The Innovation Village,Uganda
“The only way to discover the limits of the possible is to go beyond them into the impossible.”
Arthur C Clarke
Which brand would you love to represent and work with?
When I read this question for the AfroBloggers Winter Challenge,it was a no-brainer!! I knew exactly which brand that was. And the best thing was……..
I had had the immense privilege of having a phone chat with the Team Lead of The Innovation Village Uganda,C.K Japheth. He started The Innovation Village(TIV) with the sole purpose of creating a destination,a ‘village’ where people who haven’t managed to win innovation competitions could come and transform their ideas into solutions for the worlds most pressing challenges. It is all about,’ Ideas to Life’. TIV believes that Uganda doesn’t need another training program or grant but positive economic growth. And They believe this can be achieved through nurturing and equipping entrepreneurs to dream on a global scale. These are ‘The Avengers’ for economic growth in Uganda. It is only fitting because Wakanda has indeed come to Uganda.
But one program that The Innovation Village created that tickled my fancy was MoTIV. This is the Makerspace of The Innovation Village. The proverbial,’Avengers Facility’.This is a community of collaborative creators who are out to discover talent ,who are passionate about making and doing things across the country. The vision is to create a sustainable marketplace for the creative industry by adding value to ideas, skills and products to empower local potential and create a Ugandan centered value chain.
“There Is One Thing Stronger Than All The Armies In The World, And That Is An Idea Whose Time Has Come.”– Victor Hugo
I don’t know about you but doesn’t this just sound like ‘vibranium’ at work. I mean what other concept or metal has the extraordinary abilities to absorb,store and release such large amounts of kinetic energy that will propel the creative industry not only in Uganda but dare I say,in Africa to the next level.You need to watch this space because this ain’t an end game- It’s an infinity war and we are fighting to place the creative industry at the forefront of sustainable development. And believe me,the war is being won,one battle at a time- how can we not when we have ‘The Avengers’ in the lead? Oh, look! Let me go talk to the Cap!
So the conversation continues and of course I had to ask a couple of questions in true style and He was gracious enough to answer. So here we go,
What inspired you to start MoTIV(Makerspace of The Innovation Village)?
Well, No one was doing it and that is what The Innovation Village is all about. If you look at the United Kingdom, a big percentage of their Gross Value Added(GVA) is derived from small businesses and the creative industries. According to the U.K government website,in 2017,the Department of Digital,Culture,Media and Sport sectors contribution to the economy was up by 3.6 per cent year on year to almost £250bn,accounting for 14.2 per cent of the UK’s Gross Value Added(GVA).No one in Uganda truly understands this concept and we thought to explore it. The people in this industry who are indeed thriving are not the locals and we at TIV strive to make a place for the locals- to have their voices heard as well. We are interested in mass industry and large scale. MoTIV accomplishes that by building a marketplace for them.
Where do you envision MoTIV in five years?
We see ourselves with a network of creators nation-wide. Imagine small cottage industries being connected to a network that brings all of them together for one sole purpose. This network will be supporting small and medium industries with equipment, partnerships,skills and credit. We would have a full blown logistics,brand and production lines for the different sectors we are interested in which are Fabric, Food, Metals, Film and Art.
How is MoTIV aligning with the global creative economy agenda?
Well, I always believe that we should remember why we started. This is not a one battle win. For something to have impact, you need to have been at it for one thousand days,that’s three years. So it is the Long game,we have to win. That said, we cannot do this alone so we will be partnering with various organizations to get this on the move.
People,you heard that,right? Straight from the horse’s mouth. Oh sorry,I meant the Captain! So we have the Avengers at the ready. We might be seeing a Marvel and D.C. collaboration coming up. Who knows? We can only hope but for now, The Avengers are at the battle station,all hands are on deck and we are all the better for it.
Now do you understand why it was a no-brainer? I mean,really? Really? Wakanda Forever!!!
Credits: The Innovation Village