South Africa: mLab Empowers Innovators and Entrepreneurs to Harness Digital Opportunities

By : Melchior Koba

Date : vendredi, 08 septembre 2023 13:14

Through its unwavering commitment to innovation, mLab Southern Africa is positioning itself as a catalyst for digital transformation in Southern Africa. 

mLab (Mobile Applications Laboratory NPC) Southern Africa, founded in 2011, is a technology-focused company that trains innovators and entrepreneurs to make the most of digital opportunities. 

It is the result of a collaboration between the World Bank, via its InfoDev project, the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI), the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research in South Africa (CSIR), and The Innovation Hub (TIH), among other stakeholders, to help open up and develop the mobile applications sector in South Africa.

It is part of a regional initiative encompassing Southern African countries. In addition to the members of the consortium that set it up, it relies on a solid network of partners and collaborators from the public, private, academic, and civil society sectors. These include the World Bank, the Finnish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, AfriLabs, Google, and Amazon Web Services.

Along with various partners, it strives to build a dynamic and robust innovation ecosystem. It focuses on empowering youth, women, and disadvantaged communities through digital skills training, business support, and technology development services.

With offices in Limpopo, Gauteng, and the Northern Cape, it offers a wide range of services and programs to support both aspiring technology entrepreneurs and established players in developing their skills, ideas, and products.

It organizes events, training, workshops, and bootcamps for a variety of audiences including school pupils, university students, graduates, professionals, and entrepreneurs wishing to learn about mobile technologies, design, development, and business management.

mLab Southern Africa successfully runs the CodeTribe program, a full-time coding academy designed to train young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to become software developers.

The company offers incubation and acceleration programs for early-stage startups. Through its programs, it offers services such as gap analysis, go-to-market strategies, mentoring, start-up grants, as well as assistance with digital tools and minimum viable product (MVP) development.

Its Innovation Lab is a fertile ground where its team supports the development of digital solutions, particularly those with social impact, and has contributed to the development of solutions for sectors as diverse as education, health, and agriculture.

Melchior Koba


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