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Young Zimbabwean doctors win BeChangeMaker 2021

After months of preparations, the finalists of BeChangeMaker 2021 pitched their ideas today to a panel of experts with the hopes of being crowned the winner of this year’s programme.

The journey for Vaxiglobal began in Zimbabwe, when three doctors and a physiotherapist began developing a digital vaccination certification system that could counter vaccination fraud.

The idea for VaxiGlobal was co-founded by Integrity Mchechesi and Tsitsi Sifiyali Mchechesi, who thought of digitizing the certificate and creating QR codes so they could be accessible at any time. They then involved university friends Diana Mandewo, and Tinotenda.

With the pandemic, they realized that their system could be key in fighting COVID-19 in Africa.

“We then incorporated RT-PCR test certificates and later vaccination certificates,” says Tinotenda. “We partner with the ministry and also with WHO Regional Office for Africa, with whom we are currently working in a ten-year partnership for yellow fever and COVID-19 certificates,” adds Diana.

A major challenge to the success of VaxiGlobal is the low smartphone penetration rates in rural areas. “That was a flaw that we saw in our system, and the other was that internet access in Africa is not as good. That’s how we incorporated the use of biometrics, so that an official can pull up the certificate by scanning the facial biometrics of the traveller,” says Tinotenda.

Tinotenda Simemeza, Tsitsi Sifiyali and Integrity Mchechesi

Following their announcement as winners of BeChangeMaker 2021 Diana said, “Thank you so much. This has been such a great opportunity for us to learn. HP courses and training have helped us as Vaxiglobal so much. Thank you!”

BeChangeMaker is an online training programme that inspires action on global challenges through social entrepreneurship and the power of skills. Participants access high-quality learning content on HP LIFE, tools and technology for startup acceleration, dedicated coaching, mentoring and customized support, as well as the opportunity to tap into a diverse global network of potential supporters and investors.

The other top teams pitching were:

  • Bumii from Malaysia – Raising awareness and inspiring action against climate change through technology
  • Paragon from Jordan – Reducing food waste through innovative supply chain management
  • eZ2Code from Chinese Taipei – Supporting coding skill development in rural areas for students and teachers via an accessible online training platform
  • Craft from Egypt – Supporting craftsmanship and skills development amid COVID-19
  • Black and Brown in the Middle from United States of America – promotes diversity and inclusion for underrepresented communities through storytelling.

Each of the six teams showed tremendous insight and commitment to creating a more sustainable and inclusive world that all leaders from any industry can take inspiration from. – WorldSkills.org

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