Open Collaboration for African Techies
Think Innovatively, Act Locally & Connect Globally
Harambe Cameroon, an organization promoting social entrepreneurship, recently held its first National Problem-Solvers’ business plan competition in Yaounde. 40 proposals had initially been submitted from university students countrywide but the top 5 were systematically selected. The teams behind them were in the capital city for 24 hours of incubation and a final live presentation before a public audience and a panel of jurists. ActivSpaces was present and impressed by the enthusiasm of the Cameroonian youth to undertake projects geared towards development of the motherland and the continent at large.
“If Not Now, When?”
Contestants in the business plan competition proved the capability of young forward-thinkers to make real impact in Cameroonian society. In the words of Nfinyo Mabu, CEO of Fresh Investment Corporation and one of the jurists at the competition:
“You [the youth] are not the leaders of tomorrow, you are the leaders of today.”
Harambe Cameroon represents a call-to-action; a push to seize the moment with initiatives despite roadblocks. The contestants all presented daring ideas in the spirit of “where there’s a will, there’s a way”. Getting into activity now is also the driving force behind what we do at ActivSpaces. Community-based entrepreneurs should not wait for times to get better, they should make better times.
“If Not Here, Where?”
The theme of a “national problem-solvers” competition is heartwarming to ActivSpacers who live and breathe to build bridges across divides. Harambe grasps the reality that every obstacle presents a possibility.
“Our mission is to inspire a new generation of young leaders and entrepreneurs who see problems as opportunities in need of solutions.”
The contestants observed issues like poor healthcare services, malnutrition, pollution, and transformed those into healthcare tools, nutrition control systems and recycling agencies, demonstrating innovative thinking of the first class. Here, where we have a multitude of problems, we equally have a myriad of opportunities.
“If Not You, Who?”
If you’re waiting for a champion to fight for your cause, the student-contestants, thoroughly drilled by Harambe Cameroon, will tell you that they found that champion within themselves.
The Wii.FM Frequency
In her closing speech, Olivia Mukam, President & Founder of Harambe Cameroon, humorously mentioned that it seems everybody is tuned in to Wii.FM — “What’s in it for me?” Where several fail to find an answer that satisfies them, ActivSpaces immediately sees the potential to mobilize the youth towards fostering a better today and a brighter tomorrow for everyone. We commend Harambe Cameroon and look forward to working on collaborative projects in the interest of social entrepreneurship and ICT4D. Stay tuned ;)
This blog is a resource for news, project updates, member profiles and community events at ActivSpaces, an open collaboration space, innovation hub and startup incubator for African techies. Based in Buea, Cameroon.