New chapter of innovation in the Smiling Coast of Africa

Africell and The Disruptive Lab team up to unleash the next generation of entrepreneurs, technologists and creative thinkers in The Gambia.

17 November 2021 – BakauThe Gambia’s biggest mobile company is partnering with the country’s first dedicated innovation hub to give more Gambians access to critical tools of enterprise and business-building.

Africell and The Disruptive Lab will lend expertise and resources to projects in the Gambia designed to widen participation and improve levels of tech and business literacy. The venture capitalises on a natural synergy between two organisations, both of which aim to promote economic development in The Gambia and both of which are committed to advancing skills in technology and related sectors.

Africell and The Disruptive Lab will provide training to over twenty schools and almost two thousand students in cutting-edge fields such as Virtual Reality, 3D Printing, Drone Technology and Robotics.  Africell’s “Geek Express”, a pioneering mobile innovation hub, will expand the programme’s geographical footprint by visiting schools and communities across The Gambia. Training will initially be targeted in Banjul and the surrounding metropolitan area, but the plan is to serve more rural areas in the second half of 2022. As part of the partnership, Africell will provide a significant package of direct telecommunication support to The Disruptive Lab, including high-speed internet connectivity for its offices and co-working spaces.

Africell and The Disruptive Lab have aligned objectives,” says Hussein Diab Ghanem, CEO of Africell The Gambia. “Africell’s mission is to spur individual creativity and encourage economic growth by equipping people, businesses and communities with telecommunications technology. Meanwhile, The Disruptive Lab offers a platform for tech-focused action and collaboration that is unrivalled in The Gambia. By combining our technology expertise with The Disruptive Lab’s unique learning environment, we hope to enable the rise of a new generation of savvy, smart and successful Gambian entrepreneurs – a process out of which, we believe, everyone will win”.

The Disruptive Lab is the first and only dedicated innovation hub in The Gambia. The lab provides space, facilities, technology, and networking opportunities to The Gambia’s growing community of entrepreneurs and start-ups. Despite opening in 2019, just before the pandemic, it has already earned a reputation as a destination for local entrepreneurs to make connections and swap ideas. The Disruptive Lab is well positioned as a springboard for Gambians seeking to make an impact at a regional and international level.

Malik Khan, founder and CEO of The Disruptive Lab, believes that technology is key to Gambia’s long-term success. “Technology is shaping the way we live, work and play. As more of us become connected to digital products and services, this trend will accelerate,” he says. “It is therefore essential for companies, governments and other organisations to “future-proof” themselves by taking steps now to nurture a new generation of creative thinkers with robust technology skills. Our game-changing partnership with Africell means that, in The Gambia, those with the desire to learn, innovate, and push for change now have an opportunity to do so”.

Africell’s work with The Disruptive Lab fits into a broader Group strategy of building technology capabilities within its operating markets. Other initiatives designed to upskill communities and strengthen local technology supply chains include a pilot project to assemble mobile phone handsets in DRC; support for a charity which communicates news and information via innovative mini-podcasts in Sierra Leone; and giving students access to international-standard educational resources through their mobile phones in The Gambia.

  • akhan
  • Nov 17th 2021
  • Comment 0

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *