University of Waterloo, Canada, and Strathmore University have partnered to launch technology incubation programs in Kenya targeting mobile and social media apps to solve Africa’s most pressing socio-economic challenges.
Mobile technologies are transforming sub-Saharan Africa. They are providing individuals in the region with previously unimaginable access to information and, as a result, significantly impacting the economies of the region.
This development has opened opportunities to develop and improve social and economic systems in ways that can truly impact the ‘bottom-of-the-pyramid’ in Africa.
The two Universities have conducted an agricultural mobile application challenge that is meant to address challenges that farmers encounter in the agricultural sector.
Agriculture was chosen since this is the mainstay of at least 80percent of the Kenyan population and therefore has a direct impact on the bottom of the pyramid masses.
The challenge kicked off in January of this year with a total of 45 teams applying. 28 were shortlisted in the first round.
In the second round 10 were further shortlisted and then a final selection of six teams.
These top six teams have undergone a vigorous incubation program that was conducted by the Strathmore University team and the University of Waterloo, Conrad Business School, Virtual Incubation Program team.
The business incubation was facilitated by use of a virtual technology platform. This is the first of its kind in Africa and it will further enhance opportunities for entrepreneurs with novel ideas to benefit from training and funding to launch sustainable enterprises. The Virtual Incubation Program aligns to the running policy of the Jubilee government on entrepreneurs’ empowerment.
There will be a ceremony to launch the virtual incubation program. During this ceremony the six finalist teams will be acknowledged.
The teams represent various universities from the entire country, namely,Masinde Muliro University, Egerton University, Nairobi University, Kenyatta University, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, United States International University Africa and Strathmore University.