Tanzania’s latest ICT project and incubator drive local innovation
While searching for ICT news this evening, I was pleasantly surprised to find two new initiatives out of Tanzania – all in the matter of a few minutes. What’s more, they are located in the same working space! First, I happened upon the relatively new site for TANZICT, an ICT sector development project between Tanzania and Finland (thanks to @iHub for Tweeting about this). Currently, the team is using part of the COSTECH space. The icing on the cake is that Dar Teknohama Business Incubator, DTBi, is also based out of the space in Dar es Salaam. In fact, TANZICT and DTBI shared an official opening at the COSTECH innovation space on October 31st. Both entities have been operational for a few months with impressive results.
TANZICT officially started operations on August 1st in the COSTECH office.
- 3 main pillars: National ICT Policy revision, strengthen the Ministry of Communications, Science and Technology, and create a chain of ICT innovation.
- The group has already participated in a Mobile Monday event.
- Expect code sprints, hack-a-thons, an exchange program, entrepreneur events, demo nights, university & industry projects, and more in the coming months.
- Follow @TANZICT
DTBI describes itself as “an autonomous and private sector driven entity assisting early stage ICT companies by lowering the cost of business and increasing the chances of business survival.”
- Since June, the incubator has accumulated a client base of nine companies that employ 72 people.
- Pre-incubation programs and app training for university students have served dozens of youth.
- A rural (virtual) incubation program is also in the works.
- The open Facebook group already has 7 members.
If all goes well, these two projects will continue to create local jobs fueled by local ideas. COSTECH seems to be doing a stellar job fostering the entrepreneur mentality. I’m especially curious to see how TANZICT can encourage and support the Tanzanian government to create an information society. Like their roadmap shows, development is both a bottom-up and a top-down effort. Additionally, I’m intrigued by DTBi’s virtual incubation program with rural areas. Regardless, the future certainly looks promising for ICT progress in Dar es Salaam.