According to a published report by Disrupt Africa, the previous year just ended saw a lot of tech hubs which rose across the continent. The report then highlighted a couple of them which had been existing but many of us did not even note their existence.
Habaka – Madagascar
Habaka was founded in 2011 – the first innovation hub in Madagascar. It offers co-working space, runs events and offers training, while since September 2014 it has also been running the CoderDojo programme.
However, this year Habaka stepped up the pace, embarking on consultations with the Malagasy government on how best to grow the technology ecosystem in the country.
“The government and the Economic Development Board of Madagascar had to submit an application for a proposal to the African Development Bank, and asked for input from us for the first time,” Habaka co-founder and chief executive officer (CEO) Andriankoto Ratozamanana told Disrupt Africa.
“We think it’s meaningful consideration for us and a sign of openness. Working with the government through different ministries is key in our mission of reshaping Madagascar’s economy through technology.”
FocusHub – Nigeria
The Nigerian city of Port Harcourt became home to a new Niger Delta-based incubator, FocusHub, this year.
The technology entrepreneurship and social innovation hub has a mandate of creating sustainable business models dedicated to solving developmental challenges in the Niger Delta.
The non-profit community aims to provide a space for startups, SMEs, entrepreneurs, IT developers, impact investors, students and corporates to meet and interact for the purpose of technology and knowledge transfer, mentoring, training, incubation and networking.
In October it opened applications to first six-month incubation programme.
Jokkolabs – the Gambia
West African co-working group Jokkolabs opened a new space in Banjul, the Gambia, in May – the first co-working space in the country.
Manager of Jokkolabs Banjul, Therese Mam Kangu Keita told Disrupt Africa the new space was opened with the intention of providing young people in the Gambia with the facilities to develop as entrepreneurs, and implement projects that can effect social change.
“The Gambia has a population of about 1.8 million people, 46.5 per cent of which is literate. And the majority of the youth who are literate are unemployed,” Keita said.
“We want to change the status quo and propel young people into a mindset where they do not wait for the government to solve their unemployment issues. We want to help cultivate a generation not to think as future employees but as future entrepreneurs.”