Ugandan startup KampaBits wins Miss.Africa Digital Seed Fund

KampaBits A training session at KampaBits. Image credit: KampalaBits.

KampaBits is the grand prize winner of the 2019 Miss.Africa Digital Seed Fund award, a deal that saw the skills training organisation bag $5000 (about Shs18 million).

The pan-African competition provides grants to startups that are promoting the participation of women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields.

Now in its fourth year, the Fund hopes the startups will use the money to either launch or expand their own initiatives in order to increase digital opportunities through job offerings and trainings.

Started to offer entrepreneurship, leadership, IT skills to youths living in informal settlements, KampaBits kicked off operations in 2010.

The organisation is managed by both Ugandan and foreign workers.

For instance, Ineke Aquiarius, who works as the company’s program director, is Dutch.

The organisation’s website shows they are a team of five.

Emmanuel Ssemutenga is a program manager, Lawrence Ssengendo is a training coordinator while Francis Ssempijja, Justine Mbawomye, Daisy Nakitende and Eric Muhwezi are trainers.

It is Alex Okwaput who conceived the idea of putting up a facility to offer skills in ICT, entrepreneurship, leadership, informal settlements.

A teacher by profession, Okwaput is now the executive director of KampaBits. 

KampaBits’ training center was equipped with 23 computers after securing funding from Terre Des Hommes Netherlands, reads the history of the company summarise on the website.

“The center started with 20 students, drawn from the informal settlements of Kawempe, Banda and Rubaga,” the statement says.

His vision was to see more of these underprivileged young people get jobs, Ssengendo said in an interview with Airtel Uganda’s ‘My Hustle’.

Ssengendo says all the training is hands-on and after training the youths are offered internship placements with partner organisations.

The trainings are mainly in areas of web development, graphic design, entrepreneurship, sexual reproductive health. 

To emerge the winner, KampaBits beat several other startups, including BasaliTech from Lesotho and Ace Communications from The Gambia.

These two will get $1000.

Ace Communications is a marketing firm while BasaliTech is a non-profit offering services similar to those of KampaBits, only it goes ahead to conduct workshops and seminars.

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