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ITWeb Africa

Thursday, Dec 12th

Malawi's tech start-ups battle on

Malawi's tech start-ups battle on

Innovators and those running tech hubs say that with little to no support from banks, the government and telcos, tech start-ups in Malawi are turning to non-governmental organisations for support and incubation.

"There is no such thing in Malawi to support start-ups (from the government). Only those associated with the government can get the support," said Misael Stephen Buliani from the Innovation Hub Malawi.

Buliani added that a lack of funding, resources and operating centres (such as start-up spaces) are holding tech start-ups back. "Tech start-ups from Malawi have one major aim - to help the economy and assist with employment in the tech sector."

The Innovation Hub Malawi receives funding and support from Unicef, which is involved in various tech-focused initiatives, including mapping.

mHub Malawi also supports tech start-ups, while Dzuka Africa, The Mentorship and Philanthropic centre and TEVETA are all listed among those that also offer support.

Rachel Sibande, founder of mHub in Malawi says the hub has had to seek ways to raise revenue to make the project sustainable.

"We make some money from renting out our space but most of our money is made through developing technology solutions for clients. This enables us to be sustainable, so we can invest our profits into subsidising our social initiatives, which include a coding school for children and business incubator for youth," said Sibande who featured in the book Founding Women published this year on www.herfutureafrica.org.

Music streaming, online jobs marketplace and other mobile applications are among the popular areas for start-ups in Malawi. This is in addition to projects frequently run by Unicef which capitalise on technology for humanitarian programs in the country.

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