Doing more with less at a better quality that can be said to be frugal Innovation at least to my friend who was trying to explain to me the concept. The online definition of frugal innovation refers to the process of reducing the complexity and cost of a good and its production. Usually this refers to removing nonessential features from a durable good, such as a car or phone, in order to sell it in developing countries but what if the developing country has the ability to come up with frugal innovations that can be sold into developed countries market? I hope the definition will change.
Mawazo Challenge is looking at exploring the ability of Tanzania Medical and Allied Sciences students to come up with the solutions for the Tanzanian health sector. Who is a better person to solve a Tanzania problem than a young, smart and energetic youths? The answer is none. Being at the core of the problems facing the health sector in our country, young doctors and health scientists has more chances and opportunities to leapfrog solutions compared to the people outside the industry.
It is common to see innovations popping up from different sectors such as communication, finance, agriculture to mention few, but there are few or none locally developed solutions to solve problem facing our health sector. Most of these solutions are relying on ICTs but ICTs and technology in general is just a tool and you need more than just a tool to solve a problem. You need people with proper mindset and a supportive ecosystem to nurture and accelerate their growth through programs, activities, mentoring and funding support. Mawazo Challenge is looking to single handedly proving all this in one package, access to mentors, training and capacity building, product development, business acceleration and finally providing seed fund to selected outstanding achievers in the process.
We understanding solving a problem can be a tricky sometime, it requires you to know the what is “reflecting on what you want to do”, the what if, “do it bit differently”, the what wows “embracing innovation in the process” and what works “assessing the feasibility and viability of what you are looking to develop”. Mawazo Challenge is going to incorporate different tools to help us reach to our intended outcomes and ensure students are coming up with prototypes, products and solutions that are practical and relevant to our environment.
Let the fun begin. It is going to be a monkey business; a lot of fun, a lot of chaos and a lot of learning in the process.