Towards the end of September 2019, Nigeria's Co-creation Hub (CcHUB), one of the leading technology and innovation hubs in the West African country, announced that it has acquired Kenya’s iHub, another long running and prominent technology hub in Africa. Although details of the terms and amounts of money involved were not disclosed, the acquisition is quite noteworthy.

In acquiring iHub, Bosun Tijani, CEO at CcHub, noted that they had been collaborated with iHub previously. Tijani will also serve as CEO for both CcHub and iHub.

To understand a little bit more what this all means I conducted a Q&A with Tijani.

Bosun Tijani, co-founder of the Co-Creation Hub, Lagos. Source: DFID UK/Flickr

What motivated you to go ahead with the acquisition of Kenya's iHub?

To create a robust platform that's capable of attracting the best resources and partnerships to accelerate the application of technology and innovation for economic prosperity across Africa.

We would like to be able to improve the success rate of tech start-ups across the continent by being intentional about how we harness resources and know-how to support businesses to build and scale across the continent. In addition, we would like to accelerate our work with large corporates and government to apply technology within context to address some of the pressing business and social issues across Africa.

This acquisition is thus a great addition to the CcHUB family especially following the launch of the Design Lab in Kigali earlier this year.

There are many other technology and innovation hubs across Africa. Why did you choose iHub?

iHub is East Africa’s most prolific and reputable technology centre which has been instrumental in growing Kenya’s extraordinary technology ecosystem and they share our mission to make businesses and the business environment on the continent, better for all.

We have been long-time admirers and collaborators of their work and we believe that this acquisition is the next step for CcHUB as it continues its mission to connect entrepreneurs, technologists and public bodies across the continent.
You recently set up a Design Lab in Rwanda, is East Africa a key part of your expansion strategy, if so, why?

Our mandate is to widen central support and strengthen our pan-African network, and relationships to accelerate the growth of technology innovation and entrepreneurship in Africa. We chose to set up our Research and Development Unit in Rwanda because of the ease of doing businesses and align with a government that will enable socio-economic development, productivity and development across Africa. So it is important to us to leverage on partnerships whose vision aligns with ours not just East Africa but other countries across Africa.

Why do you think we have seen a rise in Tech Hubs across the continent over the past decade?

I think the continent is beginning to consciously create an enabling environment for technology innovation to thrive and we have seen this from the commitment and support from local and international organizations. The demand for tech talent will continue to rise as we build and scale and it is up to us as stakeholders to set up structures that will accelerate the growth of technology innovation and entrepreneurship in Africa.

What would be your advice for others who run Tech Hubs across the continent?

I would advise stakeholders in the technology ecosystem to be intentional about scaling the impact of science and technology to secure the future and create more business opportunities across Africa and I think this is something that shouldn’t be left to Tech Hubs alone but to the government and large corporates as well.

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