Liquid Telecom, a leading pan-African telecoms group, is supporting young entrepreneurs at the Westerwelle Startup Haus Kigali through its high-speed internet and cloud-based services.
Soft-launched in early August with the official opening announced this October, the Westerwelle Startup Haus is a hub for entrepreneurs that offers a range of services such as events, advisory services and professional development workshops. Run by Westerwelle Foundation in partnership with the Evonik Foundation, it also includes a makerspace providing machines such as 3D printers and a laser cutter among others.
The Westerwelle Foundation, which is headquartered in Berlin, Germany, is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote entrepreneurship and innovation in developing and emerging markets to foster economic development and job creation.
The Evonik Foundation, headquartered in Essen, Germany, emerged in 2009 from the former Degussa Foundation and seeks to promote education and science, with a focus on social projects.
Liquid Telecom will support Westerwelle Startup Haus through the provision of high-speed internet, helping it to become a major driver of innovation and further positioning Kigali as a tech hub in the region.
Through its Innovation Partnership initiative, Liquid Telecom is taking a leadership position in driving tech-based innovation in Rwanda, and earlier this year also entered into a partnership with Impact Hub Kigali.
Liquid Telecom’s range of digital skills development programmes, which focus on areas such as artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, data science and game development, will help Rwanda prepare for the arrival of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
“The opening of the Westerwelle Startup Haus Kigali will help nurture more young entrepreneurs that are laying the foundations for the country’s digital future,” said Oswald Jumira, Head of Innovation Partnerships at Liquid Telecom.
Liquid Telecom and the Westerwelle Startup Haus Kigali will also explore ways to attract more leading events and startup competitions to the Rwandan capital.
In July, the Westerwelle Startup Haus hosted Seedstars Kigali, part of a major startup competition held in over 20 different African countries. Entries included an artificial intelligence (AI) enabled device that helps the blind see and a talent match-making platform.
“Kigali is rapidly establishing a bright and innovative start-up sector. With Liquid Telecom’s support, we will be able to foster the entrepreneurial spirit of Rwanda’s youth and make a meaningful contribution to the country’s digital economy, overall economic growth and job creation,” said Michael Mronz, Chairman of the Board at the Westerwelle Foundation.