It’s irrefutable that Tech is the future! And as we can see, it is also the present. With huge investments poured into the information technology fields across different countries, birthing startups and fueling the technological drive we have seen over the last decade in Africa, African Founders, Engineers, Product Specialists, and Investors are not just building solutions for their countries but for a global market.
As we enter a new phase of this said drive which brightens the future of African and her youths, continental wide organisations and countries continue to position themselves for available talents, creating policies and enabling startups and tech companies to form alliances, in a bid to become a key central hub of all these and its activities.
One of such countries, Rwanda, where one can register their business in less than four days, sits second in the best place to do business in Africa and is among the top 40 places for ease of business, the East African country is gradually positioning itself as a choice destination for startups and investments.
To understand Rwanda´s aspirations and the work being done by all actors involved, Dreams Talks, spoke with the Manager of kLab, a leading Rwandan hub, Yeetah Kamikazi.
kLab is a pioneer technology innovation hub in Rwanda where entrepreneurs work on their business ideas to turn them into viable and sustainable business models.
Dreams Talks: We know kLab is an open Space where Innovators can work on their business ideas turning them into viable business model, but what’s kLab signature service?
Yeetah Kamikazi: kLab was the first technology innovation hub with great impact that was established in 2012 in Rwanda, and our uniqueness is creating competent tech talents and outsourcing them as well as pre-incubating tech entrepreneur’s early-stage business ideas into viable market fit solutions. Most of the hubs focus on the startups that are already generating income or already at the market.
Dreams Talks: As Manager what’s your Duty at kLab?
Yeetah Kamikazi: My duty is to create more talents that provide transformative solutions for the Rwandan ecosystems and Africa as a whole. At kLab we vision Africa that is led by technology revolutionary solutions that drive the world economy for the better Africa we want.
Dreams Talks: What are the long term objectives for kLab?
Yeetah Kamikazi: The long term objective is to birth real revolutionary solutions, tech startups that grow and expand continentally and globally with leading impactful solutions.
Dreams Talks: How enthusiastic are Rwandans towards technology, especially in the rural areas?
Yeetah Kamikazi: Rwanda is really playing a great role here, there are so many technology initiatives that are initiated, many projects and programs, new hubs that are being set-up in place to enable and catalyze the digital transformation in the Rwandan community. Rwanda is among the best and most advanced countries in Africa where the infrastructures, policies, support programs are present and easily facilitated for startups innovation value chains. Most of the hubs are here in Kigali But the expansion is inevitable, Rwandan hubs are expanding into other districts of the country. It is with that regard that kLab has initiated programs across the country such as talent dictation programs that include universities and refugee coding programs through the kLab startups academy.
Dreams Talks: In your opinion, what are the challenges facing African Hubs?
Yeetah Kamikazi: The different challenges faced by African hubs primarily are access to finance for the hub sustainability and access to market. But again, through adequate research we want to dig deep into the issues so that we can understand how we approach and solve these challenges.
Dreams Talks: We’d love a quick anecdote on “kLab’s best success story since its conception in 2012
Yeetah Kamikazi: Many successful stories, to mention but few are AC Group, Academic Bridge, Khenz, O’genius Panda, Guez Show, Kalisimbi Technologies and so forth were born in kLab and the most impactful to Rwanda community is AC Group – Its solution which serves Kigali local passengers in transportation, using a payment card for the transport payment.
Dreams Talks: How important has the government been towards the tech ecosystem in Rwanda ?
Yeetah Kamikazi: The Government of Rwanda has been consistently supportive and playing a big role in the digital transformation for the Rwandan community and continentally through Youth Connekt, Transform Africa, tech enabling policies, Hang Pitch Festival and other tech relevant initiatives to promote and support ICT ecosystem and techpreneurs as a whole.
Rwanda is not stopping there as the country, at the 2022 Afrilabs Annual Gathering, which was held in Lusaka, Zambia, were awarded the hosting rights for the 2023 edition. As Rwanda prepares to host the rest of Africa next year and the world as well, one thing it will further attempt to drive home is why Kigali should be the next destination for African entrepreneurs and their startups, showing investment readiness and its youthful demographic which is about 60% of its total population.