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The Innovation Hub launches initiatives to ‘take innovation to the people’

Recent claims about South Africa’s poor global maths and science ranking have been been causing a stir. However you may cut it, the fact of the matter is that there is a massive shortage of resources in these two critical areas. In light of this, The Innovation Hub, which is a tech park in Gauteng, South Africa, has partnered with the City of Tshwane to bring science, technology, engineering and mathematics closer to the youth, especially those from previously disadvantaged backgrounds.

To boost the number of youngsters operating in the entrepreneurial space, the partnership will result in the important development of youth initiatives such as FabLab, eKasi Labs and Kusile Mobile Labs.

These programmes — all launching this week (23 June) — involve entrepreneurial mentorship as well as handy workshops for local communities.

Tshwane Mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa says, “Our involvement in the innovation journey has seen us embrace digital technologies and includes a range of measures designed to facilitate access to connectivity. We owe it to the youth of 1976 to initiate programmes that would liberate today’s youth from socio-economic segregation.”

“One of the challenges faced by young people and budding entrepreneurs wanting to utilise facilities and services available at The Innovation Hub is access to our services as it is located in an area that is relatively inaccessible owing to the distance traveled as well as cost of transportation.

FabLab refers to a fabrication laboratory for Research & Development where prototypes can be creates and experimented with.

eKasi Labs is to be piloted at the Ga-rankuwa Arts and Crafts Centre and aims to create tangible solutions that address their community’s problems.

Designed and manufactured by local entrepreneurs from Kusile Labs & Technology, during the course of this week, there will be mobile, cost-effective labs distributed and available to primary and secondary schools.

CEO of The Innovation Hub, McLean Sibanda, says that one of the greatest challenges have been making its services accessible to the greater public.

“This partnership was conceptualised from a strategic decision to ‘take innovation to the people’ by establishing co-creation spaces that will foster a culture of innovation and entrepreneurial activities that better the lives of the community and create wealth.”

Author Bio

Jacques Coetzee
Jacques grew up in Stellenbosch, South Africa. Keen to take over the world, one word at a time, he has always been interested in both politics and development and studied International Relations (BA) at Stellenbosch University. With an interest in innovation and social change, he seeks to tell the... More