__Delivering on promises made at Botswana town hall.
Some of you will recall that amazing town hall I held recently with the President of Botswana, His Excellency Mokgweetsi E.K. Masisi. During our discussion, I offered to help young entrepreneurs in Botswana by training them for the new digital economy. When I got back to London, I convened some of our key executives and asked them to create a Task Force to ensure I delivered on each one of my promises. Today I want to report back to you on progress so far:
1. Creating a coding school: first cohort of 500 student trainees selected and program launched.
HE President Masisi told me he was very keen to train experts in the new field of coding, one of the crucial skills for the new digital economy that we have been talking about in this series.
I am excited to tell you today that 500 students have now been selected and provided full scholarships for the training which will take place over six months. 60% are women! The photo for this post is one of our first days…
# To lead the Muzinda Hub Botswana initiative (located at the Innovation Hub of Botswana), we identified an amazing Motswana social entrepreneur called Captain Kgomotso Phatsima, one of the first female pilots in Botswana. She’s also founder and president of “Dare to Dream”. Captain Phatsima is one of the most talented entrepreneurs I have come across in Africa and already doing sterling work as a STEM advocate.
# Our team at Liquid Telecom Botswana has provided free access to internet at the venue. We’re also kitting out the hub with computers to be used for the training.
# The training will cover various programming languages as well as business skills as we seek to build not only tech skills but business acumen.
# Our Muzinda Hub alumni will serve as virtual mentors and tutors to these students as they take on this exciting journey. Since we launched Muzinda Hub in 2014, alumni have earned US$120m+ in income from digital jobs as freelancers building apps and websites for local and international clients. All our alumni were previously unemployed school and university graduates.
# Within six months we expect the Muzinda Hub Botswana students to be software developers who will be able to create apps and websites and work as freelancers or get employed full or part time. (Coding is the most sought after skill globally with an unemployment rate of 4%). On average our alumni earn $1500 per month a freelancers. Based on stats from our alumni database, we expect 70% of these students to become freelancers earning on average a combined income of $6.3 million per annum using their new skills.
# We also expect 10% of these graduates to pursue the formation of their own tech startups whilst on the program. Through this program these startups will be incubated to the point of having a working prototype and a fundable business case! These 10% can slot naturally into the incubation program currently at the Innovation Hub in Botswana as well as other international accelerators. (#Senior Class: Please tell the others on the platform what an #Accelerator is… Important to know!)
That is not all!!
2. Fibre optic training program. First cohort of 100 students selected. Training launches today, 29 July!
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!
The five-day training will take place over a period of four weeks and includes: 1) introduction to fibre optic; 2) underground cable installation; 3) overhead cable installation; 4) splicing and testing fibre optic; and 5) soft skills, such as how to use the Technites mobile app to get fibre installation jobs, health and safety, and customer care. Trainings will be led by two of our professionals from Liquid Telecom and one from Technites Africa.
My plan is also to ask the government to allow us to place at least 10% students from other African countries at our centers in Zimbabwe, Kenya and now Botswana.
My appreciation for the team at Muzinda Hub and also at Liquid Kenya and Liquid Botswana for undertaking these program with our local partners. You guys set aside precious work time to ensure our promises were met.
To be continued. . .
Strive Masiyiwa is the founder and Executive Chairman of the Econet Group. He serves on several international boards including Unilever, and the Global Advisory boards of the Council on Foreign Relations and Stanford University. A board member of the Rockefeller Foundation for 15 years, he also serves as Chairman of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). He is a co-founder of the Carbon War Room, Pathways for Prosperity, and the Global Business Coalition on Education. He and his wife, Tsitsi, co-founded the Higherlife Foundation and are signators of the Giving Pledge.View all posts by Strive Masiyiwa