Cape Innovation & Technology Initiative expands to East Africa with Kigali office
South Africa’s Cape Innovation & Technology Initiative (CiTi) has opened its new East Africa office in Kigali, Rwanda, and announced a collaboration with the Allan & Gill Gray Philanthropy’s (AGGP) Jasiri Talent Investor programme and the Jasiri Accelerator.
CiTi is a not-for-profit impact organisation and Africa’s oldest tech incubator, having been supporting African entrepreneurs for 23 years. Over the last eight years alone, CiTi has intensively supported entrepreneurs from 11 African countries through its specialised entrepreneurial development programme, ed-tech accelerator Injini, and biotech incubator BioCiTi Labs.
The recent collaboration with AAGP’s Jasiri Talent Investor programme and the Jasiri Accelerator has enabled CiTi to combine its experience with that of AGGP Jasiri in East Africa, to support high potential individuals become high impact responsible entrepreneurs.
CiTi has chosen Norrsken House Kigali as its base for its East Africa expansion. Norrsken East Africa is part of the Norrsken Foundation, a non-profit foundation built on the belief that entrepreneurs building rapidly scalable businesses can help solve some of the greatest challenges facing our world today, which aligns strongly with CiTi’s inclusive impact vision for Africa.
“We have entrepreneurial and skills development hubs in Cape Town, Khayelitsha and Johannesburg. We are privileged to now be able to open an office in Kigali, Rwanda. Our collaboration with the Allan & Gill Gray Philanthropy’s Jasiri talent investor programme over the last three months has enabled us to deploy dedicated staff on the ground in Rwanda to support entrepreneurs in East Africa,” said Ian Merrington, CEO of CiTi.
“The impact of our support and ongoing collaboration with AGGP, have justified us investing in a full-time office in Rwanda to further our reach and impact in East Africa. I believe that we will be able to add value and impact, not only in traditional entrepreneurial development support but in more specialised areas such as the bioeconomy, ed-tech ecosystem and the acceleration of digital skills. We are also delighted to be able to collaborate with the members of Norrsken House Kigali and base ourselves in the middle of a vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem in East Africa.”
Anthony Farr, head of Allan & Gill Gray Philanthropy East Africa, said his organisation’s vision was of an empowered, prosperous, productively engaged African citizenry thriving in ethical societies with dignity and hope, which he said aligned well with CiTi’s vision of a future-fit, inclusive society.
“I have been delighted to see the increased impact of combining the experience of our two organisations‘ entrepreneurial support interventions. We believe that strong entrepreneurial teams are at the heart of successful new venture creation, so by starting with a focus on the individual, we aim to build a brilliant, diverse, and equally ambitious community of co-founders,” he said.
Michelle Umurungi, business development and partnerships manager for Norrsken East Africa, said she was delighted to host CiTi’s East African office at Norrsken House.
“I am excited by the future collaboration opportunities that this creates for all of us,” she said.