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a fundamental right and the supporting structure for the entire 2030 Agenda.
Audrey Azoulay (UNESCO Director General)
Although the number of people accessing education in Uganda has increased, the quality of education is still low, making it hard for students to attain the necessary 21st century skills. This has prompted young and innovative minds to find out what best way to educate and equip the next generation, setting the stage for the Kampala Innovation Week 2019 (KIW).
Start-up Uganda, with support from the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), aimed at bringing together different players to create an avenue where young entrepreneurs could meet, share new ideas and build partnerships. KIW, which ran from 16th-18th October 2019, served as a platform to assemble stakeholders to raise Uganda’s profile in the start-up ecosystem and provide visibility of innovators, both locally & internationally, in order to attract investors and development partners.
During the opening of KIW 2019, Hon. Frank Tumwebaze, the ICT Minister said, “The team at the Ministry championed the innovation agenda and I want to thank the agencies that feel that digital entrepreneurs if supported well, shall be able to have our own markets served and supplied by our own knowledge products.” The Belgian Development Agency was one of the partners of KIW 2019.
Enabel participated in a panel discussion on the need for innovation to help realise the 2030 Agenda and organised a hackathon, dubbed ‘Hack Una Matata’, during the first day of KIW 2019. This activity saw Ugandan innovative minds develop relevant and original solutions to address the problems faced in the sector of Tourism & Hospitality, Employment and Education. 15 Groups participated in the hackathon and each group was invited to pitch to a jury about why their innovation is worthy to receive further coaching and possible integration in the different Enabel projects. The Education challenge tasked participants to find ways of using technology to transform training institutions into centres of excellence.
Enabel (TTE, SDHR and SSU) also participated in the exhibition at KIW 2019. TTE showcased the Time-on-Task pilot, a digital tool to try to fight absenteeism of teachers in colleges and a free online educational platform, ‘OpenLearn Create’. It was discovered that in the NTCs, teaching was more focused on theory than practice and learning was exercised mainly in the classroom. A General methods course will be made available on ‘OpenLearn Create’ to try to tackle this problem. It will facilitate learning beyond the classroom since lecturers and students will be able to access the course anytime and anywhere. By using this free platform, students are also able to process theory and focus more on practice, through videos with examples of hands-on methods of teaching.
WeHubIt, an investor in impactful digital projects, was also showcased at the expo. WeHubit aims at supporting and enhancing digitalisation as a tool to accelerate sustainable development in 14 African countries. Wehubit is implemented by the Belgian development agency Enabel alongside its partner, the Belgian Investment Company for Developing Countries, BIO.
“The Wehubit initiative supports entrepreneurial ecosystems like the one displayed at KIW2019. Some digital services that have proved to work can be scaled up and that is where WeHubIt comes in. The entries are based on calls for proposals per sector and in January 2020, a call for proposals on education will be opened,” said Bart Cornille, the ID Expert with Enabel-TTE. (wehubit.be)