The kLab, Rwanda’s first technology hub is now gearing up to expand its reach to Universities. Under the kLab Campus Program, newly established hubs will be a collaboration between the kLab and existing tech hubs within college campus communities. The new program would grant university students the opportunity to become involved with tech — and to sharpen their skills.
According to HumanIPO, the kLab opened its doors last summer and has since afforded young adults the mentorship needed to hone tech innovation and ICT interests. Students wanting to take part in the new program will first go through an application process and if approved will join the ranks of ICT professionals working in conjunction with the kLab.
“The plan is to have similar communities in universities so that we establish a link between those who finish [their studies] and are already in the market who are facing challenges and realities, with those who are still in universities,” Claude Migisha, kLab general manager, told HumanIPO.
“Once you are a member you can benefit from different opportunities: you benefit from mentorship, you benefit from working in [our] space, you benefit from [the] different training we conduct, and you benefit from learning from peers” Migisha said.
HumanIPO reported that the kLab’s 12-month program currently hosts 80 members. Eleven start-ups have sprouted from the tech hub. Many ideas, Migisha added, have been able to takeoff because of the support the kLab provides. While students and participants have promising ideas — and already established ventures — business costs often prevent them from moving forward.
Fortunately, as a partnership between the Private Sector Federation and the Rwanda Development Board, the kLab is supported by the Rwandan government.
“It’s in line with what the government wants to do. The government wants to really enforce using ICT as an enabler in all key sectors. So… you have the young people of the nation creating soft solutions for the nation,” Migisha concluded. “These are homegrown solutions made by young Rwandans who understand the culture in all its context, so it is something that is really empowering young people.”