Submitted on April 2014
The project launched with a regional meeting held between the co-coordinators and the project manager at the four partnering institutions from Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda in Kampala. Following an update on the Cape Town visit, a review of the project contract, and an outline of the project activities for the first year, the partners engaged in analyzing the budget, prepared a tool for their data baseline in line with the project objectives. This activity also including discussion on publishing a collaborative paper on their findings following data analysis. Short courses in applied entrepreneurship and business management were also discussed. Items on the agenda included how they would be delivered, certification, sustainability, trainings and the development of future on-line courses.
The partners paid a visit to Makerere University, Department of Food Science within the College of Agriculture & Environmental Sciences where research and development were happily married and busy delivering a number of food lines, all from locally produced raw materials including ice- cream, sorbets, cream, butter, tomato and chili ketchup, mango chutney and delicious confectionaries aimed at the emerging and exponentially growing regional market. We were informed of current research on chocolate and a mango preservation project in the making. This demonstrated and convinced the project partners that a business incubation centre could run successfully within an academic institution. From the visit a number of ideas emerged and each institution felt they should try something individual to them.
Since the Kampala meeting each institution has been busy moving their activities forward, with Rwanda holding an internal launch on 20th March, inviting students and lecturers from multi-disciplinary backgrounds, local business people and management. Muhimbili delved into the development of short courses sharing their resources and experience with the other institutions, the University of Nairobi was in the lead to implement their data collection and Makerere delivered an on-line social entrepreneurship course with a One Health angle.