Resilient Building Workshop with the Donkerbos Community

Donkerbos Community

From the 28th of august to the 01st of September, a Resilient Building Workshop was held with a San community in Donkerbos, a small village a few kilometres outside Gobabis. The workshop focused on briefing the community on some technological concepts such as crowd funding system and educative applications and games.

Primarily, the community was introduced to the concept of crowd funding and the way it operates. Ms Marly, Ms Helena and Mr Peter facilitated this session, they presented the community with a detailed explanation of the necessary aspects needed when uploading a campaign project on a crowd funding system. A few examples of crowd funding projects were then presented to the community as means of elaborating and explaining the differences between a well explained and detailed campaign project and a campaign project that lacks necessary details and is not well explained.

The Community coming up with Campaign Project ideas

After the detailed explanation, the community then joined arms and came up with campaign project ideas that focus on community socio-economic development and that will assist in building and uplifting the community. They worked earnestly together deriving ideas from one another until the best three ideas were chosen. These ideas were further pondered upon and the community came up with great detailed plans of how the ideas would be represented on the San Starter crowd funding system.

Mrs. Rosetha Kays then took over and facilitated the session with the San school dropout youth and parents. Here she presented the mobile counselling platform that aids to assist the San youth so that they are resilient to challenges faced when they are in schools. The school dropout youth and parents then went through the application assessing and further understanding its objective. They were pleased and gave comments that the application could work in assisting the children so that they endure and finish school

The San youth and parents going through the mobile counselling platform

Ms Rosetha kays facilitated her last session where she presented once again the mobile counselling platform, however this time around it was with the San children. Here the children maneuvered around with the platform, reading, exploring and understanding the significance of staying in school no matter the challenges faced.

The Resilient Building Workshop was significant as it educated to the Donkerbos Community ways in which they could develop their community by coming up with relevant campaign project ideas for a crowd funding system. Most importantly it educated the youth, children and parents through the mobile counselling platform on the prominence of endurance and remaining in school because dropping out of school will only further limit them to progressive and advancement opportunities that are available and they will not have a chance to contribute to their individual growth as well as the socio- economic development of their community.

Donkerbos Community

Innovative prototypes at Swakopmund and Walvis Bay youth (Part 2)

On February 2019, NUST FCI under the Tech HUB grant collaborated with a local youth activist, Ms Lucia Aochamus and the Faculty student society – Muhoko Developer Group to co-design with the Mondesa community in Swakopmund. In the initial workshop, four prototypes were designed which comprised of a virtual school, smart parent app, child awareness app and a fire emergency response app.  We then held a follow-up session on 9 – 11 August 2019. 

The second co-design session took place at the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) COLL Regional Centre in Walvis Bay with a total of fifty (50) participants. The second workshop was aimed at developing the previously co-designed solutions into software products.

We invited lecturers, students and industry professionals to facilitate the development of the prototypes along with community members from Walvis Bay and Swakopmund. The purpose of the coding and design workshop was to equip the community members with powerful design tools and methods that will enable them to further develop (code) them into functional software products.

Redesign session

The event kicked-off with a warm-up game session with the participants, right after that they were dived into a one hour lecture on HCI/Co-Design Techniques which was followed by a team formation exercise. The lecture was intended to introduce the new participants (from Walvis Bay) to design skills and refresh the old participants’ memories, in the case of old participants wanting to redesign their initial prototypes. Two facilitators were assigned per group, they started redesigning and developing their prototypes.  The facilitators/software developers would teach the group members how to code. The participants had the opportunity to engage in design activities and develop their prototype ideas that addressed the prominent challenges faced in their community.

Facilitators teaching the participants how to create their own websites

The team of software developers, designers and facilitators shared their experiences during the sessions. This was done as a way to motivate the participants when they were busy coding their design ideas into software products. A key outcome from this process was the five solutions that addressed issues around:

  1. Teenage Pregnancies – a solution to educate and mitigate teenage pregnancies and sexual health issues.
  2. Homelessness – a solution to improve the lives of homeless people in Namibia
  3. Fire response – a solution that allows emergency response to fire incidents in Swakopmund and Walvis Bay
  4. Studying made fun – a solution for school learners to improve their learning experiences hence prevent learners from dropping out of school
  5. Child Safety Game – a game for Namibia children to learn safety and to make them aware of human trafficking and abuse.

The solution to improve homeless people in Namibia was designed in the second workshop. The Participants tested those solutions by having other teams come and test their application. The testers provided valuable feedback on how to improve the prototypes. The suggestions such as preventing false reporting for the fire response app, the use of biometrics in the homeless app as a way to identify homeless people were then implemented.

Homeless App features

Fire response App features

Testing session

The two phases of the project have been successfully completed. The participants walked away fully equipped with the tools and methods needed to design their own prototypes and develop their paper prototypes using a programming language. They expressed their satisfaction with the workshop saying that they enjoyed coding. An auxiliary outcome was the knowledge transfer of website development and learning design and coding.

The team lecturers, students, industry professionals, high school dropouts, high school learners

The ‘ROOM’ blazes hope at the One Economy Foundation Conference

‘What can you do to make Namibia better for EVERYONE? This is the thematic question that the Inclusive and Collaborative Tech Innovation Hub stimulated from its visitors at the Augmented Reality Citizenship Style Installation exhibition, held recently in Windhoek.

Our Augmented Reality installation called the ‘Room is designed and laden with suitable technological activities that aroused a sense of civic duty on the participants, to take practical actions that would redress some of the socio-economic challenges that hampers growth in their respective communities.   

The exhibition started off by welcoming visitors to the ‘Room’ where they were shown a video showcasing images of Namibians from different cultural, economic and social backgrounds telling their aspirations for the better Namibia. The participants took part by completing the sentence I would like to live in a Namibia where…..

I swear——–The citizenry oath

‘I would like to live in a Namibia where there is no racial discrimination, where people are respecting and treating one another with dignity and sensitivity’ said one participant

‘Our country is very rich in natural resources that could be used to better the lives of our people and to take them out of poverty. I do not want to live in a Namibia where people are suffering due to poverty’

The participants then entered the ‘Room where they were required to use mobile phones to interact with the augmented reality content, which highlighted the stark economic and social differences among the people in our society.

A visibly immersed participant engaging the ‘Room

The most popular activity on the day was the AR contented images that informed participants to pledge assistance with imaginary money to the plights in the education sector, entrepreneurship and the combating of Gender-based violence. They were required to choose a Cause that they would like to make a commitment to by depositing the imaginary money into the respective jars.  Most visitors chose to invest their money in education.

An honorable thing to do-———–Tech-hub staff leading the Minister of Lands and Resettlement, Honorable Utoni Nujoma through the AR installation

“Of course I would re-invest my time and financial resources to the cause of Education, because it is the foundation and fabric of every society’s upright socialization. Education has the ability to alleviate the challenges of other two Causes” replied the jovial Minister of Land and Resettlement, Honorable Utoni Nujoma on the question about his choice.

However, according to Mr. Yussuf Mocha “entrepreneurship is a viable cause that needs to be extensively supported and promoted. It encourages a self-sustaining society that would lift the burden off an already overstretched state’s resources. I support this cause”

The event was organized by the One Economy Foundation under the theme ‘Ignite Hope and Optimism’. It was held on the 3rd of August 2019 at Safari Hotel.

Intellectual Property Rights workshop with Innovators

Ms Magdalena Nghiiki (standing), an Intellectual Property expert interacting with Innovators.

The training that was held on the 9th of August 2019 focused on training and educating Innovators on the importance of Intellectual property, and protecting their innovative ideas.

Ms Magdalena Nghiiki, an Intellectual Property expert and a member of the Inclusive and Collaborative Local Tech Innovation Hub team took the Innovators through a thorough workshop on why Intellectual Property is important, how to go about protecting your innovative idea and where one can get more information.

She further emphasised on the international Intellectual Property legislation that Namibia ascribes to, which includes the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and The African Regional Intellectual Property Organization (ARIPO).

The workshop content moreover focused on Patents, Trademarks, Industrial Designs and Copyright laws and how they operate. The Innovators were intrigued by the number of legislations that ought to be known and followed. They participated enthusiastically and asked numerous questions.

Ms Nghiiki, additionally talked about the benefits of Intellectual Property Rights such as the competitive edge and market power one can have if they follow the right IP procedures, she similarly pondered on the potential revenue stream that Intellectual Property creates for individuals and that it establishes a yielding platform to raise funds and attract potential investors.

The workshop was informative and the innovators expressed their thought on the workshop as follows:

“I am positive with all that IctechHub is doing. We are learning more as Innovators that we did not know about.”

“The workshop was very good and informative”

“The session was very precise, straight to the point and I commend the organisers on goodtime management”

“The session was knowledgeable”

“The IP presentation was informative and it taught us on the importance of protecting our products/Innovations. I urge the Techhub to continue with the work they are doing as it beneficial. Let us all come together and build our nation”

“Session was awesome”

“This Intellectual Properties session was highly beneficial”

The Intellectual Property workshop educated Innovators on the steps that need to be taken when protecting your idea, brand and innovation. It was held at the Namibia university of Science and Technology.

Hub supports Hackathon to develop Counselling digital service

During previous co-design workshops held with Unemployed youth from Havana informal settlement, a lack of access to information was identified as a major stumbling block for the community. The unemployed youth have no access to job vacancies that are available on the market, training opportunities, career and health related counselling as well as motivational resources.

A three day Hackathon supported by the Hub was held on the 26th – 29th June 2019 at Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) to develop a Counselling digital service platform that would address the needs of the Havana youth. The platform will provide the requirements identified by the Havana youth in order to support and empower the communities’ well-being. Six NUST students from the Faculty of Computing and Informatics from the group known as Muhoko participated in the hackathon. Three of the students were in their first year while the other three were second and third year students. Muhoko is a student led society at NUST that is multidisciplinary and focuses on creating and supporting innovative technology development.

Developing the Counseling Digital Platform

The first day of the Hackathon was dedicated to understanding the requirements of the system and designing the prototype. The second day of the Hackathon was exclusively devoted to customizing the technical requirements for the system. The third day was dedicated to adding the required content to the different interfaces.

The Counselling Platform is hosted by the Hub on the following url link

The Counselling digital platform will undergo usability testing with the Havana youth to ensure it is easy to use and ensure that the youth will use this service to improve their well-being.

Ten tips for young tech inventors from SALT

A partnership between the Tech Hub and SALT Essential IT shows that support does not have to be about money. Advice, networks, and inspiration are also crucial.

Time for questions and feedback.

On a wintry Thursday evening, a group of young tech inventors gathers in a small conference room at SALT Essential IT in Windhoek’s Southern Industrial Area. Most of them come straight from their day jobs – which they hope to leave one day in order to focus on their own tech ideas.

For a moment, it is just them and a welcome slide on the digital screen mounted on the wall. Large, artistic-looking text in blue says Getting your startup on with SALT and Inclusive Tech Innovation Hub.

Enters Sonja Coetzer, SALT’s Chief Operations Manager with over 20 years of work experience with ICT all over Southern Africa. She points to the slide on the screen and says: ‘If you are wondering what font that is, it is not a font. It’s my handwriting. This is one of the things you can do easily with cloud-based services.” SALT is Namibia’s biggest cloud technology provider and she knows her sales talk.

Then she gets to the point. ‘Did you know that there are 783 IT companies in Namibia?’ she asks. Now, how to break through to the market with your invention that you believe has potential? Below are 10 tips that Sonja gave to our group that evening. 

1.  Do your market research and business planning. It does not need to lead to a 100-page business plan, but you need to be clear on whether and how your idea can be monetised. Use a digital mind map tool for planning. (Several such tools are available online for free or at a low cost.) It gives you an at-a-glance view on everything that is important and helps you to understand how things hang together.

2. When moving from research to planning, focus on goals and objectives. Unlike vision and mission, they are key for getting things done. And DO THE NUMBERS. Where is money supposed to come from, how much? What are your own costs?

3. Remember to review and adapt your plan on a regular basis. This is important because both technologies and markets change. One part of market change is the entry of new competitors, and you need to know your competitors to be able to win.

4. Research and planning does not require a lot of money. Think how you can use your social networks and free resources around you (such as your university library, if you are a student.) Your research is only valuable to the extent that you use it in your business decisions.

5. Do not forget marketing. Know who your target market is and use the channels they use and styles that appeal to them. Be clear, be consistent, and appeal to emotions. Which emotion you need to tap on to make your target market want to buy your product or service? Cultivate relationships with influencers. Be prepared to accept that once money one day starts coming in you need to invest a fair chunk of it in marketing.

6. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and / or mentorship from resource persons around you. However, don’t talk to just IT people. IT people get really excited about IT things. Their excitement might make them blind for business and people related flaws in your idea.

7. Whether you are asking for advice or trying to attract investors, know the difference between confidence and arrogance. Believe in yourself and your product. Be confident but not arrogant.

8. The risk of having someone steal your idea is real. If you are working together with someone – even family members or close friends – the minimum you should do is a non-disclosure agreement, which prevents both parties revealing critical details to outsiders.  [Our remark: You can even ask Tech Innovation Hub for advice. We have recently started working with Ms. Magdalena Nghiiki who is a specialist in intellectual property rights.]

9. Always do all the homework you possibly can before contacting potential advisors, mentors or investors. Why would they want to invest in your idea if you have not invested in it yourself by doing thorough research and planning?

10.   Persevere and learn from your competitors and your critiques. On a bad day, remember that it is entrepreneurs that make things happen. Not big corporations, not governments but young hungry entrepreneurs.

To see Sonja’s power point, click here.


Are you an upcoming tech inventor in Namibia? Is there a particular topic you need advice or training on? Or would you like to learn from a particular company or a resource person? Contact The Inclusive and Collaborative Local Tech Innovation Hub and we will see if we can make a connection between them and our inventors’ circle, which you are warmly welcome to join. Contact details: Tech Innovation Coordinator Marly Samuel by email info [at] or tel. 081 436 4973.

Smart prototypes to solve environmental problems emerges from the ‘I.o.T’ workshop

Participants from Windhoek’s informal settlements, co-crea…

Tech Bazaar connects young inventors to finance and other support

The recently concluded Technology Innovation Baz…

Close to 40 local inventions to be showcased in the Tech Innovation Bazaar

The Inclusive and Collaborative Local Tech Innovation Hub is…

Hub trains community mediators to access crowdfunding

Access to seed funding makes a huge difference for small community projects. A trained…