Monday, May 28, 2012

Wennovation: Building Regional Bridges

April 2012 was regional integration month at the Wennovation Hub, as co-initiator Michael Oluwagbemi took to the road in Yaounde and Accra, building bridges with sister incubators in the West-Central Africa region. The burgeoning innovation incubation complex in the sub-continent have a lot to learn from cooperative initiatives aimed at sharing competencies, leaning on lessons learned across geographies and providing cross-platform access to participants within a network of linked incubators.

Michael Oluwagbemi (Far Left) with MEST Team

The first port of call was Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST), an organization that "provides training and mentoring for aspiring African software entrepreneurs with the goal of creating wealth and jobs locally in Africa.". MEST runs a model incubator in Accra linked to its training school by quite an elegant swing bridge over a neighborhood ravine, that models risk taking and opportunity for its attendees. The Wennovation Hub co-founder, Michael Oluwagbemi was welcomed by Michael Szymanski and Amma Baffoe. 
Opportunity meets Risk..on the MEST Bridge!

At the end of meeting with MEST incubator leadership, key areas of potential cooperation were discussed and a regional team to pursue these initiatives will be consulting over the next few months to make them a reality. The trip to Accra followed a similar undertaking to burgeoning incubator last November to Accra where InnoHub led by vintage entrepreneur -Nelson Amo focused on core ICT competence building in schools across Ghana and both teams explored potential fronts in cooperative partnership. 

The trip to Ghana was followed by similar undertaking to Cameroon, where in Yaounde the Harambe Alliance continues to wax strong via the work of  Harambe Cameroon (HC) led by Ms. Olivia Mukam. In a meeting with HC's organization executives at Yaounde on 23rd April 2012 at Harambe's office, the visiting Wennovation Hub co-founder Michael Oluwagbemi discussed key lessons learned from the Wennovation experience in Nigeria and environ. The meeting was a repeat and follow-up to a previous visit, and integrating the vision for the sub-continent between Nigeria, Ghana and Cameroon was extensively discussed and agreed to in principle.

Wennovation meets Harambe
Idris Bello, the Wennovation Hub's program director stresses the importance of "building bridges" to achieve the high impact goals of the organization. To read more about Idris' vision for the Wennovation Hub, read his recent interview with Bella Naija and Y! Magazine -currently on the newsstands.

Also, read MobiQube Nigeria Limited CEO- Mukhtar Oyewo's recent interview with CP Africa; this hot new start-up is a major driver off the Wennovation Platform. Watch this space.