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The skills of the future (Part 2): The future is not something we enter. The future is something we create!

Over the next few weeks I want to trigger your imagination to possibilities that exist today (to position you for tomorrow). That is one key reason why we launched Muzinda Hub, which today reaches about 40,000 students online in 20+ African countries. Muzinda Hub is an exciting “coding”school designed by young people at Econet back in 2014 to help tackle youth unemployment and the huge digital skills gap across Africa.

In its very first year Muzinda Hub was named “the most disruptive incubator in Africa”. Our goal… skill up our people for jobs of the future!

Some of you might be aware that in the 1980s, countries like India and the Philippines noticed a future trend where IT skills could be sold to other countries so they made a massive investment, and to this day continue the drive to equip their citizens with IT skills. Back then just at the dawn of the digital era, some key policymakers had a vision to become one of the top IT outsourcing destinations in the world. Now companies in America and Europe (including here in Africa) are outsourcing their IT departments to India and other countries… 

So what are we on the African continent doing to equip our own citizens? Let’s talk.

For our part, since it launched five years ago, Muzinda Hub has offered digital skills training to about 1,000 unemployed graduates per year in Zimbabwe alone, many who are now playing a critical role to help small businesses to digitize in line with future trends. For instance, we offer high quality web design, web application and mobile app development services to thousands of business customers, some which didn’t yet have their business online… and now they do! Muzinda Hub even helps place the most successful and promising graduates from our training program in the local and regional job market.

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One reason we first started Muzinda Hub was simply to help businesses to equip their staff to manage and run business on the Internet. As many of you have learned, running an online business is different from running a traditional business. Customers are acquired differently, payments are made differently, and products are delivered differently. Most of you here know this but not everyone does. 

This year Muzinda Hub also partnered with UNICEF to set-up Muzinda hubs in 50 schools. These students will make use of walk-in hubs equipped with computers and internet access. 

Our youngest graduate so far is Tavonga Lewis. At the age of 10 he completed a Muzinda track on web design, learning fundamentals in HTML, CSS and Javascript! He says he wants to be like Bill Gates… This is how we are preparing Africa for the digital future. You can watch his inspiring video here:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UmQgZj7msCA

What about you? Why not go to your old school and start a Muzinda Hub? You can find out more atwww.muzindahub.com

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Muzinda has already scaled to Tanzania, Nigeria and South Africa with local and international partners like Hewlett Packard and TheirWorld and has plans to expand across Africa to several new countries this year. I’m also excited to announce that this month Muzinda Hub has launched in Botswana, keeping the promise I made to President Masisi at our town hall in Gabarone in April. 

When our team began its research in Botswana a few months ago, we learned of an inspirational young professional called Captain Kgomotso Phatsima, one of the first female pilots in Botswana. Captain Phatsima had decided to retire at a very young age to follow her passion to get young people, especially girls, into science and engineering professions! When we heard her story we sent our team to meet her. She now runs our Muzinda Botswana as a franchise. 

Application deadline for Botswana’s inaugural five-month program in coding, project development, project management and business skills training is 24 July! If you are in Botswana, you can apply here:https://muzindahub.com/botswana

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Let me close with a quick quiz: Who can tell me who is considered the world’s first computer programmer… the person who wrote the first official computer program? When you find out, I think it might surprise you.

“The future is not something we enter. The future is something we create!”

To be continued. . .

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