New tech programme launched

Digital kits to help young startups

01 June 2021 | Technology

Windhoek • [email protected]
Close to 200 digital kits will be awarded to eligible youth after successful completion of the
Tech2Startup programme.
The programme is a two-week blended programme that will capacitate selected youth with digital
skills in Arduino, ICT and Design, and three dimensional printing. 
The digital transformation centre of the GIZ Startup Namibia project, launched the digital kits
initiative on Tuesday 1 June 2021 and kits consist of a PEBL laptop, laptop bag, Arduino kit, as well as
access to a working space and a mentor.
The goal is to support Namibia with digital change. “With digitalisation comes an opportunity to
learn from different partners,” said Gerlinde Sauer from the German embassy. “This will lay the
foundation for the start of many startups.”
She encouraged those who received the kits, be bold and go for it. “Don't give up and if you fail, start
again.”
According to Dr Michael Humavindu from the Ministry of Industrialisation and Trade, this
programme is important to enhance the country and to create an inclusive environment. “It is
estimated that the ICT sector will grow by 54% in terms of job creation – more than any other
sector,” he said, adding that there is a lot of room for economic growth within this sector.
Statistics from 2016 indicate that only 27% of Namibians aged 15 years and older had used a
computer in the last three months. “This needs to change. Providing access to ICT infrastructure and
reskilling especially young people to be able to become digital entrepreneurs is a priority.”

Empowerment
According to Bjorn Wiedow, head of the digital transformation centre, the programme will equip
beneficiaries with digital skills that will empower them to be more competitive in the labour market
or to start their own business venture.
Currently, ten youth from Physically Active Youth is testing the programme which will conclude by
the end of this week. “None of them had prior experience and yet they have impressed us in terms
of how quickly they grasp everything,” Wiedow said.
The programme will be rolled out to other regions as early as July. They plan on reaching 100 youth
this year.
The aim of this initiative is to create an online platform for young Namibians to introduce them to
opportunities in the technology industry and potentially inspire them into entrepreneurship. This
also serves as a way to support Namibians who don't have access to ICT, entrepreneurial or
manufacturing training programmes in education institutions.

The initiative comes from StartUp Namibia and the Ministry of Industrialisation and Trade, with
funding from the German government.

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