By Mark Kawalya
AfriLabs, an organization that runs a network of innovation hubs, has launched AfriLabs Academy as a mechanism to support startup ecosystem enablers with skills and training in Africa.
With a presence in over 52 African countries, AfriLabs supports more than 340 innovation centres with the goal of building a community around the steadily emerging technology hubs in Africa.
As a part of its AfriLabs Capacity Building Programme, the AfriLabs Academy is designed to equip African hub managers and staff with startup support structures, with the training and management requisite skills that are crucial for the support of the growing number of startups in their communities.
“The AfriLabs Academy is a knowledge repository for innovation hubs and other stakeholders across Africa designed to equip startup ecosystem enablers with the needed skills and training to support African startups. I am proud of the team, partners, and community for making this happen,” said Anna Ekeledo, executive director at AfriLabs.
The AfriLabs Academy features content on its platform that was created and certified by Strathmore University and is based on a needs assessment that was taken to identify the requirements the ESOs and hubs had.
The Academy was launched during a virtual ceremony on Wednesday, May 18, 2022, with major stakeholders in the African Innovation space in attendance. African innovation hubs play a key role in enabling tech innovation and entrepreneurship, which are the drivers for providing scalable solutions to Africans’ core social and economic problems. These hubs, however, would benefit from support to enable them to function better. AfriLabs carried out a needs assessment to understand the needs of Enterprise Support Organisations (ESOs) and hubs.
“The Needs Assessment report established a need for a comprehensive harmonised ESOs curriculum framework that addresses the skills and business development gaps as well as their financial sustainability. The AfriLabs Academy addresses the skills and knowledge gap,” said Nanko Madu, director of programmes at AfriLabs.
On completion of the programme, participants will attain certification that will have collaborative insignia from both AfriLabs and Strathmore University. The university co-created content for the AfriLabs Academy which was based on the assessment needs of ESOs and hubs