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Rwandan, Gabonese ICT start-ups to benefit from new skills agreement

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Rwandan and Gabonese start-ups with ICT and innovation solutions are expected to benefit from a Memorandum of Understanding signed between Societe D’Incubation Numérique du Gabon (SING), a digital innovation company of Gabon and kLab, a Rwanda-based open tech hub.

According to Yannick Ebibie Nze, Director General of SING, the agreement, which was signed on July 13, will see the two incubators exchange best practices and knowledge on incubation, promote start-ups from both Gabon and Rwanda through exchange programs and find innovative sources of funding.

“We can learn from the impact kLab had in Rwanda in the past years as a non-profit. In Gabon, we had a different model (for-profit model), and now I think it is interesting for kLab to also know how they can get additional funding outside of the traditional ways like from government or international partners,” he said.

He noted that through the agreement, they also intend to develop solutions concerning the financing gap, which he says is still a huge problem on the African continent, by finding out how they can fund start-ups for them to do better on the global market.

He declared that “Rwandan start-ups are going to get a new market in Gabon” and that SING will help the successful ones establish in the country.

So far, the incubator has connected Khenz, a Rwandan software company that fosters safety and convenience for travellers, and a klab alumni, to the Gabonese market to scale up their solution in e-transportation.

He added that the move is also in line with La Francophonie’s Economic and Trade Mission, which will see member countries collaborate with Rwanda in different sectors including startups economic development.

SING has been supporting 53 start-ups of which, 8 have demonstrated tremendous growth, according to Nze.

Tackling the side of promoting the growth of start-ups in Rwanda and Gabon, he said they root for more exchange between the two ecosystems, declaring that they are going to create a program which will allow start-ups in both Rwanda and Gabon to expand their products and services to any of the two countries.

“We want the start-ups to exchange knowledge on how to solve challenges and to create friendship; the one we have at political level, we can also have it at start-up level,” he said.

Yeetah Kamikazi, General Manager of kLab, explained that the agreement is not only for start-ups in the kLab community but also any local start-up that provides ICT solutions in the country.

“We know that we have limited market in Rwanda and so we are trying to find ways to open more opportunities for local ICT start-ups for them to be able to export their solutions to Gabon and establish there,” she said, adding that with SING, the incubator will also help start-ups from both Gabon and Rwanda scale up to other African countries.

She noted that Gabon needs solutions from Rwandan start-ups in areas like e-transportation and e-governance, among others, adding that the country also has impressive and unique solutions like in e-health of which Rwandan start-ups can learn from and use.

Source:Patrick Nzabonimpa | newtimes.co.rw

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