TechQuest inks deal with Egypt-based ICEALEX to develop digital talents and market ready innovative businesses across Africa. This partnership takes advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) for the collaboration between TechQuest STEM Academy, a non-profit organisation that provides education technology content, tools and resources for talent development and ICEALEX, an Egypt-based innovation hub.
“The partnership will focus on supporting startups and tech talent across both countries in the areas of market readiness, market access, corporate innovation models under a twinning concept. This collaboration will see proven innovation and technology concepts adapted for West and North Africa with multi country beneficiaries”, said Dr. Itoro Emembolu, a Director at TechQuest.
“The essence of the partnership between TechQuest and ICEALEX is to support our innovation processes for startups and MSMEs from the ideation stage, building a bridge across Africa, bringing excellence to our respective countries and to the people that we serve in the area of innovation,” she said after the signing of the partnership in Lagos.
Speaking about the collaboration, the Founder of ICEALEX, Ahmed Bastawy, noted that he is happy to close out the partnership discussion that commenced during the AfriLabs annual gathering earlier this year at Lusaka, Zambia. He believes the partnership will help develop a lot of talents to build business and technology capacity for Nigerians and Egyptians.
“I think the signing of this partnership between Techquest and ICEALEX will be the biggest highlight of 2022. For me, it is not just about the two organisations, but building a strong relationship between Nigeria and Egypt in terms of talent development in the digital space. We can work collaboratively in this Pan-African relationship as we inspire others to join us in boosting intra-Africa trade,” he said.
According to him, one of the advantages of this is that it will lower unemployment by helping entrepreneurs along the entire value chain since, as they develop their skills and talents, they also add layers of jobs across the economy. The partnership will also promote digital assets among the citizens in Nigeria, especially the youths as the country vigorously pursue digital economy and building impact ventures.
The Founder of TechQuest STEM Academy, Charles Emembolu disclosed that both organisations will also be collaborating on the Digital Innovation Hub (DIH) concepts. The DIH model is a robustly designed one stop shop that offers innovation and digitalisation support services to MSMEs and Startups especially in the Smart Cities specialization with a focus on Sustainable Agriculture, Smart Mobility and Healthcare. He said there are many of these digital innovation hubs in the world today, of which ICEALEX secured a slot for Africa.
“I want to emphasize that both innovation hubs will collaborate to build businesses that balance market readiness with investment focus. We will collaborate to bring talent development and support to Africa’s largest economies and peoples across Egypt and Nigeria,” Charles said.