Tanzanian innovator seeks collaboration of African hubs

Tanzanian innovator seeks collaboration of African hubs

A Tanzanian innovator says increased collaboration among innovation hubs across Africa will accelerate the growth of young entrepreneurs and start-ups on the continent.

Collins Kimaro, one of the co-founders of the Obuntu Hub, an innovation hub that empowers young entrepreneurs in Arusha, Tanzania, told Voice of Nigeria that coming together of innovation hubs in Africa would enable them to overcome the challenges that confront them.

“We know that across the continent there are many challenges, few resources.

  We need to work together to make the most impact we can with what we have,” he said.

Clarity of purpose
According to Kimaro, innovators in Africa will achieve a lot if there is clarity of purpose and openness in what they are doing.

“What we need to do more, first of all, is to be open with each other; to understand the challenges we are going through and to understand, what we have in terms of skills, in terms of resources we can contribute, network, expertise, etc.

“And once we have clarity of problem, clarity of what each can contribute and clarity of purpose, then we can easily collaborate to work together towards a greater good.

Kimaro’s Obuntu Hub was one of the 12 that won awards at the 10th Anniversary of Afrilabs, held at the Conference Centre of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

“This award offers us an opportunity to collaborate with another hub from another part of Africa.

  It expands the network for the entrepreneurs and allows for skills transfer.

“Second, the financial resource that the award provides, it is important for us to implement the project well.

“It will contribute to the sustainability of both hubs.

  It is also a catalyst to our work, which is at the core to empower more entrepreneurs.

“Through this award, we will be able to train six entrepreneurs to be able to provide funding as well as digital tools they can use to grow their businesses.

He said that the Obuntu Hub has partnered with the Disruptive Lab of The Gambia to implement programmes aimed at empowering young entrepreneurs and start-ups.

“We are going to implement a programme to empower young entrepreneurs and start-ups in our two different countries,” Kimaro, stated, explaining that “it would be the same programme in our two different countries.

Wonderful experience
The young innovator said that the innovation hubs that converged on Abuja for the 10th Anniversary of Afrilabs had “a wonderful experience”.

He said: “First, we had hubs in residence programme, which was two days training for hubs.

  We were selected 25 from across Africa.

“We had training for two days; we had the pitch competition-pitch competition that would decide who would be given the award to implement the programme.

“Tonight, 12 hubs have been given the awards, each 15,000 Euros.

This is part of the Afrilabs capacity building programme, which is aiming to build the capacity of hubs to better empower young entrepreneurs and start-ups across Africa.

“As part of those two days, we also had our annual general meeting of the Afrilabs Network, which is a network of more than 300 hubs across 51 countries in Africa,” Kimaro stated.

Tanzanian innovator seeks collaboration of African hubs

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