Origin Research & Innovation Labs

Alliance for Entrepreneurial Universities in Africa 2nd forum: One million startups, $100 billion in revenue to universities in 10 years


The Alliance of Entrepreneurial Universities in Africa (AEUA) held its second forum in Addis Ababa on the 10th and 11th of October 2023 on the theme of generating:

“One million startups, $100 billion in revenue to universities in the next 10 years”.  

The forum discussions and presentations explored the pathways to this grand vision.  It was an opportunity for promoting, learning, and building networks for university entrepreneurship systems. The forum addressed issues of great value to the Origin Research and Innovations labs.


The forum started with high-level panel presentations from ambassadors representing their respective countries in Ethiopia. They included the Head of Mission and Permanent Representative of South Africa in Ethiopia, Ambassador of Japan to Ethiopia, Head of Mission and Representative of Germany, Head of Mission and Representative of Finland, Head of Mission and Representative of United Kingdom,   Head of Mission United States of America, and Ambassador of the Kingdom of Morocco.

This was an opportunity to examine the policies, practices, and measures that can support Universities to drive entrepreneurship, provide solutions to pressing local, regional and global issues, rejuvenate local economies and so on.  It was an opportunity for the high-level panel to review with the forum the support systems in place or under consideration and the challenges in the sector.  

The forum had a session to explore existing institutional arrangements to provide transferable lessons and examine issues that should be addressed to strengthen entrepreneurship systems. Shared were institutional systems of South Africa-Durban University, the University of Witwatersrand, Kenya-Dedan Kimathi University of Technology, and the Ethiopian Youth Entrepreneurs Association. Emphasized by Prof. Jussi Jauhiainen, University of Turku, Finland, and noted by the forum, was that entrepreneurship systems of the future, besides addressing academia, government, industry, and community linkages, should deliberately incorporate aspects that ensure planet earth remains habitable by future generations.

Prof. Peter Muchiri, DeKUT Vice-Chancellor, presented the University ecosystems and the support it would give to the Origin Physical Hub of East Africa.  

In a session of presentations by industry partners, Dr Antony Githinji, representing Semiconductor Technologies Limited, a partner of the Origin Research and Innovations Labs, explained the evolution of the partnership with DeKUT to establish the semiconductor technologies enterprise in Kenya. This is a model of how a University can work with the diaspora to develop transformative academia-industry linkages in a high-tech field and enable a country to enter upstream in value addition of the electronics global supply chains. Furthermore, it is a good STI model for the research-innovation ecosystem.  

 

The forum provided a promising avenue for showcasing. A total of 15 innovative solutions to Africa’s challenges; a good demonstration of what should be realized on the Origin platform and, indeed, what should become the norm in entrepreneurial universities. This Origin website has posted a few of them for information.

During this meeting, Prof Paul Ndirangu Kioni presented the Origin Research and Innovation Labs website and invited members of the Alliance to promote it in their institutions so that talented staff, students and innovators could register as solvers.  

Dr Victor Konde, during the concluding session of the workshop, highlighted the work that leaders of member universities have to undertake as they take full ownership of the Alliance of Entrepreneurship Universities in Africa and use it as a vehicle to achieve the institutional and ecosystem transformation needed to deliver the 1 million startups in 10 years.