AfriLabs has announced the launch of their e-learning platform which is focused on improving the quality of entrepreneurship and startup support across Afrika. Known as the AfriLabs Academy, it is a knowledge repository for Innovation Hubs and Enterprise Support Organisations (ESOs) across the continent.
The organization has said that the platform has been specially designed to equip Afrika's technology and innovation hubs with the needed skills and training to support Afrikan startups and MSMEs in their communities.
“The Needs Assessment report established a need for a comprehensive harmonized 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, AfriLabs.
Technology and innovation hubs in Afrika
Over the past decade, Afrika has experienced a boom in technology and innovation hubs and accelerators. At the beginning of the previous decade, hubs were mostly confined to the NGO sector and developmental projects. However, as the years have progressed there has been a growth in startup and innovation-focused hubs across the continent.
In total the continent thus far has over 600 hubs as it continues to add more at an impressive rate. In 2019 alone the number of hubs across Afrika grew by 40%.
Technology and innovation hubs in Afrika are key structures in enabling tech and entrepreneurship and are providing scalable solutions to Africa’s core economic and social problems. However, some of these hubs require support to help them function at full capacity.
In 2020, AfriLabs under the AfriLabs Capacity Building Programme undertook a Needs Assessment to identify the needs of Enterprise Support Organisations (ESOs) and hubs.
AfriLabs Academy is an initiative of AfriLabs and a part of the AfriLabs Capacity Building Programme (carried out thanks to AFD's support through the Digital Africa seed fund). It was designed to equip African Hub managers and staff, ESOs and other startup support structures with the training and management skills needed to improve their ability and capacity to support the growing number of startups and MSMEs in their communities. The content on the platform was co-created and certified by Strathmore University.
“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.
— By Tefo Mohapi