By Toneo Tonderai Rutsito
Almost two months back, during a tête-à-tête, we were hinted by the United States of America Public diplomacy officer,Nicole Fox that plans to establish the first tech hub in Zimbabwe were at advanced stages.
I was quiet excited about the news as this has been one of the main reaon I alluded to the slow growth and the development and nurturing of talent, vis a vis with other regional African countries.
We say a big congrats to our own first tech startup, coined “Hypercube” for being awarded the mandate to run such a magnificent, history making project.
According to an official report. “The Indigo Trust has been working closely with Hivos and the US Embassy in Zimbabwe in order to identify a team able to develop a financially sustainable, socially responsible, and sufficiently inclusive business plan.
Following the assessment of 6 proposals, we’ve selected the fabulous Hypercube team. While the funders are simply providing financial support, the Hypercube team will be the driving force, galvanising the technology community through events, mentorship, access to state of the art facilities and the establishment of strong partnerships which support their aims. The space will support tech entrepreneurs working on both commercial and social projects, thus contributing to both the economic and social development of Zimbabwe.
The space will enable entrepreneurs to invent, prototype, develop and test emerging products, develop new business models and services and create sustainable entrepreneurial opportunities which are aligned to Zimbabwean needs and context, extending to the region and beyond.
The Indigo Trust has awarded £30,000 ($48 000)to contribute towards the core costs of establishing the space and supporting programmes coming out of it. Hivos is contributing 40,000 Euros $54 000 annually for three years and the US Embassy is contributing $75,000 from the State Department’s Fund for Innovation in Public Diplomacy. The funders also hope to contribute to the development of the hub through linking them to our networks and provision of strategic advice and support.
This will be the thirteenth hub which we are supporting in Africa
(see this post for details on the other hubs which we support) and the sixth which we have been involved with since before its conception.
We look forward to hubs coordinating their efforts to establish a pan-African movement with the help of AfriLabs.
The Hypercube Board of Advisors, which is made up of Nikki Kershaw of C2 media, Nigel Mugamu of 263 chat, Taps Murove an app developer, Rinesh Desai and Munya Chiura of comp trouble Zimbabwe have also committed to working to increase the participation of women in the technology sector, as well as stimulating job creation for the youth through entrepreneurship”
This is just the dan of a new era, in Zimbabwe technology, we were lagging way behind regionally when compared to to other countries which, ofcourse have great tech hubs.
We hope they will be speedily implementation towards this good course and local talents would be accorded the equal opportunity to tap in