A group entrepreneurs have come together to create a collaborative space, Bulawayo Tech Hub, that brings together tech professionals, start-ups and creatives to share ideas and create technological solutions to some of the challenges affecting the city.
Speaking to CITE, Lesly Dube one of the founders of the hub who is currently based in the United Kingdom said the hub was born out of realisation of a gap in tech solutions to some of the challenges bedeviling the city.
“Now a couple of years ago before I made a trip back to Bulawayo after a long time, I happened to come across Center for Innovation and Technology (CITE) in terms of what they are doing.
I then said can we just put something together and kick off a conversation start like meet ups to try get people together, build a community of tech entrepreneurs , tech professionals , start ups and try and build a community of tech professionals really, so thus how we ended up saying let’s just get something,” said Dube.
“I didn’t want to spend the next 6-12months trying to plan how the whole Bulawayo tech hub will function, my call was let’s start a conversation through the meet ups about what is happening in Bulawayo, what are the current challenges, how can we come together and using the experience that we have gained all these years, the few of us being outside Zimbabwe and having worked for different corporations in delivering different transformation programs across different sectors.”
He said Bulawayo Tech Hub’s primary focus is to build a collaborative culture within the tech industry.
“We kicked off Bulawayo tech hub, started the tech meet ups trying to kick off conversation key being building a community, I think thus the primary focus of Bulawayo Tech hub where we want to build a community of tech entrepreneurs, tech professionals, start-ups. Then we kicked off the tech meet up sessions running every fortnight,” he said.
Dube said they want to build a big tech market in Bulawayo.
“One of the questions is why are we going to India for tech resources, why are we going to Pakistan and stuff like that, why can’t Bulawayo be the next India?” he said.
“We know that Bulawayo used to be the industrial capital of Zimbabwe but at the moment we know the industries have shut down because of the economy and everything. So it’s about how do we then try and change the mindset of people in Bulawayo to say look there is a whole big market, how can we turn Bulawayo to be the Tech capital of Zimbabwe.”
Dube said the meet ups are a pool of free expertise that people can maximise on as it is a space where people can stretch their minds, and collaborate in coming up with new technologies.