In this week’s edition of AfriLabs hub featuring innovation centres, our point of call was Central Africa where we had a chat with Eliud Aganze, the Chief Executive Officer and Founder of KivuHub based in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
KivuHub is to make the East of the DRC a ”Silicon Kivu” by creating opportunities leading to development by deploying new technology of communication to achieve in 2025 the 5th SDG “Gender Equality” through the promotion of women empowerment.
By offering the right training in the digital sector, KivuHub hopes to achieve the 8th (decent work and economic growth) and 9th (industry, innovation and infrastructure) SDG Goal on its target.
By also collaborating with various stakeholders in 2025, KivuHub is working towards achieving the 9th and 17th (partnership to achieve the goal) SDG Goal.
Overall, the hub provides training services on technology, entrepreneurship, cybersecurity, mobile data collection tools and management and digital marketing.
The founder explained that KivuHub is an innovative centre that supports a community of entrepreneurs, developers, businesses and startups with the right technological skills and business.
Giving an overview of his journey into the innovation space, Aganze stated that back in 2016, when he completed his studies in Nairobi, Kenya, he discovered that there exists a lack of IT training among the citizens of DRC irrespective of their academic training and qualification.
“We had to share our experiences in entrepreneurship, innovation, technology as a way to enhance our daily life.
We decided to come up with a technology Hub like our friends IHub in Kenya so that we can actively support the development of our country and the eastern region of DR Congo which was the epicenter of conflict for decades.”
Aganze then called for a meeting with various friends who had experiences in IT such as programming, networking, telecommunication, robotics and skills in management.
“Kivuhub is mainly sustained by the co-founders who are providing the necessary financial and material resources.
However, as we gain traction and help launch successful businesses into the eastern DRC market and the neighboring countries we had agreements that KivuHub as the enabling partner will have a 5% return on investment for a period of 5 years after tax.”
The DRC-based hub works with startups and entrepreneurs, who are eager to make an impact and make the Eastern part of the country tech-inclined and business-friendly by women and girls building capacity and tackling the local problems with local solutions.
Aganze stated that KivuHub was founded based on his drive for supporting the Congo people, especially from the Eastern part of the country. KivuHub intends to create more startups through its program.
According to its website, the primary vision of the hub as an accelerator and incubator is to create jobs, enhance IT skills (Programming, security) and the rates of IT (startups) business establishment.
The founder added that this process shall maintain the growth, survival, and expansion of a competitive and networked IT cluster economy.
“Kivuhub will provide its tenants with an integrated package of services, international and regional networking, managerial mentoring and financial investment.”
Girls and Women in Tech
KivuHub also works with women and girls who are interested to learn technological skills which will allow them to be economically empowered in this environment of the DRC where the men appear to be more privileged and enjoy all the opportunities offered by technology.
“We expect to have more women involved in technology and coming up with a social solution for problem we are facing.
“Girls can build websites for business purposes, build robots and solve other Gender-based violence using technology tools.”
IT Consultancy and Cybersecurity
KivuHub provides its services and shares its expertise with local and international businesses based in the eastern part of the DRC.
It involves things like educational campaigns, installation and maintenance services.
IT training and support
KivuHub believes that unless the employees are updated with the changes the change cannot be updated.
The hub has a team of highly qualified trainers who can lead training to train young employees.
KivuHub also offers sports services that promote talent who suffered from war in the east of the DRC.
The hub’s program supports upcoming talents for both men and women excelling in sports activities (Boxing).
“The only way to improve and create job for young talents and this range from supporting in sport equipment also support their growth.”