Recap of the activities happened at Buni hub on June.

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Brian kick starting the internship programme.

June has been the most active months at Buni hub with a lot of activities happening at the hub. To start with, the third batch of the Buni Internship Programme arrived to kick start the programme on 6th of June. We had more than 30 students from different colleges in and outside Dar es Salaam attending  the programme. The orientation session of the programme was a one day session to get to know each other and  brainstorm on the ideas that we are going to work on during the period of the programme. The session ended up by getting 13 ideas that were proposed by interns themselves to be tested if they worth our time and resources to work on.

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Dr. Mshinda during the Africa Progress report discussion.

On 11th of June, Buni hub hosted Miss Marieme Jamme from Africa Gathering organization during the launching of the Africa Progress Panel Report in Tanzania. The brainstorming session of the report happened at Buni hub where by stakeholders from different public and private agencies took part in the discussion on how the report could help to improve the agriculture and fishery sector in Tanzania. The 2014 report of the Africa Progress Panel is focusing on the agriculture and fishery sector in Africa and its potential to empower and develop Africa. The brainstorming session attracted individuals from universities, ministries, researchers and companies looking to invest in agriculture and fishery sector.

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Mr. Bola Garbadeen speaking to the audience during the session.

On 26th of June, Buni hub in collaboration with Mara Foundation hosted Mr. Bola Garbadeen, African financial inclusion expert who was talking about entrepreneurship and funding opportunities for start-ups in Tanzania. Mr. Bola Garbadeen was using his experience on working in the banking industry to equip the start-ups owners with skills required for them to acquire funds from banks and venture capitalists. The two hours session attracted a lot questions and inputs from the audience mainly entrepreneurs who attended the session.

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Volunteer teaching secondary students basic web languages.

It was a great month for secondary school children who are passionate in technology when Tigo and “Reach for Change” funded initiative “Apps and Girls” conducted a full day training for over 80 secondary school girls at Buni hub. The session was more about introducing them in basic coding and motivate them to develop interests in ICT. Ten volunteers from “Apps and Girls” facilitated the session. The session was covered with media houses in Tanzania as one of the few event organized to target girls in ICT in Tanzania. TANZICT project funded the lunch and drinks for the event.

We had couple of other events happening at the hub including;  Kick starting The Human Development Innovation Fund (HDIF) awareness session with DTBI and individuals from DFID who explained in details about the conditions for the people who wants to apply for the fund. We had several volunteers conducting sessions at the hub including “First track training on Github” which was conducted by Michael Benedict an expert on platforms development as part of him giving back to the Buni community.

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Marieme conducting her session.

Marieme Jamme from Africa Gathering conducted a session “Visibility, Credibility and Profitability” for entrepreneurs at the hub explaining how they can make themselves visible on the market so that they build their credibility and make themselves profitable. She touched different  problems facing tech entrepreneurs in Africa and how collaboratively we can overcome them.

Buni hub also co-organized two activities with DTBi; the Demo Africa innovation tour session and launching of the documentary which speaks about modern entrepreneurship methods using the case study of Silicon Valley. The movie was watched at the hub with  the community members and later on shared their experience by relating what is happening in Silicon Valley with the local start-up ecosystem.

Opportunity for innovators  on Young Innovators Competition – ITU Telecom World 2014

ITU, the leading United Nations agency for information and communication technology, they are seeking the most promising tech start-ups making use of open source technologies for disaster management. This could include disaster preparedness, early warning, emergency communication and response, and recovery from natural disasters.

They are looking for communication technologies, teaching tools, new equipment to save lives during a disaster, and new tools to help clean up, recover and rebuild after the event. Examples of open source technologies used in disaster management may include 3D printing, UAVs, Raspberry Pi and Arduino – we invite you to surprise us with your innovative approach.

Are you an entrepreneur under the age of 30 and interested in winning up to USD 10,000 in funding plus mentorship, networking, and high-level exposure?

Do you want to be part of the select group of 10 young innovators from all over the world present at ITU Telecom World 2014 in Doha, Qatar?

Apply now at: https://ideas.itu.int/

Deadline: Thursday, July 31 2014

2 hours with Marieme Jamme at Buni hub

Marieme Jamme from Africa Gathering was in Dar es Salaam in June 2014 to launch the Africa  Progress Panel report in Tanzania.

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Marieme having one on one chat with entrepreneurs at the hub

As part of her four days visit in Dar es Salaam, Marieme spend her last day with the Buni hub community members sharing her life experience and inspire them to dream big and become African champions of success.

During the two hours session she held at the hub, Marieme started by explaining to us the importance of respect and the role it plays in someone’s life success. She explained to the hub members importance of respecting people especially those whom you don’t know who they are or what they do and what role they can play in your life. She explained by giving an example of life as a circle with full of dots and every person you meet in your life and treat them well is one step further in accomplishing your circle  (life’s mission), you can’t afford to miss a dot since you don’t want to have a circle with holes.

“You’re missing opportunities because you are putting obstacles on your way by judging people.” Marieme

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Marieme explaining the VCP model

Marieme shared with the hub members what she call “The Passport of Success” the VCP model to the technology entrepreneurs and community members at the hub as their path towards success. In her VCP model which stands for Visibility, Credibility and Profitability, she was keen to explain to the community members why is it necessary for them to visible, credible and make profit to whatever they do. She said one of the challenges facing the tech hubs in Africa is profitability. It is the time users of tech hubs to start to think very hard on how they can run sustainable and successful businesses to generates profit as a return to the free facilities and resources they are given. She explains her fear of the future of the African tech hubs if this continues.

About visibility, she explained about the positive usage of social media pages and accounts to build your corporate identity. She told entrepreneurs at the hub that, they should use social media to showcase what they are doing and define themselves to the general public with their skills and abilities. She said people should know what you do and your level of competence if you want to have successful businesses and build credibility. What you post on social media, what you comment on forums, articles you wrote and your social media campaigns tend to bring in right people for you to work with and create more opportunities for yourself.

“Be yourself, after they know you, they will like you and then they will follow you. You have to create your own identity and let people understand what you are standing for.” Marieme

She insisted, African entrepreneurs have to work really hard and be very careful on how they manage their time. She encourage hub members to manage their time and frequently analyze themselves and their works, she wanted them to question  themselves questions like, what have I achieved so far ? or What should I do to go to the next stage ?

She also talked about the African entrepreneurs to focus on reducing destructions in their lives if they want to succeed, she advised them to stay focus and get things done with no excuses. She believes failing to deliver to the expectations is something facing most of the African tech entrepreneurs.

MariŽme Jamme - Africa Gathering & Dakar Dragons

Marieme Jamme

She explained about the concept of “The Pizza Base of Africa”, how Africa could share the opportunities available at the continent through collaboration and seizing the opportunities as they come.   She finished by telling the entrepreneurs the secrets of her success which is three things, discipline, consistency and determination and she wanted them to adopt this.  This was one of the great talks we have ever receive at the hub.

About Marieme: Mariéme Jamme is a Senegalese born-British businesswoman who runs a technology consultancy business in London. Her company, Spotone One Global Solutions, helps international technology companies selling enterprise software solutions to set a foothold in Africa, Middle East and Asia. Marieme is best known for her role in promoting technology, good governance, transparency and a better education standard in Africa.

 

Why entrepreneurship is arduous option for Tanzanian youths.

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youths waiting to be interviewed for immigration job posts.

 

Listening to the parliamentary session two days ago, every political leader was eager to speak about the current situation of tremendous increase of unemployed youths in our communities. The government has been exploring different options to counter the issue but the problem is unsettled, and some may choose to say its worsen.

 

“More than 10,000 applicants. Only 70 candidates needed, immigration job posts. Unemployment is a time bomb waiting to explode, government should invest in creating conducive ecosystem for self employment in this country. Entrepreneurship is no longer a luxury it is a necessity in Tanzania.”

The logical escape route from the problem is to build conducive ecosystem to foster entrepreneurship among youth in Tanzania. Decision makers are preaching about entrepreneurship and a lot of campaigns and initiatives have been taken for the past few years to encourage entrepreneurship culture among Tanzanian youths but why, we are still facing the same challenge. Why Tanzanian youths are reluctant to become entrepreneurs?

“ While the total unemployment rate in Tanzania has dropped from 11.7 percent in 2006 to 10.7 percent in 2011, youth unemployment is still an issue of great concern.  More recently, there has been less foreign investment and development assistance from developed nations. Not only must the current global situation be taken into account, the fact that 800,000 to one million youth enter the Tanzanian labor force each year is not to be underestimated. “ His Excellency Dr. Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, President of the United Republic of Tanzania, his article on The Center of Global Health and Diplomacy.

If we can understand the roots of the problem, then it will be very easy to adopt the solution to the problem. First of all we need to understand to create society of entrepreneurs is a collective effort, it is not something that can be done by the government alone or a certain international initiative, it is a role of everyone. The two biggest factors hindering Tanzanian youths to become entrepreneurs is the mindset and the ecosystem.

Speaking about the mindsets, entrepreneurs take risks and make tough decisions. Are we prepared to take risks and learn from the mistakes ? What is the family reaction when a family member who has just graduated want to be an entrepreneur ? What does our education say about entrepreneurship ? Who is an entrepreneur in our society ? Do people understand the importance of vocational training ? I remember sitting with someone few weeks back and that person telling me few years back it took some guts for someone to call himself an entrepreneur, you were considered to be a total loss and someone who have lost the direction. What is the situation now ? are we still there and what should be done, to change that mindset, those are the most important questions we should asks ourselves.  

If the class of people who are attending vocational training and hands on skills training are those who have failed to qualify to enter university or higher education system. What does this say about our perception towards entrepreneurship ?

Getting back to the ecosystem, when I was an entrepreneur, the biggest challenge I faced was formalizing my company. Believe me the process looks very clear but the system is very challenging; The taxation system, the registration system, the flow of information, supportive local markets and weak policies to protects interests of start-ups companies, is what makes entrepreneurship a day dream for most of Tanzanian youths.

“When you start to tax a company from its first day of operation you are simply taxing the capital, the question is how will this entrepreneur survive while his business depends on a bank loan. ? “ Senior local entrepreneur

We can learn from the tax exemption scheme for new start-up companies adopted in Singapore. The system was introduced in Year of Assessment (YA) 2005 to support entrepreneurship and help  local enterprises to grow. Under this scheme, a newly incorporated company that meets the qualifying conditions can claim for full tax exemption on the first $100,000 of normal chargeable income for each of its first three consecutive years.

“The information to register companies and formalize them is limited to the local entrepreneurs and the process is complicated. It takes a lot of effort to incorporate your company as a limited company. Entrepreneurs ended up being conned by brokers who pretend to help them to register their companies and charge them extra. What if the information was streamlined ? How many youth are afraid of opening companies due to these complexities ?” Start-up Owner

Every stakeholder entitled with the position and resources to help entrepreneurs in Tanzania should understand. If we really want to encourage Tanzanian youth to get into entrepreneurship then, we need to reform the system, streamline the information, set policies that will push local markets to them and finally the financial system should be supportive.

“While there has been notable progress in education and training, we must ensure that no reversals in development occur. We must bring back hope for the youth of Tanzania and maintain the security of the African continent.” His Excellency Dr. Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, President of the United Republic of Tanzania, his article on The Center of Global Health and Diplomacy.

 

Hackathon on changing lives of African children using ICT.

As part of commemorating the African child day On 16th June every year, the African Union and its Partners celebrate the Day of the African Child (DAC), in commemoration of the 1976 protests by school children in Soweto, South Africa. This year’s theme is “A child friendly, quality, free and compulsory education for all children in Africa”

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Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Communication,Science and Technology Dr Patrick Makungu view kids projects at BUNI hub.

BUNI hub is organizing Hackathon on “Solving African Children Problem Using ICT”. As part of the event we will have brainstorming session on the issue and relate how ICT solutions could be used to solve some of those problems.

Next Monday, 16th June we will host the event from 10:00 am – 01:00 pm. You are invited to become a partner or participate in the event. The event is free and open for anyone passionate on solving African children problems to attend. BUNI hub is located at Sayansi, Kijitonyama, COSTECH building, ground floor.

We want to hear your view and opinions on different issues affecting children in Africa. The session will be interesting if individuals from different background come together to attend; not only ICT.  Be the change you want to see. For more details of the hackathon you can email BUNI hub manager jumanne@tanzict.or.tz .