Kampala Innovation Week 2021

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The annual event, organized by Start-up Uganda in partnership with UNCDF, will take place from 22nd – 26th November, focusing on innovation for national development.

5th October 2021, Kampala, Uganda: Leading innovators and thought leaders from across the continent will convene from 22nd to 26th November for the Kampala Innovation Week (KIW) 2021. The event will be hosted as a hybrid event (primarily virtual) under the theme, "Harnessing the power of Innovation & Entrepreneurship for Uganda's digital transformation and job creation".

Over the five days, KIW will bring together innovators, entrepreneurs, investors, government stakeholders and development partners to discuss wins, misses and opportunities for growth in the innovation space. Specifically, participants will explore the role of innovators and entrepreneurs in achieving Uganda's development ambitions, deliberate on how innovation and entrepreneurship can be harnessed for job creation and employment, and discuss the links between digital technologies and community transformation.

"It is a crucial time for the innovation space in Uganda. Our responses to the effects of the pandemic especially within the sectors of agriculture, education and health are going to be great determinants of the economic trajectory in years to come. Making sure that spaces like Kampala Innovation Week are kept alive is a critical part of this development," said Jean Kukunda, Vice Chairperson of Startup Uganda and Director at Design Hub Kampala.
"Uganda has witnessed a growth in the innovation culture, though as a country we are yet to achieve a strong innovation ecosystem. By supporting initiatives like the Kampala Innovation Week, UNCDF aims to facilitate systemic growth of a vibrant innovation ecosystem, that will in turn spur development of an inclusive digital economy," said Chris Lukolyo, UNCDF Digital Lead in Uganda.

The five days will be preceded by two weeks of pre-event activities that include online masterclasses and sessions from various stakeholders within the Ugandan Startup Ecosystem. Some of the topics of discussion will include Influencing and its career viability in Uganda, a much-needed conversation on mental health and entrepreneurship, and a discussion on the state of the education system given the COVID-19 pandemic.

As an event that looks to celebrate innovation, participants can expect to hear from some of the current leaders in the space, including Daniel Ruyonga of Teheca, Lynda Kembabazi of KAINO, Nathalie Dijkman of SEMA, Esther Karwera of Akorion Company Limited and many more.

The main week promises talent from across the continent, with Startup Uganda leveraging relationships with partners like Afri-labs and Impact Rooms to host thought leaders such as Ghanaian entrepreneur and leadership development expert, Fred Swaniker, BBC's Nancy Kacungira and others. The event, as always, has attracted both local and international partners, including but not limited to UNCDF, UNDP, KAS, Enabel and Guinness.

KIW 2021 hopes to attract even more people than KIW 2020, reaching up to 20,000 virtual participants throughout the five days, with an even higher number expected over the two-week pre-event period. With the opportunity to gather even more renowned and accomplished speakers, KIW 2021 promises to be a space dedicated to stimulating and directional discussion with a sharp focus on digital transformation, job creation and economic sustainability in light of innovation. For updates on the agenda and speakers, please visit www.kiw.ug.