6-8 August 2015 the first of three Regional SI Alumni Forums on the theme of innovation and entrepreneurship was held in Kampala, Uganda. The three day event gathered 41 alumni from 8 countries in the East Africa region for a program of lectures, study visits and a reception at the Embassy of Sweden in Kampala. SI alumni from Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Tanzania, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda attended the event.
The Regional SI Alumni Forum is an SI pilot project for 2015 where events on the common theme of innovation and entrepreneurship are held in Belarus, Indonesia and Uganda. The events are organised entirely by SI alumni with support from the Swedish Embassies and the Swedish Institute.
The purpose of the Regional SI Alumni Forum in Uganda was to gather SI alumni from Uganda and the East African countries to discuss and network around the conditions for entrepreneurship in the region and to spread and share information and best cases and to position SI alumni in the business sector of the future East African Community. Another purpose was to discuss and workshop in depth around how to strengthen the SI alumni network in the region.
The participants gathered on Thursday 6 August for a presentation of innovation catalyst organisation Four More about the ‘99 hours projects’. After the presentation and a hearty lunch served in the garden of the Embassy of Sweden the program continued with two study visits at the media house New Vision and Oriflame of Sweden. In the evening a reception was held at the Embassy of Sweden where 45 alumni attended. After the reception the whole group was transported to Entebbe and the Imperial Beach Hotel by lake Victoria for the rest of the event.
The programme on Friday started with opening remarks from the Ambassador of Sweden, HE Urban Andersson followed by welcome remarks by the SI Alumni Manager, Niklas Dahlberg. The alumni participants were then given three presentations related to the theme of the event – innovation and entrepreneurship.
Sweden Alumni and chairman of the Swedish Ugandan Business Association, Mr. Erostus Nsubuga, held a very inspiring presentation on ‘The Entrepreneurial spirit in an emerging East African Community: The Swedish contribution’.
The Regional SI Alumni Forum was honoured by the Hon. Minister Ms. Amelia Kyambade, Minister of Trade Industry and cooperatives, also a Sweden Alumni. Ms. Kyambades enthusiastic presentation on “Integration, Governance/ Leadership and Business: A tripod approach” was very well received by the gathered SI Alumni.
Ms. Kyambade’s presentation was followed by Mr. Robert Kabushega, CEO Vision Group, who’s presentation on ”How to succeed as an Entrepreneur in East Africa: A success story from the region” inspired the participants to think creatively and plan ahead.
After a long and inspirational day an evening of dinner and dance took place.
Saturday was spent mainly on a workshop about how to develop the alumni network in the East Africa region and position SI alumni in the business sector of the future East African Community.
The Regional SI Alumni Forum in Uganda was three very intense, inspirational and creative days and a start for further SI alumni cooperation in the East African countries.
The SI Alumni Forums in Belarus and Indonesia are both tentatively scheduled for November. More information to come!
More photos from the Regional SI Alumni Forum in Uganda: