Co-creation Hub (CcHUB) launched a Design Lab in Kigali, Rwanda's capital and largest city on February 14, 2019.
The launch of the Design Lab marks CcHUB’s debut in East Africa and reinforces her commitment to solving Africa's development and social challenges . With this expansion, CcHUB plans to invest up to $11 million in Rwanda.
With the CcHUB Design lab, we will be collaborating with organisations that may not have the capacity to design, build and innovate as quick as leaner startups would. The lab will also build on CcHUB’s extensive global and pan-African network of partners, research institutes and governmental organisations to execute practical design projects that will solve some of our social and business challenges at scale.
The Design Lab would serve as a creative space for domain experts and technical personnels to collaborate and innovate on Africa's biggest challenges in Public health, Education and Governance. Here are the objectives per challenge:
- Public health: To facilitate digital epidemiology particularly around better detection, surveillance of diseases and adherence to treatment.
- Education: To improve students’ interests, participation and learning outcomes in STEM education, with emphasis on teaching methods and use of creative creative content.
- Governance: To improve participatory governance, transparency, and effective public services for social and economic prosperity, using technology.
Since launching in 2011, CcHUB has been instrumental to the development of Nigeria's nascent tech community. In fact, it was one of the places that American CEO, Mark Zuckerberg visited on his trip to Africa, three years ago.
Within the eight years of its existence, they have been able to build a community of over 13,000 technologists, entrepreneurs and thought-leaders. The hub has incubated and provided support to over 100 early-stage ventures providing solutions to social problems with technology. The startups include Lifebank, a digital blood bank; WeCyclers, an effective waste management startup; and Budgit, a civic organisation facilitating citizens engagement with public data.
The first local company to partner with CcHub's Design Lab is Rwanda Biomedical Centre. By so doing, they will join the likes of Nigeria's Safe Online, Nimcure and European Commission-funded Go-Ga Lab.
Why Rwanda? and Why CcHub?
Speaking on why Rwanda, Bosun Tijani alluded to the ease of doing business in their country and the Rwandan Government's commitment to nurture innovation-driven enterprises.
Whilst our work from the lab will focus on the entire continent, we chose Rwanda as the country to operate from because of the ease of doing business in the country. Additionally, by collaborating with the Government of Rwanda, whose vision aligns with ours, we hope to find solutions that will enable socio-economic development, productivity and development across Africa.
Rwanda is making good on its vision, as they continue to attract investment from Africa-focused companies.
For instance, in 2018, software developer training company, Andela chose Kigali as their fourth African tech hub, Alibaba launched first electronic world trade hub (eWTP) there too, Volkswagen launched what is now called Rwanda’s first car-assembly plant.
Just last week, Rwanda's Minister of ICT and Innovation—Paula Ingabire announced the potential launch of the first smartphone factory in Rwanda, in partnership with Mara Corporation—a Pan-African technology company.
No doubts, their key tech and infrastructure support (eco)system is being built by the entrance of these companies.
Speaking of the launch, Paula Ingabire—Rwanda's Minister of ICT and Innovation explains why they partnered with CcHub.
CcHUB’s expansion into Kigali, marked with the launch of the Design Lab today, is an exciting landmark for Rwanda’s burgeoning tech community. Rwanda is keen on collaborating with world-class partners to establish ourselves as a leading destination that nurtures innovation-driven enterprises.
We see technology as an integral gateway and means of developing society—an ethos and mission shared by CcHUB.
As we strive to become a knowledge-based economy, we will continue to build long-lasting, strategic partnerships that celebrate excellence, forge ahead with progress and that are, essentially, a force for good that will impact thousands of people across the continent
Other dignitaries present at the launch include Kampeta Pitchette Sayinzoga—Director General, National Industrial Research & Development Agency, Rwanda, Patrick Buchana Nsenga—Chief Executive Officer, AC Group Rwanda and Jeanine U. Condo—Director General, Rwanda Biomedical Center.
Nigerian musician, Bez, was present to supply live musical entertainment.
Bosun confirms to Benjamin Dada, that the launch in Rwanda is part of an Africa expansion plan. We cannot wait to see where CcHub takes their mission of social development to next.
Update, 2:00 AM WAT, February 15, 2019: Structural edits were made.