Muzinda Hub, for those of you who might not know, is a coding school that was pioneered locally by Econet in 2014. Muzinda Hub is committed to building and supporting a community of engaged and talented IT professionals. Today Muzinda Hub reaches roughly 40 000 students online in over 20 African countries. The main thrust of Muzinda Hub is to tackle youth unemployment and the wide digital skills gap on the continent. It’s essentially an incubator programme bent on equipping young people with digital skills relevant for businesses and jobs of the future.
How It All Began
It all started with a town hall meeting Masiyiwa held in Botswana with the President of Botswana (His Excellency Mokgweetsi E.K. Masisi). During that event, Strive promised to offer a digital skills development initiative to equip young Batswana entrepreneurs for Botswana’s new digital economy. Immediately after the town hall meeting, he put together a task force to realize that promise.
The Muzinda Hub team then started their research work in Botswana some months ago. During that time they discovered the interesting story of Captain Kgomotso Phatsima (one of the first female pilots in Botswana). She had settled for early retirement in order to focus on her passion of getting young people (girls particularly) to pursue studies in fields of science and engineering. She’s the President and Founder of Dare To Dream.
After learning of her remarkable story the Muzinda Hub team met with her and she’s now the head of Muzinda Hub Botswana. So far 500 students have been selected and provided with full scholarships for the training program. True to the quest to foster more female participation in tech, 60% of those 500 students are women. So the journey for Muzinda Hub Botswana began on the 24th of July. That was last week when the first successful cohort orientation of 250 young Batswana was done. They shall undergo 6 months of learning in the areas of coding and entrepreneurship.
Some Interesting Features About Muzinda Hub Botswana
Coding And Business Skills
As I pointed out in a statement earlier the training with cover areas of coding and entrepreneurship. So the training will include learning how to use various programming languages. Over and above that students will also be taught on developing their business skills. Ideally, this is because one of the expectations is that upon completion of the training some will establish their own startups.
Mentors And Tutors
Mentors and tutors will be operating virtually (i.e. online) and they will be drawn from Muzinda Hub alumni. All alumni were once unemployed high school and university graduates who now earn a living from digital jobs as freelancers. These alumni earn, on average, USD1500 per month from their freelancing work.
After the 6 months of training, it’s expected that the students will be well-bred software developers. This is so that they’ll be in a position to create apps, develop websites, work as freelancers or get a full-time or part-time employment. This is strategic because coding is one of the most in-demand skills in the world nowadays. Based on their database of alumni they postulate that about 70% of the students will end up as freelancers raking in a combined income of USD6.3 million.
Another expectation is that 10% of these students will develop their own startups whilst pursuing the training program. The program will facilitate the incubation of these startups to a point where they are functional enough to be fundable. It’ll be easy for these startups to be included in the Innovation Hub in Botswana or other established global accelerators.
Fibre Optic Training Program
During the town hall meeting in Gaborone, Strive also promised he would facilitate for the training of fibre optic installers. The first cohort of 100 students has already been selected and training already started on the 29th of July. The 5-day training shall be covered over a period of 4 weeks. The training sessions will be conducted by 2 professionals from Liquid Telecom and 1 from Technites Africa. Some of the areas to be covered will be introduction to fibre optics, underground and overhead cable installation, splicing and testing fibre optic and soft skills.
So Muzinda Hub Botswana shall be an incubator and accelerator for entrepreneurs specializing in tech in Botswana. To buttress that, another 21CSkills Centre shall be established in Botswana. This will be the 2nd one after the first one that was set up in Kenya. The students will also have the opportunity to be included for certification courses run in partnership with Microsoft. So Botswana is definitely in for a treat as they journey along their path towards a fully digital economy. If you want to know more kindly visit the Muzinda Hub website.