Stakeholders in the Information Communication and Technology (ICT) industry have announced Pwani Innovation Week to be held for the first time in December this year.
The Innovation Week is being spearheaded by ‘Swahili Pot’ hub, an initiative that seeks to foster and promote youth entrepreneurship and innovation in Mombasa.
Set up as labs equipped with technology, WIFI hotspot, software and networks, the SwahiliPot has been designed as technology and arts open community work space at the Swahili cultural centre for ease of access to college students and youth from all walks of life.
Simeon Oriko, a Swahili pot hub board member said innovators, entrepreneurs, investors and corporates from around the Coast region will gather in the coastal city to get inspired, learn and share ideas.
Speaking at a media briefing on Wednesday Oriko said the weeklong inaugural event will feature conferences, talks, pitches and networking, and will be running under the theme ‘Meeting Future Aspirations’.
“Our agitation for a regional innovation strategy signals our intention to build an innovation ecosystem focused on creating and supporting new businesses,” said Oriko.
He said stakeholders from different sectors will share ideas, trends, and opportunities around technology, innovation and entrepreneurship development in the coastal counties of Mombasa, Kwale, Kilifi, Taita Taveta, Lamu and Tana River.
Patron and chairman of Swahilipot Hub Mahmoud Noor said they are excited to highlight the region’s aspirations and the initiatives being undertaken to meet them.
Noor said despite Mombasa being a landing site for four undersea fibre optic cables such as Seacom, Teams, Easy and Lion linking East Africa to the rest of the world, it never hosted innovation conference for startups.
“We aim at supporting entrepreneurs and develop a platform for them to drive their business with the latest in management and finance practices,” he said.
Noor said the innovation hub, with free high-speed internet is designed to avail space and equipment for young people to develop innovative ICT products and applications from conception, production and marketing.