The American University in Cairo hosted the first entrepreneurship workshop of the Afretec (The African Engineering and Technology Network), an international organization that aims to encourage digital growth through the collaboration of higher education and the private and public sectors throughout Africa. The event brought together the six member universities, business owners and policymakers to develop a plan to support digital transformation through innovative startups.
The agenda of the workshop was to discuss Afretec's approach to entrepreneurship with selected experts working within the entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem in Africa. Venture capital leaders, government officials, United Nations representatives, thought leaders from six African countries and prominent successful entrepreneurs came together during the event to share unique insights on the ways universities can become more involved in the creation of startups
A key goal of the workshop was to build strategies for growing entrepreneurship in digital science
and technologies within the Afretec network and Africa at large .
Truthware CEO, Deji Macaulay was invited to participate in strategy building, share ideas, knowledge and experience around digital entrepreneurship and serve on the panel discussing the financing landscape for innovation and entrepreneurship within the African University eco-system.
L-R: Prof. Margaret Hutchinson, Dr. Maged Ghoneima, Dr. Jennifer Batamuliza, Dr. Diaa Khalil, Dr. Surya Raghu, Mr Deji Macaulay, Ms Zeinab Kamel.
“Entrepreneurship is a tricky phase for a university,” explains Tim Brown, director of research and professor of engineering and public policy and electrical and computer engineering at Carnegie Mellon University Africa. “Universities know how to teach and how to research, but their role in incubating startups and accelerators is less clear. We want to help universities identify where they can be most impactful, in addition to funding innovative products.”
“My goal was to show how universities can become more involved in the ecosystem of the private sector,” Deji Macaulay states. “Universities are very good at inventing things, but true innovation requires these creations to be implemented in the market, which is why connections to the private sector are key.”
The African Engineering and Technology Network (Afretec) is a pan-African collaboration of technology-focused universities from across the African continent. The creation of Afretec is a defining moment for the digital transformation of Africa.
The Afretec Network, founded by Carnegie Mellon, features three pillars: teaching and learning, knowledge creation and entrepreneurship.
To learn more about AFRETEC, visit: https://engineering.cmu.edu/afretec/index.html