- EAC’s Digital Skills for an Innovative East African Industry (dSkills@EA) project showcases innovations at the East African Business and Investment Summit 2023
6th September 2023, Kampala, Uganda – The recently concluded East African Business and Investment Summit witnessed a groundbreaking Innovators Pitching Session under the theme, “Science, Technology, and Innovation for Industrial, Trade, and Investment Development in the East African Community (EAC).” This session organized by is organized by East African Business Council (EABC) in partnership with EAC’s Digital Skills for an Innovative East African Industry (dSkills@EA) project served as a vibrant platform for innovators to showcase their visionary ideas and garnered significant attention from industry experts and leaders.
The Innovators Pitching Session featured 12 exceptional innovators hailing from various countries of the EAC. These innovators, driven by a shared passion for solving real-world challenges, presented their groundbreaking ideas to 500 captivated delegates from East Africa, Africa, and beyond.
The session culminated in an overwhelming show of support and interest from influential figures in the business and innovation spheres. Heads of business associations, industry experts, and government officials expressed their appreciation and interest in offering mentorship, business network linkages, capacity-building programs, and investment commitments to support these innovative ideas.
Mr. Jas Bedi, Chairperson of Kenya Private Sector Alliance, extended mentorship to an innovator, stating, “It is in my interest to offer you mentorship to better design your business model and share market insights for growth opportunities in the textile industry.”
Mr. Dennis Karera, Vice Chairperson of the East African Business Council, pledged investment support of up to $5,000 to a young innovator, Thacianne Tuyambaze (Rwanda), committed to assisting in her innovation’s further development.
Eng. Jan Willem Van Es, Vice Chairman of Waste Without Borders, pleadged to offered a platform for innovators to interact with business experts in the association, emphasizing the relevance of driving innovations to create value from challenges such as waste reduction and climate change.
Ms. Frida Mukasa Kasujja, Manager Client Relations at Afrexim Bank, shared insights on opportunities for collaboration with GIZ through EABC on technical advisory and funding for the early stages of innovative projects.
Mr. John Bosco Kalisa, Executive Director of the East African Business Council, extended an invitation to the “Takataka ni Mali” platform for innovators with digital solutions in waste management, supported through GIZ.
Ms. Eve Zwalango, General Manager of the American Chambers of Commerce, shared opportunities for innovators to connect with chamber members, promising upcoming mentorship programs and global business mentor linkages.
Dr. Hermogene Nsengimana from the African Organisation for Standardization applauded EABC for creating a platform for innovators to share their innovations, emphasizing the importance of patenting and protecting these brilliant digital innovations.
Mr. Jean Baptiste Havugimana, EAC Director Productive Sectors, expressed his heartfelt support, saying, “Innovations have touched my heart. As a region, we need to encourage such innovations as they address real-life situations. Each of these innovations needs to be made sustainable and commercialized for the benefit of the region’s increased industrialization efforts.”
The Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) pledged support to all innovators, offering them access to the Global Student Entrepreneur Awards (GSEA) for essential mentorship, recognition, and connections to propel their businesses to the next level of success.
Embracing Digital Innovation:
The East African Business and Investment Summit underscored the critical importance of embracing digital innovation and the digital revolution in enhancing industry value chains and advancing digitalization across the region. Panelists during the “Sustainable Industrialization and Value Chains” session echoed the need to implement essential measures to support entrepreneurship and finance the scaling of digital innovations.
Innovators also engaged business leaders at the exhibition booth, resulting in a dynamic exchange of ideas and opportunities.
The Innovators Pitching Session at the East African Business and Investment Summit celebrated the spirit of entrepreneurship, innovation, and collaboration, reinforcing their pivotal role in driving economic growth and sustainable development in the East African region.