Rwandans to take part in ITU contest
Young Rwandan Information Communication Technology (ICT) entrepreneurs are set to participate in the second edition of International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Young Innovators Competition.
The contest gives young talented social entrepreneurs the opportunity to attend its key global networking and knowledge sharing event, ITU Telecom World 2012 slated for 14 to 18 October in Dubai and the chance to win funding, mentorship and ongoing support.
Speaking to The New Times, yesterday, Clarisse Iribagiza, the Chief Executive Officer of Hehe Ltd, a local mobile applications development company, said she will definitely take part in the competition.
“It’s a good opportunity for young ICT innovators to demonstrate their ideas and innovations on a global stage and face new challenges,” she said.
Iribagiza who recently won $50,000 prize money from Inspire Africa entrepreneurial contest said she hopes to win the global race.
The contest which is open to 18-25 year olds worldwide calls for projects/concepts which engage the power of ICTs to meet real-world developmental challenges relevant to one of eight core areas under the theme “Youth Innovation for Development”.
The core areas are cyber security, education, and empowerment of women, environmental sustainability, healthcare, human rights, transparency and youth employment.
The winners will also benefit from prize money of up to Swiss Francs 10,000 (approx. Rwf 6.5 million) to realise their entrepreneurial dreams. In addition winners will have access to a network of mentors offering ongoing support for a year.
According to Claude Migisha Kalisa, a technologist at Jhpiego-Rwanda, the contest is a golden opportunity where one can get both industry mentorship and hands-on training.
Jhpiego-Rwanda is a local NGO that promotes community interventions that reach women at the village level with appropriate information about malaria in pregnancy.
“It’s a great chance to demonstrate ideas to an influential audience for funding and also network and build relationship with top ICT names from industry, governments and academia,” said Kalisa.
He contested in last year’s ITU’s Young Innovators Competition, and is the Founding member of KLab and the co-founder of The iHills and Nobleclick Ltd said it was very competitive.
“After the competition, I came back home with more entrepreneurship skills. I co-founded a local ICT company called Nobleclick Ltd that provides web and mobile based solutions,” he said.
Kalisa also co-founded The iHills, an umbrella of all Young Rwandan Entrepreneurs in ICT, pointing out that most of the time, youth have bright ideas but lack funds and the managerial and business skills needed for successful execution.
ITU Secretary-General, Hamadoun Touré noted that essentially, the reach of the Young Innovators Programme will also extend way beyond the event, building a cohesive international community of highly talented social entrepreneurs working on ICT-based initiatives in areas that are vital to developmental issues facing the world today.
Contact email: frank.kanyesigye[at]newtimes.co.rw