Legatum Center at MIT Supports Technology Entrepreneurship in Africa through DEMO Africa

Legatum Center at MIT Supports Technology Entrepreneurship in Africa through DEMO Africa

DEMO Africa 2015 has attracted the attention of the US-based Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The Legatum Center at MIT has now confirmed its sponsorship for the Pan African event to further its mission of catalyzing entrepreneurship for broad-based prosperity in low-income countries.

This thumb stamps the Center’s commitment to promote and shape the discourse on bottom-up development.

Commenting on the move, Kwadwo Poku, Recruitment and Alumni Manager stated that the move was informed by the shared vision of both organisations. “The Legatum Center is sponsoring DEMO Africa because both organisations are committed to unlocking the potential of individuals and economies.”

Mbugua Njihia, DEMO Africa event’s director, welcomed the Legatum Center’s move stating that both players are committed to ensuring that the entrepreneurs are armed with the right tools to understand the local and global needs and tailor solutions for them. “With entrepreneurs needing to fully understand the situation before they can settle to work, having partners that pass this knowledge is a key component of success. I commend the Legatum Center’s efforts in playing their role effectively.

The Legatum Center at MIT administers programs and convenes events that promote and shape the discourse on bottom-up development. The Center is best known for its renowned fellowship—the Legatum Fellowship at MIT for incoming and current MIT students committed to developing for-profit enterprises in developing countries. While the Center has had Fellows from around the globe, the Center has contributed to the entrepreneurship eco-system in Africa by supporting enterprising MIT students who are working on innovative ventures across the continent. Some of these ventures include a mobile survey technology company that provides data solutions, a waste management enterprise that is solving sanitation challenges in urban slums, and a recycling firm improving the environment and livelihoods of the residents of a major African city.

The Legatum Center has further delivered on its commitment to entrepreneurship in Africa by launching the Zambezi Prize. The Zambezi Prize raises awareness for entrepreneurship and financial inclusion, encouraging a wide spectrum of financial inclusion ventures to participate in the competition. Applicants from a total of seven countries submitted entries in its inaugural year 2014-2015 to compete for the Grand Prize of US $100,000 for the winner, with an additional US $100,000 divided among first and second runners up and other finalists.

The DEMO Africa event is scheduled to take place on 24th and 25th of September at the Eko Hotels and Suites in Lagos, Nigeria. This year, DEMO Africa introduces knowledge streams to delve into critical topics including Business Modelling, Scaling Businesses, Creating an Unfair Advantage, and Raising Capital.

Other notable activities at the 2015 DEMO Africa event include an investor roundtable forum and the LIONS@FRICA Summit, with the uptake of Africa-generated technology being expected to dominate the conversations.

The event will be co-hosted by DEMO Africa, the Nigerian Ministry of Communication Technology and the National Information Technology Agency-Nigeria, in collaboration with LIONS@FRICA and VC4Africa.

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