Johnson and Johnson supporting young African innovators creating social impact

February 27, 2018

The Next Einstein Forum is committed to connecting science, society and policy, with the goal to leverage innovation for human development. Youth are at the center of NEF’s efforts in supporting scientific advancement in Africa and the rest of the world. As we get closer to the global gathering, Johnson & Johnson has been a key partner in supporting NEF and the global scientific community.
On March 28, three winners from the Johnson & Johnson Africa Innovation Challenge (AIC) will be speaking on the Discovering Africa’s Brightest Scientist plenary panel, discussing recent breakthroughs in innovation across Africa.

Grace Nakibaala, founder and CEO of PedalTap, is a graduate architect and an innovation fellow at Makerere University. She is passionate about infection prevention and control in both community and occupational health settings. Under Johnson & Johnson mentorship, Grace and the PedalTap team strive to improve infection control and save water by modifying existing water tap systems to create a no touch solution for developing countries.

Mahmud Johnson, is founder and CEO of J-Palm Liberia, a Monrovia-based startup company that produces palm-oil-based consumer and industrial products and works to improve incomes for Liberia’s smallholder famers. J-Palm Liberia processes the palm kernels into a range of products including Kernel Fresh, an organic moisturizer and hair conditioner made of virgin cold-pressed palm kernel oil. Mahmud holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from Dartmouth College and a Certificate in Business Strategy from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth.

Grace Francoise-Nibizi founder of SaCoDé & Ageteka Project, is a nurse by profession, but also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Social and Economic Administration and many years of working experience in international humanitarian and development organizations. The Ageteka Project makes reusable and washable menstrual pads and provides them to girls free of charge so they can attend school month-round. In addition, this project also intends to further provide employment opportunities for local women. Francoise-Nibizi founder of SaCoDé & Ageteka Project, is a nurse by profession, but also holds a Bachelor’s degree in Social and Economic Administration and many years of working experience in international humanitarian and development organizations. The Ageteka Project makes reusable and washable menstrual pads and provides them to girls free of charge so they can attend school month-round. In addition, this project also intends to further provide employment opportunities for local women.

In 2016, Johnson & Johnson launched the Africa Innovation Challenge, an initiative to support Africa’s growing innovation ecosystem and to help develop important locally sustainable consumer health solutions. Aligned with J&J’s goal to improve the health of families around the world, the Africa Innovation Challenge focused on three critical health areas: early child development and maternal health, empowering young women, and improving family well-being. Challenge winners received up to $100,000 funding and mentorship from scientists, engineers and researchers from Johnson & Johnson Consumer’s Research & Development organization.
Check out videos of the winners here.


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