According to Denmark’s Minister for Development, Ulla Tørnæs, Denmark is planning to provide entrepreneurs, NGO organisations, investors and foundations a platform, where they could help improve life standard in developing countries through active cooperation. The idea to use innovative technologies in favour of the UN World goals has been earlier discussed within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
“We are talking about making a hub for developmental innovations in Copenhagen. We believe there is a great potential to get more investments”, confirms Ulla Tørnæs.
The platform is still in the concept phase. It is expected to be completed this year.
The platform should be used to propose new solutions to development problems and help to get from idea to prototype, so that concrete solutions can come to market and hopefully attract private capital.
“Denmark is one of the most digital countries in the world. The experience and knowledge that has brought us there can be beneficial elsewhere in the world. And the underscore of tech entrepreneurs who have paved the way for Denmark is also interesting for developing countries, “says Ulla Tørnæs.
And the Minister for Development has also announced that Denmark places a TechVelopment adviser in Nairobi, Kenya. There is a strong and fast-growing tech environment, which is why cooperation with Danish tech entrepreneurs and others, who use technology to minimize poverty and improve resources utilisation, is so beneficial.
The first six pilot projects are in full swing.
They include African Girls Can Code in Ethiopia, which educates girls and young women in digital literacy, coding and personal development skills. Apart from trying to add coding into national education curriculum in Africa, the initiative also organises a coding camp and media campaigns to promote and inspire girls and young women to choose education and profession within IT.
Another pilot project is Lake Victoria Cargo Drone Challenge in Tanzania, which that helps transport medicine and other services to distant areas of the country with the use of drones.
Danish NGO Maternity Foundation has developed an app that provides life-saving knowledge about births and newborns to people who otherwise would not have access to knowledge.
The BlueMoon project is an incubator for agricultural businesses that provides office space, networking, mentorship and information on finding investment sources for startups.
Another incubator is Dar Teknohama Business Incubator in Tanzania supports youth with innovative ideas to create startups. It provides various services from coaching to accessing new tech trends.
Tanzanian Sahara Ventures consists of an accelerator, event management and consulting services for entrepreneurs. Sahara is planning to establish an e-Kilimo Accelerator, which will be Tanzania’s first accelerator programme for food and agriculture startups. Danish may support this initiative.
The last project is Moringa School in Kenya that provides training for people willing to have a career in IT or coding. Approximately 95% of graduates have got a job after the studies. The school is economically self-sustained, however, all graduates have to pay back the tuition fees after graduation. Therefore, the school wishes to offer scholarships to low-income students. Their ambition is to train 1 000 000 people in the next 5 years.
So, summing up, these startups show us how we can use technology in a new perspective and for a great cause, and we hope for more cooperation between Denmark and Africa to come!