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PRESS RELEASE January 12, 2021

World Bank Group and CES Announce Global Tech Challenge Winners

Washington, D.C, January 12, 2021 — Today the World Bank Group and CES announced the winners of the Global Tech Challenge at CES®2021.

The result of a partnership between the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) and the World Bank Group, the Global Tech Challenge was launched at CES 2020 to reward scalable and innovative technological solutions in three main areas: digital health in East Africa, resilience in India and gender equality around the world. Technology solutions that helped communities respond to the COVID-19 pandemic were also prioritized.

Selected among over 1,000 applications, three winners were selected for gender equality, 10 for resilience and 17 for digital health. More details about the selected innovations can be accessed here for health, resilience and gender equality.

Global Tech Challenge winners will have the opportunity to access financial and/or technical assistance to pilot and scale their solutions on the ground with private sector companies, governments and within development projects financed by the World Bank Group, one of the largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing countries.  

“From closing the digital divide to building resilience in the face of natural disasters or pandemics, innovation can solve some of the most pressing development challenges. The World Bank Group is pleased to support impactful programs focused on bringing equal access to connectivity to women in developing countries and to recognize cutting-edge solutions such as AI-enabled robots to rebuild homes in post-disaster areas. Now is the time to scale up solutions that have proven effective, so that no one is left behind in the new digital era,” said Makhtar Diop, the World Bank’s Vice President for Infrastructure.

“Disruptive technologies are a fundamental driver of economic growth and job creation—and key to solving development challenges around the world. At IFC, we are proud to support the private sector in bringing these technologies to emerging markets, with innovations that range from portable ultrasound devices that can detect COVID-19 to medical tools that provide real-time cardiac diagnoses even in remote areas,” said Stephanie von Friedeburg, Interim Managing Director and Executive Vice President, and Chief Operating Officer at IFC.

We are thrilled to be continuing our work with the World Bank so the world’s best and brightest innovators at CES can collaborate with the World Bank Group to enter new markets, provide solutions and aid in development,” said Karen Chupka, EVP, CES, Consumer Technology Association (CTA).

Owned and produced by CTA, CES 2021 will be an all-digital experience connecting exhibitors, customers, thought leaders and media from around the world. CES 2021 will allow participants to hear from technology innovators, see cutting-edge technologies and the latest product launches, and engage with global brands and startups from around the world. For over 50 years, CES has been the global stage for innovation, and CES 2021 will provide an engaging platform for companies large and small to launch products, build brands and form partnerships. Visit for all CES 2021 updates and the media page for all press resources.

About the TechEmerge Health East Africa Challenge:

The TechEmerge Health East Africa Challenge launched by IFC, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, has selected 17 tech companies from 11 countries to partner with East African healthcare providers to pilot their solutions in the local market. Solutions range from point of care diagnostics, to imaging, clinical decision support tools and beyond.  These innovators have access to a grant fund pool of US$1Million and they will also receive technical and advisory support from IFC. The program is supported by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment of Finland, the Israeli Ministry of Economy and Industry and the Government of Japan.  For a complete list of winners and details on their pilots, visit:

About the TechEmerge Resilience India Challenge:

The TechEmerge Resilience India Challenge, a global call for technology solutions, launched by the World Bank Group, in partnership with CES and the National Disaster Management Authority of India (NDMA), has selected 10 tech innovators and entrepreneurs who offer solutions through disruptive technologies such as AI, IoT, Drones, 3D printing, Digital Platforms, and more. These innovators have access to a grant fund pool of US$1Million to pilot their solutions. IBM will provide cloud credits and technical assistance. For a complete list of winners and details on their pilots, visit:

About the Gender Tech Challenge: Solutions for Women:

Supported by the World Bank’s Digital Development Practice, whose mission is to achieve connectivity for all, the Solution for Women Challenge rewards scalable and innovative technological solutions that seek to increase digital access, skills and opportunities for women. The challenge was supported by a panel of leading experts from: Microsoft 4Afrika Initiatives, GSMA, SoftBank, the International Telecommunication Union, IBM and The Female Quotient. The three winners of the challenge will engage with governments and World Bank Group teams to potentially scale their solutions within development projects. For more information, visit


In Washington:
Anne Senges
Kelly Alderson