Applications for “Digital Innovations for Business Resilience in the East African Community”, a campaign under the dSkills@EA project, are open until 21st February 2022. It aims to support young innovators at universities in Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda to develop and implement digital innovations for business resilience in times of COVID-19.

After an online application phase, selected participants will go through an online Ideathon in February 2022 to refine their ideas. Based on the Ideathon, a maximum of ten teams per EAC Partner State will be selected for a physical five-day Bootcamp taking place in each Partner State in March 2022. The Bootcamps close with six individual and physical National Pitch-Events in March 2022, providing a relevant opportunity to connect universities and industry, to network and share, to be awarded and recognized.

The winners of each Partner State will then compete at the virtual East Africa Grand Finale in April 2022. At the Grand Finale, five winners will be selected by an expert jury. An awarding sum of all together USD 10,000 will be split among the five winners according to the stage, needs, and potential of the winners, with a maximum of USD 5,000 to gain by one party. It will be decided by an expert jury including investors and innovators.

„It's extremely incredible to be part of this prestigious project, I am so delighted that the programme will create a path for plenty of mature ideas and improve the potential of students, and hopefully, there will be many jobs created by the students in the near future,“ notes Chris Maluckso, StartHub Africa Student Ambassador, University of Juba, South Sudan.

The political partners for the programme are the East African Community Secretariat and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The main implementation partners are the Inter-University Council for East Africa (IUCEA) and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), together with an East African-German academic consortium of universities and the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the Centre of Excellence for ICT in East Africa (CENIT@EA).

To apply, one must meet the following criteria:

  • University students and recent graduates (graduation is not more than one year in the past)
  • From an East African University
  • 18 - 35 years old
  • Team of minimum two people
  • Fluent in English
  • Having an idea for a digital innovation or one idea in the early stages of implementing one’s innovation.

Female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.

Students can apply by visiting the campaign website.