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Rwanda: Young Innovator Establishes Business to Spur Local Technologies

Based on projections that the Fourth Industrial Revolution is expected to usher in transformation that will have an impact on job creation, Willy Nsabiyumva, the Chief Executive of Grow-Fast Ventures, believes that there is no better time to equip young people with skills and competencies that would enable them to embrace the era.

Over 2 million jobs are expected to come from the computer, mathematical, architecture and engineering fields, according to the World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs report.

It is little wonder, therefore, that the 25-year old tech enthusiast, together with his colleague, Roger Ntaganzwa, set out to help make digital literacy skills accessible in the Rwandan local communities.

Under the duo’s start-up, Devplug, a coding school under the company Grow Fast Ventures, they have embarked on a mission to reach out to all young Rwandans in local communities while training them and equipping them with digital literacy skills.

Photo: Timothy Kisambira/The New TimesOne of the computers made in Rwanda on display at a past Transform Africa summit in Kigali (file photo)

While it is evident that young people often seek digital expertise from overseas, in some cases, falling short of their dreams due to high financial costs, Nsabiyumva pointed out that

the company tackles this ‘accessibility’ by providing high-quality skills to low-income communities through effective distribution networks accompanied by capacity building and training for the learners.

“It is a coding school with a mission to train the leaders of the Fourth Industrial Revolution in Africa” Nsabiyumva said. “Our innovation is not only in providing cutting edge coding courses like web app development, mobile and software development, but also, graduates of our program are encouraged to graduate with a solution addressing any community challenge,” he added.

What are the courses offered?

According to the founders, at the onset, the start-up provides four main courses including, web design and development, mobile app development, software development and graphic design to all kind of learners.

Given that, all work activities are susceptible to automation with the evolution of technology,

“We put emphasis on those four major courses because they form the foundation for all technologies that one can build on. As the world goes digital, more businesses will need online presence, and starts with websites, besides, we have people interacting on mobile platforms more than ever. That implies that these phones need apps, and businesses are targeting mobile users for more reach, profit and impact,” he said.

“Businesses today are migrating to digital platforms, whether It’s a school, a shop or a factory, they need to automation for their speed and efficiency. This can’t happen without a software. Finally, with the increasing number of social media users today, businesses need graphics that attract their customers’ attention in order to stay on the edge of competition,” he noted.

While more than 200 students have benefited from the start-up, Nsabiyumva told this paper that, a group of trained learners have already translated the scientific knowledge into societal solutions.

“A group of students we trained at one of the universities in Kigali, after our training, they started a club to train fellow students at campus on basic ICT skills,” he said.

“We give an opportunity to secondary school leavers who are passionate about tech related fields. Because we have seen some students fail to advance for their higher education due to financial limitations, therefore such a student comes and is allowed to offer their preferred course,” he added.

The team of two co-founders has also been able to create job opportunities for other three part time workers.

Parting words with the young innovator

“From my experience, young innovators should never give up on their dreams. Being in a country whose political vision embraces technology, should be an inspiration on its own. For instance, we started with laptops, using University rooms and now we have rooms equipped,” he urged fellow youth.

The firm’s major challenge, however, is to validate our certificates globally to ensure that students are recognized across the world.


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