7th December 2021 will always be remembered as a remarkable day in Africa as far as the fight against the practice of Female Genital mutilation. 9 groups of innovators from 7 African countries including Uganda, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, and Gambia among others gathered virtually to pitch innovative solutions to address the challenge of Female genital mutilation to a panel of judges from across Africa who would choose two winners to receive mentorship, incubation and seed funding.
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is a human rights violation that has impacted the lives of millions of women and girls around the world, with a higher percentage of those on the African continent. Globally, an estimated 200 million women and girls alive today have undergone some form of FGM, and if present trends continue, another 68 million women and girls will be cut by 2030.
Led by Mr. Joseph Mulabbi, team 6 presented a multilingual mobile tool that relies on an internet-free mobile App alert trigger and a USSD code menu for users to easily report FGM and related cases in real-time to the nearest Village Volunteer Agents, Anti FGM board, and other duty bearers identified in the community for immediate service assistance to access both physical or remote service provider. This innovation won the hearts of the judges scooping the 1st runners up after Team Big family 360 from Nigeria which was the overall winner. “I attribute the victory to the fact that it Axces mobile is multilingual, cheap, and easy to use as it adopts a community model. I hope to extend my wings to East African countries and Africa within a few years. “ Mr. Mulabbi said
The other Competitor from Uganda was team 2 led by Ms. Nansanga Deborah who pitched the HERStory platform, a user-centric digital communication system that makes young girls and women safer through the use of crowdsourced data, and community engagements to create a timely institutional response to FGM. “The HERStory platform aims at making data readily available for stakeholders to use as they implement projects to address the issue of FGM,” Deborah said as she pitched to the judges.
While speaking to the innovators, The UNFPA Uganda deputy country representative Dr. Dan Alemu encouraged young innovators to expand their scope beyond development partners to include the private sector by building a business model for sustainability. He also encouraged the innovators to partner with people from across the country, rural areas inclusive to tap into their expertise
Written by: Doreen Nelly Kyampeire