For years, the iHub has been at the centre of the tech scene in Kenya. We are nurturing the best innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem; one that constantly challenges and influences technology.
The iHub attracts individuals of all walks of life, and parts of the world. Some of them are world, or national leaders in their particular industries who accord us a chance to listen to their wisdom and are also interested to learn about the innovations in Kenya.
This year, i know we are only in the first quarter, but we have managed to attract notable events such as; Stars in Africa: EU-Africa Youth and Entrepreneurship Forum, Scale Kenya Forum, the launch of Pathways for Prosperity: Commission on Technology and Inclusive Development among others. The events have attracted high-level delegations from the president of the republic of Kenya, local and international Government officials, investors, representatives from multinational corporations, NGOs, Corporates among others.
The conversations have been around policy change; having good policies and regulatory environment where businesses can thrive, trends that are reshaping the business environment, promoting youth entrepreneurship and innovation and building strong, lasting, strategic cooperation between public, private and businesses locally and internationally.
Last week, President Uhuru Kenyatta and Mr. Pierre Gattaz, President of MEDEF, French leading Business Confederation, held an interactive forum during the inaugural Stars in Africa: EU-Africa Youth and Entrepreneurship Forum which was held at the iHub. Stars in Africa Forum is the result of a global initiative that promotes youth entrepreneurship as actors of inclusive and sustainable growth in the continent.
During his speech, President Kenyatta said, “This is a great time to invest and to prosper in Africa. Today’s venue, iHub, is home to young innovators and entrepreneurs and speaks to the creativity, boldness and resolute spirit of our young people, who seek to use their ideas to prosper, working with partners from around the world. And they are thriving because Africa is changing. Africa is marching away from a narrative of helplessness to that of hard work and prosperity, anchored on investment and trade.”
He continued to say that Africa was also keen to transform itself into an ideal place of doing business and has undertaken reforms in the last ten years to create a conducive environment for business. He assured foreign investors that Africa is now ripe for investment and prosperity, saying its youthful, creative and innovative entrepreneurs are bold and resolute in implementing their ideas.
Before joining the delegation at the Stars in Africa Forum, the President took his time to interact, listen, learn and inquire about what the entrepreneurs and innovators in our space are working on. The president was extremely impressed and proud of the entrepreneurs. He was accompanied by Cabinet Secretaries Adan Mohamed (Industry, Trade and Cooperatives) and Margaret Kobia (Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs).
This is the second time the president is visiting the iHub.
This is a great time to invest and to prosper in Africa. Today’s venue, iHub, is home to young innovators and entrepreneurs and speaks to the creativity, boldness and resolute spirit of our young people, who seek to use their ideas to prosper, working with global partners. pic.twitter.com/gyICkSFLU4— Uhuru Kenyatta (@UKenyatta) March 6, 2018
In addition to the Stars in Africa Forum, we were also honored to host Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati, minister of finance of Indonesia; and Strive Masiyiwa, founder and executive chairman of Econet during the launch of Pathways for Prosperity: Commission on Technology and Inclusive Development. The commission was launched to explore the role of technology in driving progress and inclusion in developing countries.
"As an entrepreneur, technology underpins everything I do, and I am fascinated by what is coming down the line. But I know that there are also potential pitfalls and risks. This commission gives us a way of working together to understand how to harness technology for good, use it to enhance opportunities for all and drive inclusive growth." - Strive Masiyiwa
"Innovation can help people transform their lives, but only if they have access to it. This commission brings together diverse thinkers and doers committed to ensuring that everyone, no matter how rich or poor, can take advantage of technological innovation." said Melinda Gates
In December 2017, we were also honored to host Hon. Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Canada. Hon. Ahmed Hussen visited to iHub to learn more about the ecosystem in Kenya and how we can work together to continue growing the ecosystem. Hon. Hussen mentioned excitedly about two key initiatives that are to spur innovation and collaboration, particularly the Global Skills Strategy and the Start-Up Visa Program, which he championed in Canada. Present in the meeting was our Managing Director Mary Gicharu and the Managing Director of iRise Somalia, Abdihakim Ainte who is a close friend of the iHub.
We look forward to hosting and facilitating more amazing events this year in order to continue growing the ecosystem in Kenya and Africa in general. We are focusing on bringing more ecosystem enablers to join our initiatives on growing entrepreneurship that is anchored on innovative thinking, forward and more readily accessible technologies, and a landscape that is seizing the opportunity of a vibrant and young community.
Stay tuned for more updates on upcoming events