Zimbabwe’s Muzinda Hub is on track to create 1,000 new jobs, with the hub’s first graduates now enrolled in digital internships with global partners.
Speaking to Disrupt Africa, Tendai Mashingaidze, manager of Muzinda Hub, said the organisation aims to train 1,000 youth in digital skills, with 70 per cent of this target already in training.
The first 100 graduates have already completed their training, and are now enrolled in internships with global organisations partnering with Muzinda Hub. One of these key partners is Engine Room, with Muzinda interns to build advocacy apps and platforms on behalf of Engine Room clients.
According to Mashingaidze, Muzinda Hub’s model of training youth in digital skills is contributing significantly to Zimbabwe’s social and economic growth, something he says most incubator hubs are not doing.
“I think one thing we cannot overlook is we have given youth new skill, in fact the number one in demand tech skill, and are on track to creating real jobs, 1,000 of them possibly . Something that the conventional tech hub model would find difficult to achieve in the first year of startup. We are playing a significant role socially and economically,” Mashingaidze said.
Pointing to the digital skills shortage widely experienced world-wide, Mashingaidze says this gap in the market presents a huge opportunity for Muzinda Hub.
“Going forward our focus is to shift from the training gear to positioning ourselves as a provider of digital skills talent and a thought leader in this space,” he says.
Disrupt Africa reported in December Muzinda Hub launched its training programme, Mashingaidze saying the hub wants to disrupt the conventional incubator model, by focusing not on chasing “big idea” startups, but rather creating digital entrepreneurs.
According to the Muzinda Hub philosophy, technology presents the answer to many of the challenges faced by Africa’s youth – such as low education rates, and high unemployment -, and could also be leveraged to solve the continent’s pressing health and finance problems.