Zuhura Africa, a women-led organization has opened its doors to Africa’s youth as a social impact community where innovation, entrepreneurship and technology flourish. The organization supports bold early-stage innovators and entrepreneurs to grow and scale their business, through social innovation boot camps.
Based in Nairobi, Zuhura Africa focuses on championing the youth agenda given that the continent has the youngest population in the world. It is estimated that Africa has over 200 million young people. This number might double by 2045, according to the 2012 African Economic Outlook by African Development Bank (AfDB). Given the high unemployment rates in the continent, the organization is providing the youth with tools to create businesses for sustainable development and employment creation.
Zuhura Africa, hub manager, Muriel Akiko notes: “Despite being a young women-led organization, at Zuhura Africa, we understand the challenges facing Africa’s youth, for this reason, we are champions for promoting entrepreneurship, business scale-up and innovation to support Africa’s youth as a whole.”
Since its inception, Zuhura Africa has rolled out programmes such as Africa Basque Challenge (ABC), an entrepreneurship experience where young people from different countries co-create social enterprises addressing challenges affecting their communities. The programme started in November 2018 and February 2019. It involved forty eight innovators from Kenya, Somalia and the Basque region (autonomous community of Spain). The boot camp took six days in Kenya and a week in the Basque region. It encouraged young people to co-create and transform their ideas into businesses. At its end, eleven companies were created by multi-disciplinary teams. The teams pitched their project ideas to potential investors and the winning ones were awarded 15,000 euros. They are currently running the third edition which will focus on Kenya and Senegal youth.
They have also partnered with UNICEF in their global programme, UPSHIFT which helps youth in technology and innovation, by digitizing the programme for the Kenyan youth. The programme began in October and will conclude in February 2022. The selected project team shall receive seed funding. On the other hand, the remaining ones will be guided on how to get funding from government and private investors who believe in their cause.