An ICT initiative by Zetech University Kenya has been crowned among top entries in Africa in a continental Youth ICT Innovation Competition backed by the African Telecommunications Union (ATU) and the International Telecommunications Union (ITU).
The initiative, Entrepreneurship, Innovation & Technology Development, which acts as a business and technology incubator and has provided the necessary tools, training, and mentorship enabling over 200 beneficiaries to develop their innovation and entrepreneurial skills, was ranked in the top ten of the ATU Africa Innovation Challenge 2021 in the region.
The win by the Kenyan-bred initiative opens the door for Zetech University to attend a boot camp organized by ITU and training by innovation-support champion Afrilabs, as well as showcase their entry in a personalized virtual booth at the Global Innovation Forum.
The initiative will also be recognized by the ITU and ATU as an “Ecosystem stakeholders Best Practice” that can be scaled and amplified across Africa to foster youth resilience.
The competition, sponsored by Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd (Title sponsors), Intel Corporation, GSM Association, and AfriLabs, also saw Tanzania’s Coding Clubs, Mentorship and Incubation initiative by Apps and Girls, and the ICT Innovation Programme of Zambia’s ICT Authority take home USD 5000 and USD 2,500.
The former has empowered over 34,686 girls with problem-solving and coding skills, improved their academic performance in ICT and other STEM-related subjects and led to 69 businesses being set-up. The latter has successfully commercialized 30+ Start-ups, created 100+ jobs and worked with 15+ local partners.
This year’s edition of the Challenge identified institutions from Africa that create an enabling environment for youth to develop ICT innovations.
Among the institutions’ sort to take part in the competition included policy making bodies, incubators, universities and non-profits. This is in recognition of the critical role that such organisations play and the importance of investing in fertile soil from which innovators can grow.
The event further recognized seven additional best practices by ecosystem stakeholders across Africa. Those awarded were, After-School STEM Clubs for Girls and Coding Boot Camps for Women (by the Visiola Foundation, Nigeria), COVID-19 Project for Zimbabwe (by African Surveyors Connect, Zimbabwe), Innovation and Techno-preneurship Acceleration (by St Joseph’s University of Tanzania), ICT in education (by Adamawa Code Kids, Cameroon), and Woman DNS Academy (by Internet Society, Benin Chapter).