Five Rwandan startups are among the 10 selected startups from Africa by the Dubai Chamber that will stand a chance to participate in the mentorship program in August this year in the United Arab Emirates.
The five were selected following an engagement of 20 startups from Dubai and Africa held at Kigali Convention Centre on the sidelines of the Africa Tech Summit.
The startups that took part in the pitching exercise are drawn from key sectors including education, healthcare and providing smart cities solution.
The three months programme is part of the huge project dubbed, Global Business Forum mentorship programme, an initiative of Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry aiming at empowering UAE and international startups towards global growth and expansion via cross-border mentorship.
The project will involve a number of activities; getting access to professional mentors, meeting with investors, business-to-business pitches, as well as eased access to the UAE market to local startups.
The Dubai team was led by Natalia Sycheva, the Entrepreneurship Manager at Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, under Dubai Startup Hub Programme.
Sycheva, told Business Times that they want to engage entrepreneurs with ideas disrupting the industries.
Over the last five years, UAE has invested more than $27million in Africa as a way to increase trade ties through the Global Business Forum.
With increasing talents and innovation driven by the young generation and as the population of Africa estimated to reach $2 billion by 2050, UAE is looking for more partnership in Business.
One of the participants from Rwanda with fellow startup participants during a group session at the Chamberthon.
Sycheva also believes that there is much potential in partnering with African startups, which are on the rise on the continent.
“Our government is revisiting the procurement policy and we want to create market for startups than as it was traditionally done where big co-operates and conglomerates were given first priority thus why we want to partner with African startups through giving market access”, she said.
Local entrepreneurs who were selected say that it is an opportunity to provide solutions to much broader problems they are always confronted with specifically access to capital funds and market access.
Aloys Rukundo, the brains behind Alonzo Inc Ltd, a startup extending medical services to people with chronic diseases, said that it’s a privilege for Rwandan startups to get such an opportunity to share knowledge and experience with other entrepreneur coming from another continent.
“We are just privileged to have such an opportunity to have direct contact with people exchange our experience and knowledge to each other and we pray that we are invited to Dubai in August for more insight,” he said.