarkable 29 of these ventures are still growing today. 

The Foundry Fellowship, made up of 33 advanced stage entrepreneurs, was launched in 2021 as the first of its kind program for well-established African entrepreneurs who are committed to leading the acceleration and interconnection of Africa’s innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystems. 

The program includes mentorship, leadership training, and experiential tours of innovation ecosystems to define the next stage in their entrepreneurial and leadership journeys. 

The American university celebrated over 15 years of advancing innovation and entrepreneurship by unveiling its 15-Year Impact Report at the “Innovation in Global Growth Markets: Prosperity Through Entrepreneurship” Conference held recently in Cambridge, Massachusetts. 

During the event, the Center also strengthened its commitment to driving innovation across Africa by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Republic of Botswana. 

“The Legatum Center has showcased the transformative power of entrepreneurship in growth markets since its establishment in 2007,” said Executive Director Dina H. Sherif. 

“As we celebrate over 15 years of driving prosperity across Africa, we are now committed to deepening our work with a focus on DeepTech innovation as the next frontier for the continent’s future. We are honored to partner with Botswana in charting a path towards realizing this vision,”  said Sherif, who is the Egyptian Presidential Adviser on ICT and Economy.

President Dr. Mokgweetsi Masisi of Botswana delivered a keynote address at the conference. He underscored the critical role entrepreneurship can play in unlocking prosperity for emerging economies. President Masisi then highlighted how a collaboration with the Legatum Center can foster a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship within Botswana. 

“We deeply recognize the vital work undertaken by the Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship,” President Masisi remarked. “Diversifying our economy and transitioning to a knowledge-based one driven by science and innovation is anchored in our Vision 2036 and is one of my government’s top priorities.” He further expressed Botswana’s eagerness for deeper collaboration with the Center and MIT to make this a reality. 

Masisi added that for Africa to realize its full potential it would “need a surge of innovation and a wave of entrepreneurs who can translate ideas into scalable solutions”. The Legatum Center’s 15-year impact report highlights and showcases the groundbreaking work of fellows leading the way towards this very goal.  

In Kenya, Joyce Kamade, (Foundry Fellow 2023, and Kevin Kung, Student Fellow 2015), co-founded Safi Organics, with the vision to eradicate poverty among rural farmers. To date, Safi Organics has created 600 jobs and impacted over 10,000 poor farmers, increasing their incomes by 50%, while increasing their yields by 30%. Caitlin Dolkart (Legatum Student Fellow 2016), co-founded Flare, which tackles the challenge of emergency medical care in underserved areas by providing people with a centralized platform and network of ambulances, ensuring quicker and safer access to critical services. Today, Flare is the leading provider of emergency services in Kenya, serving 2 million customers with a response time that is ten times faster than before.  

Speetar stands out as a Libyan-based AI-enabled telemedicine platform founded by Mohamed Aburawi (Student Fellow ‘21).

This innovative platform addresses the critical need for accessible and affordable healthcare in conflict-affected communities, where marginalized and displaced individuals often struggle to access quality medical services. Speetar has already made a significant impact, serving close to 2,000,000 users to date. 

Alongside celebrating the incredible impact of the two fellowship programs, the report also recognized the 244 entrepreneurs in Africa who have completed shorter-term Deep Tech bootcamps and accelerator programs offered by the Center’s team in collaboration with innovation ecosystem stakeholders, and MIT faculty in Senegal, Rwanda, Uganda, Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Tunisia and Egypt. 

A major goal of the center for the future is to develop its engaged community of entrepreneurs and ecosystem leaders who, together, will create new markets, strengthen ecosystems, and build the economies of the future. “The majority of the world’s growth now comes from what has historically been referred to as the developing world. It is time for us to start recognizing that our time is now. We are not rising. We are here, we are strong, and it is up to us to create the prosperity that we need”, Sherif concluded.


-May 25, 2024 @ 14:04 GMT|