Thursday, June 4, 2020

BOTSWANA GETS HER OWN VERSION OF MUZINDA HUB

Established in 2014, the vision behind Muzinda Hub was to catalyse youth job creation within Africa by providing young adults access to IT programming and digital skills training.

Neighbouring country – Zimbabwe got its version the same year but now Botswana has since played a catch, thanks largely to the Zimbabwean technology businessman – Strive Masiyiwa.

With the help of Masiyiwa, the Botswana Innovation Hub in partnership with Dare to dream this week officially launched Muzinda Hub at Block 8 in the capital Gaborone.

Dare to Dream is an organisation headed by Captain Kgomotso Phatsimo which is dedicated to enhancing technology skills among young people, especially women.

By the time of the launch on Friday, the program has enrolled 500 students who have been provided with full scholarships for a training that takes place for six months.

“My biggest dream and greatest aspiration is to help nurture African global excellence in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), aviation, entrepreneurship and leadership. Muzinda hub is committed to provide young Batswana with excess online globally competitive digital skill training where it will assist in youth unemployment and build positive social economic transformation through the use and application of technology,” said Phatsimo at the launch.

It is expected that one of Masiyiwa’s company – Liquid Telecom provide free internet access and computers at the venue, located at Botswana Innovation Hub. The training will cover various programming languages as well as business skills, and Muzinda Hub alumni will serve as virtual mentors and tutors to the students.

“Within six months we expect Muzinda Hub Botswana students to be software developers who will be able to create apps and websites, and work as freelancers or get full time employment. On average, our alumni earn $1, 500 (P16, 000) month as freelancers. We expect 70 percent of the students to become freelancers earning on average a combined income of $6.3 million per annum using their new skills,” Masiyiwa said some two weeks back when he first announced the partnership.

He added that, “I promised during the Gaborone town hall we would train fibre optic installers. The main purpose of the training is for the young people to be empowered with skills to form their own companies to commission fibre installations and projects as Afripreneurs,” he said.

Speaking at the launch on Friday, President of Botswana -Mokgweetsi Masisi said youths are pioneer in this program as it sets them apart from the rest.

“So many people are training for and are in jobs that would not exist in future and so many people who are in school are going to end up doing jobs that they never have imagined. As youths you should learn the concept of transforming from a resource based economy to a knowledge based economy,” he said.

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