Pan-African ICT enabler SEACOM has made a generous commitment to provide KINU – a Tanzanian non-profit ICT innovation hub – with 30mb of free Internet capacity for a one year period. This will assist with improving the speed and quality of KINU’s Internet connectivity, which will in turn improve the efficiency of the start-up ICT enterprises they develop.
‘SEACOM has decided to support KINU and potentially other ICT innovation hubs throughout Southern and East Africa with Internet access because of its strong commitment to stimulating innovation, enterprise development and job creation within Africa’s ICT sector,’ says Anna Kahama-Rupia, managing director of SEACOM Tanzania.
She adds that the skills, relationships, applications and new businesses developed within these ICT innovation hubs will go a long way in improving Africa’s ICT efficiencies and addressing the challenge of creating new jobs for its growing youth population.
The arrival of new submarine telecommunications cables starting in 2009, paired with government investment in the national telecommunications backbone, has spurred a revolution in Tanzania that has seen the cost of Internet connectivity dropping dramatically making high speed Internet access more affordable and accessible to ordinary Tanzanians. This has had a dramatic effect on education, entrepreneurship and social life in the country.
The KINU Hub is the first privately run open space for Tanzania’s tech community to foster co-creation, innovation and capacity building. This collaborative space was established to build a community with a culture of co-creation, and to enable participation into the process of generating new solutions to social challenges. The project is also supported by Google Inc. and the Indigo Trust.
‘A collaborative space was needed to enable the community to participate in the co-creation process and make a joint effort to generate new solutions,’ says Luca Neghesti, co-founder of KINU. ‘It was important to establish the environment needed to ensure that the next generation of African innovators has the freedom to build products and services which will reach out to the rest of the world.’
KINU will be open to everyone in the Tanzanian tech ecosystem including coders, designers and entrepreneurs. The organisation will provide a host of services and facilities including high-speed internet access, data storage and backup, knowledge centre, industry meet-ups & events, innovation competitions, ICT workshops, testing environments, webinars and application testing.
KINU will use a microwave link between SEACOM’s Silversands cable landing station in Kunduchi and their innovation hub. The organisation is currently in the process of purchasing the required equipment to activate the Internet capacity donated by SEACOM.
‘This is an exciting development for KINU and the organisation is truly grateful to SEACOM for their generosity and vision,’ commented Luca Neghesti at KINU.