National carrier Kenya Airways (KQ) and @iBizAfrica Strathmore University partner for KQ’s Fahari Innovation Challenge to create opportunities for youth and use tech innovations to resolve specific problems that affect businesses.
The two organisations will provide technical guidance around accuracy of innovation and entrepreneurial information. KQ will offer internship opportunities to both undergraduate and post graduate students within at Strathmore and collaborate on research projects as well as co-creation with startups and SME’s within the @iBizAfrica Incubation Centre.
African economies have been under increasing socioeconomic pressure due to diminishing resources, unemployment, changing demographic trends, rising demand for goods and services, and emerging sustainability and security concerns. African governments, industry players and education institutions have been exploring research and innovation as an engine for stimulating growth in line with Sustainable Development Goal 9, which underscores the importance of fostering innovation and investment in Research and Development to address these challenges.
Speaking during the MoU signing ceremony Dr. Joseph Sevilla, director @iBizAfrica Incubation Centre, said: “Our partnership with KQ for the second time is an indication of our dedication towards supporting the youth and businesses. As a Centre that will soon be celebrating a decade of existence, we look forward to assisting KQ in identifying local and regional talent that may exist within the broader youth community and start up ecosystem. This partnership will help young entrepreneurs better understand the aviation industry, bring forth creative ideas, and solve problems that businesses may experience.”
Through capacity building forums, training, and initiatives such as the Kenya Airways Innovation Challenge in collaboration with @iBizAfrica, Qhala, and SNDBX, many entrepreneurs have an opportunity to grow their startups to contribute to economic growth and address the challenge of unemployment.
Julius Thairu, chief commercial and customer officer at Kenya Airways said: “As an airline, collaboration is at the heart of what we do and our continued partnership with @iBizAfrica in the education sector is a great step towards making an impact in the ecosystem. Academic organisations and institutions are critical when it comes to developing talent. We have to be innovative and do things differently because customer needs and wants are constantly shifting, and institutions are constantly providing us with different views of doing things differently.”
“As we progress, we look forward to partnering by developing students’ capacity in areas such as design challenge as well as in skills and leadership areas that will benefit both organisations,” added Thairu.
@iBizAfrica Incubation Centre is known for its nurturing environment that builds on the potential of the youth to develop innovative solutions and businesses’ that work for the common good in society. The Incubation Centre has over the years provided over 400 startup companies with training, advisory, mentorship, coaching, networking opportunities, access to seed capital and investors.
Audiences for the KQ Innovation Challenge are innovative individuals or companies that can create solutions that can interface with the aviation industry from the identified angles of the organisational spectrum. Eligibility is open to all, including individuals, partnerships and corporations that serve or would like to serve the aviation enterprise or industry.