The Association of Startups and SME Enabler of Kenya (ASSEK), Innovation Support Network (ISN), Hubs, Nigeria and Technology & Business Hubs Network, Ghana (TBHN) signed a tripartite memorandum of understanding (MOU) on 29th of October, 2019 towards an integrated innovation ecosystem among the three countries.
This MoU is to foster collaboration amongst these networks as they work to encourage knowledge exchange, capacity development programmes for the networks as well as growth.
The MOU was signed at the 4th Afrilabs Annual Gathering currently happening at the African Union Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Representing the network of hubs at the signing of the MOU were Sheilah Birgen, Vice Chair, ASSEK; Fiifi Baidoo for TBHN; Hanson Johnson, Ecosystem Director, ISN Hubs; Jeremy Riro, Treasurer, ASSEK and Chukwuemeka Fred Agbata Jnr., Marketing Director, ISN Hubs.
The three associations are part of AfriLabs, the largest pan-African network of technology and innovation hubs with over 174 members across 44 countries. This collaboration is in line with the theme of Afrilab’s this year’s Gathering that is ‘Connect: Towards an Integrated Innovation Ecosystem’.
Hanson Johnson in a statement stated that in Africa, the number of youth is growing rapidly. In 2015, 226 million youth aged 15-24 lived in Africa, accounting for 19 per cent of the global youth population.
He added that according to the United Nations, by 2030, it is projected that the number of youth in Africa will have increased by 42 per cent and is expected to continue to grow throughout the remainder of the 21st century, more than doubling from current levels by 2055.
This is scary and caused us to worry, hence this strategic MoU with our Kenyan and Ghanaian counterparts.
The partnership will provide a framework of cooperation and facilitate collaboration between the association as they share common interest within the continent.
About the partners:
Innovation Support Network (ISN) Hubs is a community of Hubs in Nigeria with the goal of promoting collaboration amongst hubs, entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystems across Nigeria. ISN is a non-profit organization.
Seventy-five Nigerian innovation hubs have come together to form a network with the aim of fostering greater collaboration and knowledge-sharing in the entrepreneurship space.
The Association of Startups and SME Enabler of Kenya (ASSEK) brings together organisations supporting the development and growth of startups and SMEs in Kenya, with the aim of actively promoting networking, capacity development, positioning the Kenyan entrepreneurial ecosystem internationally, drive policy and agenda for members with the government and facilitate member access to opportunities through collaborations and partnerships within the country as well as globally.
Also, Technology and Business Hubs Network (TBHN) consist of hubs in Ghana, (generic innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem enablers across the country) who have come together to use shared ideas and resources to develop human resource and equip innovative individuals with the requisite skills, build capacity to grow local innovations & businesses, build capacity for jobs creation and generate income.