The Higher Education Institutions (HEI) Innovation Practice announces the Success of the HEI Innovation Summit

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[Friday, 7th June, 2024—Nairobi Kenya]   

Nairobi, Kenya – “As we come to the end of this remarkable HEI Innovation Summit, the conversation is all about economic prosperity. It’s about whether Africa’s farmers can leverage technology for smarter farming, whether Africa’s babies don’t continue to die of jaundice, or whether our people have quality water to drink. It is about a better standard of living and the critical role that we have to play in driving that conversation forward.” – Jude Adejuwon, the Practice Lead of CcHUB/iHUB HEI Innovation Practice, said in closing remarks at the HEI Innovation Summit held on the 5th and 6th of June 2024 at iHUB in Nairobi, supported by GIZ Make-IT in Africa on behalf of the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), brought together thought leaders, educators, industry experts, and innovators from across Africa and beyond.

Ojoma Ochai, Managing Director of CcHUB/iHUB, delivered the two-day event opening address, setting the tone for the day’s discussions. “Our work in the HEI Innovation Practice is dedicated to ensuring that academic institutions contribute to positioning this sector more firmly within the innovation ecosystem for greater African prosperity and growth.”

Olaf Seidel, Head of Projects at Make-IT in Africa/GIZ, addressed the HEI Innovation Focus and Framework of Support, while Prof Robert Gateru, Vice-Chancellor of Riara University, provided insights into the Uni:nnovators Startups-In-Residence Program. Dr. Bosun Tijani, The Hon. Minister of Communications, Innovation & Digital Economy, Nigeria, delivered a compelling guest speech on rethinking the role of HEIs in Africa’s innovation ecosystem (virtually). 

The student demonstrations, which were a key highlight of the HEI Innovation Summit, showcased the innovations fostered by students from higher education institutions in Namibia, Kenya, and Nigeria. One such student is Josephina Gebhard from the Namibian University of Science and Technology (NUST) with her startup ‘Hydrowatch’, which is a water testing system that gives real-time results on water quality, eliminating human error and long laboratory wait times. 

These presentations not only illustrated the creativity and ingenuity of African students but also emphasised the vital role that Co-creation Hub and Make-IT in Africa play in nurturing and supporting young innovators.  “As students, we need to believe in ourselves. We are capable of solving problems in our society. Being afforded the platform to showcase my startup in front of experts from all over Africa has been an invaluable opportunity, helping me transform my ideas into impactful solutions that address real-world challenges.” Elijah Chepkwon Cheruiyot, Founder Harvestwise Solutions Limited

Ultimately the Summit was a platform for stakeholders from the Government, Higher Education Institutions, and Investors to connect, exchange ideas, and forge valuable partnerships that will drive innovation coming out of the excellence of higher education. The event promises to leave a lasting impact on the future of higher education, challenging the status quo and redefining the future of learning.

About iHUB:

iHUB is an innovation hub and tech community centre based in Nairobi, Kenya. iHUB is a nexus point for technologists, entrepreneurs, investors, and tech companies in East Africa. It provides a platform for networking, collaboration, and the development of innovative solutions to local and global challenges.

About HEI Innovation Practice at iHUB

HEI Innovation Practice is one of the leading practices at iHUB committed to fostering the culture of innovation and entrepreneurship that empowers academic innovators and researchers to thrive in a rapidly changing world and contribute to economic prosperity in Africa. Set up in 2022, the HEI Innovation practice has impacted over 1000 student innovators across 11 universities in 5 African countries and disbursed over $200,000 to student innovators building various minimum viable products from research-based innovations.

To stay updated with the HEI Innovation Practice and their work, follow them across X and Instagram @cchubacademia and LinkedIn and Facebook @HEI_Innovation_at_CcHUB. For partnerships and support shoot us a mail via hei@cchub.africa and jude@cchub.africa.

About Co-creation hub

CcHUB (Co-Creation Hub) is a leading innovation centre and social impact accelerator in Africa, with a mission to accelerate the application of social capital and technology for economic prosperity. Founded in Nigeria in 2010, CcHUB has grown to become a vibrant community of innovators, entrepreneurs, and technologists working together to solve some of Africa’s most pressing challenges.

CcHUB provides a platform for collaboration and innovation, offering support to startups, social entrepreneurs, and tech enthusiasts through its various programs and initiatives. These include incubation and acceleration programs, funding opportunities, access to workspace and resources, and a vibrant community of like-minded individuals.

About Make-IT in Africa

‘Make-IT in Africa’ promotes digital innovation for sustainable and inclusive development in Sub-Saharan Africa. Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH implements this project on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) as part of BMZ’s Digital Africa Initiative. In close collaboration with more than 20 corporate and financing partners, social enterprises, hubs, and networks, ‘Make-IT in Africa’ supports an enabling environment for young tech entrepreneurs – to provide better access to finance, markets, and skills. In its showcasing series ‘Digital Innovation Made in Africa’, the project presents good practices from African tech entrepreneurs with a high potential for social impact. More information and contact: www.make-it-in-africa.org

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