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Wavumbuzi Entrepreneurship Challenge; The Oasis Of Creativity, Innovation And Entrepreneurial Competency Development For Secondary School Students in Rwanda

5 Min Read

If we are to catch up with the rapidly growing world of today, we will be required to remain creative and innovative. By 2050, experts predict that between 20-30% of jobs globally will be ‘displaced’ as technology, automation and artificial intelligence are already transforming the way we work, think and learn.

According to Bloomberg, Africa will have, in 2035, more people joining the workforce than the rest of the world combined. This could either be a challenge or an opportunity for Africa depending on what we choose to do today as a continent.

Speaking of what needs to be done, The Allan and Gill Gray Philanthropy established the Wavumbuzi Entrepreneurship Challenge, a program which focuses on developing and nurturing entrepreneurial competencies and mindsets among secondary school students in Rwanda.

Launched in South Africa as the Allan and Gill Gray Entrepreneurship Challenge, then expanded to Kenya in 2019, the Wavumbuzi Entrepreneurship Challenge was launched in Rwanda earlier this year for its first edition.

The Challenge seeks to develop entrepreneurial thinking skills and competencies such as taking action, initiative, innovative problem solving, resilience, self efficacy and developing a need for achievement, that are needed to thrive and be relevant in the 21st century.

Wavumbuzi is a six week challenge which can be accessed on any computer, tablet or mobile device with internet connectivity.

Students compete against each other by completing challenges which tackle some of the country and continent’s most important issues. Each challenge requires students to apply creative thinking in addressing real-world scenarios and submit their answers for review.

Challenges are grouped under quests, the latter which are themed around different key industries such as Farming, Banking, Water and Health. Points earned place students, their schools on live leaderboards, with the top performers being rewarded with teachers on a weekly basis.

There is also a national awards event to recognize overall top performers for the challenge edition.

Focusing on entrepreneurship as a widely recognised countermeasure to unemployment, Wavumbuzi stands to identify talent early, equip them with key competencies to prepare them to enter the workforce by pursuing either intra or entrepreneurial ventures through creative and innovative thinking.

It is important to highlight that gamification is widely recognised as a teaching methodology that increases the appeal of learning processes, innovation, fun, productivity, and the ability to learn and retain knowledge.

The Wavumbuzi Challenge utilizes multiple gamified learning mechanics to capture students attention while fostering creative thinking and problem solving.

Having recorded remarkable success in its first edition, the Wavumbuzi  Entrepreneurship Challenge 2nd edition launched on October 25h and will run till December 5, 2021.

Today, there are more than 500 hundred secondary schools and close to 6000 students who have registered to participate across the country.

Schools have to be registered by teachers for their students to be able to participate, and the Wavumbuzi Team deploys necessary support to ensure school, teachers, and students are rightly onboarded before starting the challenge. Registration is still ongoing for schools that may wish to participate.

The Wavumbuzi Challenge has earned recommendation from Rwanda’s Ministry of Education, and its content has been validated by the Rwanda Education Board.

Wavumbuzi is well positioned to contribute towards Rwanda’s Vision 2050, particularly as it relates to two main structural outcomes of being (i) a middle income economy; and (ii) a knowledge based economy. Even further, a focus on “mindsets and competencies” demonstrates strong alignment with Vision 2050’s targets for “stimulating economic growth through innovation, integration, agglomeration, and competition”.

From the Teachers’ perspective, the Wavumbuzi Challenge contributes greatly to the development of the next generation of educators across the country, equipping them with a 21st century learning tool, and challenging them to prepare students for success in Rwanda’s dynamic future marketplace.

Students on the other hand, look at the Wavumbuzi Entrepreneurship Challenge as a tool to sharpen their skills, grow an entrepreneurial mindset, become more creative and innovative problem solvers preparing them for their future careers.

For more information on Wavumbuzi, a highly responsive WhatsApp support line has been set up: +250 789 175 239.