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Zambia, 15 May 2014: BongoHive and UNICEF forge alliance over Zambia’s first innovation lab

15 May 2014, Lusaka, Zambia – BongoHive and the UNICEF Zambia signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) today for the creation and launch of UNICEF’s 15th Innovation Lab worldwide.

The Zambia Innovation Lab will allow UNICEF and the UN in Zambia to convene dynamic, new partners around specific issues that affect children and women and foster the creation of solutions that are designed to go to global scale. 

The MoU outlines the parameters of a six-month partnership after which UNICEF and BongoHive will enter into a Program Cooperation Agreement for a period of one year. The approach of innovation captured in the agreement aims to foster positive and creative ways of programming for children and women and for developing collaboration among private sector, academia, NGOs, government ministries, youth and civil society.

UNICEF Zambia Representative Dr. Hamid El-Bashir explained why the partnership came about.

“Twenty-five years after making a promise to children through the Convention on the Rights of the Child, there is a need to have new ways of thinking and new ways of solving problems that deprive many children of their rights and the benefits of development. Innovation at UNICEF means doing something new or different that adds concrete value to our work as we strive to improve the lives of women and children” El-Bashir said. 

Although considered one of the global leaders in innovation and named one of the Top 10 Most Innovative Organisations by Fast Company, UNICEF continues to seek new ideas that will contribute to even greater results for children and women. “In this principle, UNICEF shares methods that can be employed immediately, and with minimal to no cost, to maximize the rich resources the organisation already has – its people! UNICEF understands that engaging and encouraging the imaginative power of employees and its partnerships creates a lasting competitive advantage and maximizes the organization's potential,” noted El-Bashir.

Speaking during the MoU signing ceremony, BongoHive Co-Founder and Executive Director, Lukonga Lindunda said, “The partnership speaks volumes about the progress made in the local innovation ecosystem. As BongoHive reaches its third year in operation, this is not only an acknowledgement of our success but reflects the growing need for stakeholders to collaborate in order to find innovative and scalable solutions to pressing issues and opportunities locally and globally.”

About UNICEF 

UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere. For more information, please visit: www.unicef.org. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook

About BongoHive

BongoHive is Zambia’s first technology and innovation hub - based in Lusaka - building on the hub concept that has already proved successful in several other Sub-Saharan countries. It is a social enterprise that contributes to local social and economic development by harnessing the power of technology and the untapped potential of creative entrepreneurs. BongoHive’s main activities include mentoring and incubating technology start-ups teaching a software development curriculum, conducting issue-specific workshops and seminars, running peer-led groups in gaming and robotics, and hosting a range of industry events: www.bongohive.co.zm, www.facebook.com/bongohive and www.twitter.com/bongohive

For further information, please contact:

Mr. Lukonga Lindunda, Executive Director & Co-Founder, BongoHive at 260-955-763336, E-mail: lukonga@bongohive.co.zm

Ms. Betty Chella Nalungwe, Senior Communication Assistant, UNICEF Zambia at 260-966-767770, E-mail: bcnalungwe@unicef.org


 

 
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