By Ronald Joshua

UNITED NATIONS (IDN) – Despite instability and security challenges, ranging from human and drug trafficking to terrorism and the illicit flow of resources away from the continent, the New Partnership for Africa’s Development – now fully embedded in the development paradigms of both the United Nations and the African Union – remains the "rallying point" in Africa’s pursuit of growth.

The partnership, known as NEPAD, is particularly critical in the areas of social and economic development. The recent finalization of the Tripartite Free Trade Area agreement is an important step that would harmonize three sub‑regional blocs, which previously had their own rules and models for trade.

- Photo: 2021

Cape Town University Students Cited for Innovative Business Ideas

By Lisa Vives, Global Information Network

NEW YORK | CAPE TOWN (IDN) — Three female students at the University of Cape Town won intervarsity recognition as top student entrepreneurs after a two-day national final in Johannesburg in November.

Among the winners was Zimbabwe-born Chido Dzinotyiwei, founder of Vambo Academy, an educational technology platform that uses digital resources to offer language learning, translation and knowledge services.

“We want to democratize access to indigenous language learning and champion the preservation of indigenous languages and cultures for future generations,” she told an interviewer. “We want to create a space where the diversity and richness of indigenous cultures is recognized and celebrated. We believe that language is key to achieving inclusion in our societies.”

“The one skill set Africans have mastered is their mother tongue. With this venture we hope to create opportunities for talented individuals like writers, poets, teachers and translators, and to be that stepping stone as they venture out into the world. We hope to demonstrate that African solutions backed by technology can make a difference in societies.”

“None of us should ever stop learning about our culture and heritage because knowing where we come from is important,” she said. “This why we chose to call ourselves Vambo, which means “origin” in ChiShona.”

Vambo Academy aspires to make the learning of African languages and cultures accessible online.

Tshegofatso Masenya, a fifth-year medical student, walked away with the national Student Entrepreneur of the Year Award; and her crowdfunding platform, GoShare, also topped the social impact category.

Tshegofatso said her project responded to the growing number of students needing donors to fund what’s left of their college or university fees. “With GoShare, our main aim is to democratize access to tertiary education, harness the power of community, and cultivate a culture of investing in one another,” she said.

Finally, Vuthlarhi Shirindza won 5000 rand for her business, Chewi—a pet telehealth app that offers on-demand pet telemedicine and services. The fourth-year medical student at UCT described Chewi as an e-commerce platform that offers products and services by small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

“We also offer mobile clinic vet services and pet training workshops in townships and rural areas to educate pet owners in these areas on how to care for pets properly.” [IDN-InDepthNews – 29 November 2021]

Photo credit: Vambo Academy

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