The tech ecosystem is one of the most critical drivers in fixing Africa’s pressing business and social issues. Several tech Start-ups have moved beyond identifying the gaps by providing solutions in various sectors. This is what informed the formation of AR exhibition, christened ‘Nyota’, which means ‘star’ in Kiswahili. “It is a unique African augmented reality art experience that showcases and celebrates 24 of Africa’s technology pioneers such as Funke Opeke (MainOne), Jason Njoku(IROKO), Rebecca Wanjiku(Fireside Communications) and Erik Hersnan(BRICK). They are trailblazers in the growth of the innovation and technology ecosystem on the continent,” says Bosun Tijani, the CEO and co-founder of Co-Creation Hub, in an interview with StartUp magazine.
The pieces, curated by Co-Creation Hub and designed by Mayowa Alabi, are created using digital illustration that can be viewed through an augmented reality app called ‘Artvive.’ “The app, available on iOS and Android devices, is placed over the piece in order to enhance and create new dimensions of the art. Viewers can also download information about the subject’s journey in the tech world,” says the CEO.
According to Mr Tijani, CcHUB was established in 2010 to build a platform for technological innovation. “Our vision has not changed. Today, CcHUB has impacted on StartUps and innovations across Africa that are solving social challenges. We are constantly developing as we expand across Africa,” reveals the executive.
Recently, CcHUB acquired iHub, a move that the CEO says has given them an opportunity to strengthen their pan-African network. “By bringing together two of Africa’s biggest innovation hubs, we can accelerate the success rate of a thousand more tech start-ups, as we continue to build and scale. This will also fast track the process of applying technology solutions to solve business and social issues across Africa.”
Even though CcHUB has been operational for the past ten years, the executive reveals that the greatest threat to their growth in Africa is poor infrastructure and pessimism towards collaborations. “We need more support from African governments in terms of funding for local startups, more favourable policies and reduced tariffs on the cost of doing business,” he says.
The CEO emphasizes on the need to focus on cross country collaborations as well as pooling of talent and resources. “In order for us to compete on a global level, we need to work together to harness our resources. There is a strong need to establish a strong connection alongside corporates, governments and other start-ups across Africa. This way, when international companies seek to expand in Africa, they can call on trusted partners to collaborate with.”
Asked about their goal, the executive says that they are committed to create a robust platform that is capable of attracting the best resources and partnerships. This, he adds, will accelerate the application of technology for economic prosperity across Africa. “Through this vision, CcHUB is building a pan-African network of resources and support for technology-driven start-ups and enterprises across Africa,” he avers.