inq. to Launch "Centre of Excellence for Innovation" in Botswana

Pan-African technology company inq. has announced plans to launch a "centre of excellence for innovation" in Botswana. The center, which will be one of the numerous centres of excellence the company intends to build across its markets on the continent, will serve as a source of talent and innovation for the company.

Speaking during a media briefing this morning in Gaborone, inq. executive chairman Andile Ngcaba stated that the centre will be working with universities across the continent to develop new products. inq. Botswana's managing director Tshepo Tsheko will be heading the initiative across the company's ten markets.

"In 2024, we are planning to host a continental university competition where students will compete in building applications that will contribute towards the AI platforms that we are building. This is something that will be driven in Botswana and all interested universities in the markets where we operate will be competing, supported by inq. We chose Botswana because Tshepo has a lot of experience heading innovation intiatives so with his guidance, we hope for the centre to spark a significant amount of innovation across our markets, " Ngcaba said.

Through the centre of excellence, the company will hold hackathons where teams will compete nationally and then proceed to compete with other teams in inq.'s pan-African markets with finals to be held in Botswana. 

Commenting on the initiative, Tsheko stated that, contrary to the traditional way hackathons have been done in the country, the initiative will put a significant amount of focus on the deliberate and intentional follow-through after the hackathons to ensure that the winning ideas can have practical and commercial implementations.

"We want the hackathons to have a clear route to commercialization because that is really where impact is felt when a product from a hackathon can be scaled across the continent," he said. " The intention is to partner with some of these startups and take their solutions to the market."

Apart from the centres of excellence, inq., which launched in Botswana in March 2022, also announced that it will be launching two AI products, DocsAI and VideoAI, as well as Wi-Fi 6, at an event to be held in Lusaka, Zambia, on August 30th.

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