Marking Africa Day with AfriLabs: Catalyzing Innovation Across the Continent

Marking Africa Day with AfriLabs: Catalyzing Innovation Across the Continent

May 25 is a day for Africans and those who love Africa to show the world that the continent is a force to be reckoned with and that the moment has come for African youngsters to define the Africa they want, on their terms, following centuries of being referred to in a negative and degrading manner.

This year’s theme pulsates by a powerful call: “Educate an African Fit for the 21st Century.” At AfriLabs, Africa’s largest network of innovation hubs, this is very relevant. We see education as more than just a means of achieving personal success; it is the spark that ignites a continent brimming with opportunity.

Imagine Africa as a continent where the youth are full of energy, take lead in driving creativity, technology and innovation. That’s the potential we see. But to make this potential a reality, education is key. Africa has a very young population, with more than half the continent being under 25 years old. Equipping them with the right skills is crucial for Africa’s future success. AfriLabs  isn’t here to just offer another program; we’re here to empower this young generation.

Enabling a thriving tech ecosystem: AfriLabs capacity building program 

Under ACBP we launched our flagship program, AfriLabs Academy. AfriLabs academy isn’t your average classroom. It’s a launchpad for aspiring and existing entrepreneurs. We equip them with the tools they need to not just dream big, but to build those dreams into thriving businesses. Whether it’s navigating the complexities of finance or mastering the art of the digital pitch, AfriLabs Academy empowers them to conquer every hurdle. Since its inception in 2022, 1,500+ learners have benefited from this programme and a total of 656 certificates have been awarded.

Still within the ACBP we launched our Hubs Learning Week, a 36-month intensive program that seeks to strengthen   hubs so they can be investment ready and also equip them with the host capacity to run local and regional impact-driven programs that will support entrepreneurs and startups who actively contribute to growing an innovative ecosystem in Africa. Through this programme, we have trained over 2500 hubs, and a total number of 4287 trained participants with 62.5% being females.

Empowering for the Digital Age: Digital Entrepreneurship Skills Academy

The world is going digital, and Africa isn’t taking a backseat. Recognizing this shift, AfriLabs, alongside the African-European Digital Innovation Bridge Network (AEDIB|NET), launched the Digital Entrepreneurship Skills Academy (DES). This program strengthens both African and European digital innovation ecosystems by supporting local entrepreneurs.

DES goes beyond basic skills training. It focuses on equipping marginalized groups, particularly young people, women, and vulnerable populations, with the tools they need to thrive in the digital age. Hosted on the AfriLabs Academy platform, DES equips participants with expertise to navigate the online landscape. 

The Digital Entrepreneurship Skills Academy takes a unique approach to education, guided by the innovative “3H” framework – Heart, Head, and Hand. Developed by Enabel, this framework emphasizes the interconnectedness of emotional, intellectual, and practical skills. By fostering both the passion and the knowledge needed for success, DES ensures a comprehensive and enriching experience for all participants.

Bridging the Gap: 10×1000 Tech for Inclusion

Innovation shouldn’t be a luxury. AfriLabs, a Global Partner for Africa in the 10×1000 Tech for Inclusion program, believes technology can empower everyone. Launched by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Alipay, this initiative offers free, world-class fintech training to 1,000 learners annually for the next decade.

The program tackles digital exclusion head-on. In Africa, AfriLabs champions this effort, ensuring underserved communities have a seat at the fintech table. Participants gain a comprehensive curriculum in areas like fintech applications, product development, scaling businesses, and achieving digital inclusion – all crucial skills for creating positive change.

The 10×1000 Flex model empowers participants to learn at their own pace. Engage with industry experts and a global network of peers, all from the comfort of your device. Gain valuable insights, build a strong professional network, and become a changemaker in the fintech space. Apply today!

Bridging the Gap: Talent4Startups

Great ideas are only as good as the talent behind them. AfriLabs, in partnership with Digital Africa, tackles this challenge head-on through Talent4Startups. This collaborative program connects Africa’s burgeoning startups with the skilled individuals they need to thrive. 

Launched at the beginning of 2024, Talent4Startups is an integrated program designed to meet the needs of both early-stage startups and young African talent. Partnering with leading organizations like TechQuest STEM Academy Nigeria and Ibiz Incubation Centre Kenya, AfriLabs equips 200 youths across five African regions with the skills they need to launch successful careers in startups. This comprehensive training program boasts a strong focus on gender inclusivity, with 48% of participants being women.

The results of the programme speak for themselves. From an initial pool of 4,311 applications, AfriLabs admitted 282 talented individuals. Currently, 208 graduates are ready to make their mark on Africa’s booming startup scene.

The Future is Now: Join Us!

We are not just celebrating Africa Day; we’re actively shaping Africa’s future. We invite you to join us on this journey. Explore our upcoming programs, become a mentor, or simply join the conversation online. 

Let’s create a future where every young African mind has the tools to become a leader, an innovator, and a changemaker.

Together, let’s write the next chapter of Africa’s story, a chapter brimming with innovation, opportunity, and the unstoppable spirit of a continent ready to shine.

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