The iHub played host to the President of the Slovak Republic, Andrej Kiska, during his three-day state visit to Kenya. President Kiska was accompanied by Tourism CS Najib Balala, ICT CS Joseph Mucheru, the Slovak envoy František Dlhopolček amongst other guests.
He was received by Josiah Mugambi, iHub’s COO and Njoki Gichinga, iHub’s Director of Partnerships and Sales.
(TOP: from left – iHub COO Josiah Mugambi; Tourism CS Najib Balala and Slovakia President Andrej Kiska).
President Kiska, a seasoned entrepreneur and philanthropist, is keen in promoting entrepreneurship, thus his visit to the iHub. The President shared his entrepreneurship journey which began in the US, beginning as a student and cleaner. After a year and a half, he opted to return to his home country and eventually became a successful businessman. However, this did not happen overnight. He emphasised perseverance, and failure and change as necessary ingredients for success.
At the age of 40, he sold his businesses and, using some of his own funds, founded one of the largest charities in Slovakia, helping children with cancer. After running the successful charity for eight years, he decided to take another challenge: running for the highest seat in politics as an independent candidate. With inspiration from Gandhi, he successfully made the transition from entrepreneurship and philanthropy to politics, eventually winning the Slovak presidential election despite having a 3% chance of winning at one point.
During his speech, and drawing from his experience, he reiterated this several times: “In business, be ready to fail, but do NOT give up. Be ready for change: change your way of thinking and style of life.”
The ICT CS Joe Mucheru gave a brief speech highlighting the Government of Kenya’s work in skills development, online job creation, digital literacy and creating online jobs.
Andela’s Chief Strategy Officer, Wambui Kinya, described their work in building up world-class software developers from Africa as the next generation of global technology leaders.
Akirachix builds up girls from under privileged backgrounds with a mission to grow the number of women working in technology. Linda Kamau’s presentation as the co-founder focused on their training approach that combines skills development with business and life skills over a period of one year.
David Ogiga, co-founder of Sote Hub, described their work in ICT training and supporting entrepreneurs in Taita Taveta. The Slovak Government has supported Sote Hub as part of their interest in entrepreneurship development work on the continent, particularly in rural areas.
After his tour of the iHub, President Kiska was escorted on a tour around Gearbox, a design and rapid prototyping facility by Kamau Gachigi, the facility’s Executive Director.
The Slovak Republic has supported many development initiatives in Kenya in healthcare sector – improving health status in Kenya particularly among children and mothers. Other development initiatives in Kenya are in education, agriculture and good governance.