GESCI-AKE Policy Forum 29 March 2017: Live Blog Here!

Welcome to the 2017 GESCI-AKE Policy Forum!

“An Inclusive Policy Environment for Youth Skills and Enterprise Development”

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Opening Remarks, Jerome Morrissey, CEO, GESCI — on GESCI’s replicable model of #Youthskills and #EntrepriseDevelopment

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7 Startups Introduced!

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  • Artari Kreations
  • Verb House Productions
  • Boisch Enterprises
  • Ioniccode Software developers
  • Makossirri Entertainment
  • KIWO films
  • Tripple Touch Entertainment

Senior Youth Advisor , Directorate of Human Resources Science and Technology at African Union Commission, Nicholas Ouma:  

Innovation Ecosystem: What policies do we need to support cultural ecosystem?

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Functioning ecosystem: a nexus of policies, enterprises, and tools! Strategies can be shared and they can work all over the continent!

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Managing Partner at Chanzo Capital, an Angel Investor and developer of new businesses, Erick Osiakwan:

Talent is plentiful, opportunities not as much. The African context is special. Mobile leapfrogging is a major factor! It will affect every sector of the economy.

Young entrepreneurs play a central role in identifying problems and solving them! We need to create a net effect for Africa! We understand the challenges of our context.

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What is your specific niche? talent? specialty? Who is going to use your product? How to create value? What kind of investor do your want to engage with? Find someone who understands your field? Raising $: Don’t wait until the last minute! Also: Prepare well when you are meeting investors!

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Mary Hooker, GESCI: What happens when education, industry and policy design come together? Can GESCI Living Lab research of 3 years give some solutions?

[Presentation of the GESCI-AKE Living Lab].

How can we be sure that we INNOVATE with technology? Are we replicating — just adding new tech to do the very same? How do we ensure ongoing learning? –

Breakout sessions meet! Groups will discuss the relevance and impact of each of the GESCI-AKE thesis

Group 1: (moderator: Kamau Wanyoike)

  1. No One Solution, Or, Context Matters: SWOT of the Market Place
  2. Entrepreneurship Cannot Be Cloned: Education Must Be Flexible

Group 2 (moderator: Jane Muchiri -Ministry of ICT )

  1. Everything is Entrepreneurial: Teach Social Business and Communication
  2. Find a Niche: Cultural Competence Matters for GESCI

Group 3 (moderator: Ann Wanjuhi – Nelig group)

  1. Digital Matters, But So Does Physical Space
  2. No Success Without Collaboration: Policy, Industry, Individuals

Group 4 (moderator: Nicholas Ouma – African Union Commission)

  1. PS: Support Should Continue “Forever”
  2. Employment and Job Creation
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Snapshots from the Policy Forum

Inspiring stories from regional entrepreneurs:

Betty Kituyi from Fundi Bots (Uganda) an organization applying the concept of robotics training both in and out of African schools. Fundi Bots aims to create and inspire a new generation of Africans who are well equipped for technology oriented careers and who can be agents of change in their communities.

Wanjuhi Njoroge from Nelig Group (Kenya) a communications consulting company offering branding, online marketing and design to develop and manage organizations online and offline presence.

Silumesii Maboshe from BongoHive (Zambia) an innovation community and a co-working space offering aspiring enterpreneurs support for learn the basics of accounting, market research and running a business.

Young entrepreneurs need:

  • concrete support and scaffolds
  • diverse sources of inspiration (out of their comfort zones)
  • help in finding the right team
  • assurance that they are contributing (and evidence)
  • a safe space to fail… and learn
  • inclusive opportunities (=policies in place)

Thanks to everyone that participated and shared their insights!

To conclude and close the live blog of this policy forum, we share with you a bit of the last diagram we made for GESCI-AKE model.

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Minna & Andrea


Startup incubation starts! Pitching on the 8th of February

AKE start ups will now enter the incubation phase where they will work on their offerings, business model and partnerships. Victor, AKE manager reports from the hub that out of the 7 creative ventures that completed the second phase of the program, at least 5 will continue! We are looking forward to learn more about their work, ambitions, plans and learning journey.


AKE Participants rehearsing their pitches at the December showcase

Dear AKE startups remember this checklist, you need all these to start the last phase of the program :

  • Business registration certificate
  • Business KRA pin
  • Bank account details
  • Business model

To define the content and training needs of the next phase, AKE is arranging a pitching session on 8th of February. In the pitching sessions all startups will pitch their business plan and offerings to experienced mentors. Based on that experience they will together formulate their next learning objectives and needs.

Pitching event will be based on the following materials from each start up:

A Business portfolio (PDF version)
A Workplan for 2017
A presentation of their Mentor(s)
A Portfolio with sample of projects and prototypes (On a web page; CD/DVD)

To hep the start ups prepare for the pitching, Victor suggests a tour through materials on  Business Model Canvas and the Business Model Basics intro available from Strategyzer. And get inspiration from the work  colleagues in Kenya and abroad are already doing:
Leti Games:
Whiteshore: or
Shadrack Munene:
Tsunami Studios:

Duncan has also shared this interesting resource:


AKE participants rehearsing their pitches at the December showcase

Live Blog: GESCI-AKE Showcase 6 Dec ’16!

We are live from Nairobi :). Welcome!


Our objectives for today:


Objectives for the day

With the help of guests and friends of AKE


Introducing Hera of Nangwe (trailer and game)

A trailer of Hera and how it was made. We saw interesting characters! A young woman, her mother and some of her people. There was an intriguing tree and the backgrounds we got a glimpse to see really worked as teasers.

Is the video on line people asked?

Introducing Sponsa (trailer)

What an improved version! Sponsa (The Sponsor web animation series) drew a lot of smiles and laughs from the audience here at the Golden Tulip Hotel. Sponsa is set up in an urban environment and the characters talk in nice mixture of local languages and English.

Welcome to AKE – Fostering Local Culture in Creative Industry Start-Ups by Jerome Morrissey

Jerome reminds us that:

Youth unemployment is a central challenge to address for Africa and AKE is working on skills that could help African youth (and others) to marry their potential with technology. We need TECHNOLOGY based SKILLS, they are important for the future of Africa and its youth and that is at the center of AKE program

We also need new connections, new forms of learning and new spaces to develop new skills. All these need to be tight to entrepreneurial aspects so that we can secure the future. The way jobs are being made and created is changing. There would not be any factories anymore. To start new ventures, that is to be an entrepreneur you need to practice, you do not learn it from a book. You practice until you get it right. It is a learning process.

Today is about bearing on mind those facts of life we just talked about.What can we do to create a model for skills development that is real, tight to practice?

The AKE program will be extended until JUNE so we can help these start-ups. By next June we want to have a model that makes sense.

Why we concentrate on the creative arts? It is an obvious industry for Kenya but we are only getting it right now. We have a visitor from Nigeria. Nigerians have shown us the way, we consume all the time Nigerian content. Why Nigerians are not consuming Kenyan content? Because it does not exists, it is not visible. We need to be there!

Our model for creating skills that combine technology with Youth potentials however should be generic, and should be applicable to other areas.

Visitor comment (Abu Bahka (? check name):

Technology is an opportunity! We can create wealth in Africa, movies, games… we can create jobs for ourselves and our communities.

Jane Muchiri from the ICT ministry in Kenya:

“Probably is about resistance to change, and people take time to adapt. We of course have sustainable efforts in the ministry. Our curriculum development is working on that. We have seen that the technology literacy program may seems like a drop in the ocean but it is a starting point. Maybe we see the fruits in a few years? We have issues with connectivity, but we are working on them.”


Mary:  is time to see what models we need! She reminds us that the ministry’s effort is not a small drop, but a massive one. These are exciting times. We need robust models that can contribute to the drops in the ocean.

Short intro to the insights from the LL research and the emerging AKE model:




Insights from the action research

Mary asks what expectations do AKE participants have?

We are looking forward to meet partners, get to showcase what we have been doing and show what we can do in 2017.

We are a looking forward to learn says Mary. we need critical support

Showcase! Participants present their projects and pitch them to attendants at their allocated areas.

Visit the spots and get to know the 7 exciting ventures that AKE has created.


Verbhouse showcasing their ideas


Artari kreations pitching their sauti database


Tripeltouch does DJ-ing


Cristal Quad Illustrations

Showcase on the stage


  • Makossiri Faith (musician) and Reuben Besa (Music Producer) showcase a track of the album the Dreamer.
  • Kevin Abuto (producer) showcases sound production work done for different clients
  • Andika Wilson (producer) showcasing sound production work done for different clients.


Buffet at the 1ST floor

Guest commentary: Welcome to the world of entrepreneurship! Few lessons

By Simunza Muyangana (Bongo Hive Founder)

In Zambia we used to think that is the only way to make money is to dig copper. But we have come to realize that by solving our people’s frustrations we can also do other business. It will pay back.

My first client taught me my first big lesson:

“Do not make it hard for me to pay you”

You have decided to work around creativity. You talk passionately about what you do and the services you offer. If you have a product is easy (lets say you sell milk) But with a service you need to be in consistent communication with your client.

PAY ATTENTION! Play close attention to what the client wants. Why they are paying us? We need them to understand why they will pay you.

It was interesting to hear for example in Artaris creation’s project how they are listening to possible customers. Be open to what value addition you can provide! Growth?

Always deliver! Lets be the generation that change the old ways of thinking: creatives are always late, NO: be on time. Deliver on time because your clients have deadlines.

You do not want the tax authorities to come knock your door. If you start day one with that discipline and take care of your paper work you will thank yourself down the road. It gives you longevity.

Do not forget the boring stuff! Paper work, invoices, taxes, etc.

I Welcome you to the world of entrepreneurs! It is hard, but it is rewarding. And probably the most relevant route for us in Africa, since the so called “jobs out there” that some people talk about, they do not necessarily exist.

Workshops of co-learning – Participant-Driven themes

Mary: What stands out? We mapped together before lunch some of the themes you consider the most important ones when setting up your business. Almost 18 give highest priority to business models. This is the planning you need to have! Creative needs to think about all aspects, including  this. Second marketing and outreach! and third Intellectual Property. Why culture did not got so many votes?

Lucy: perhaps lack of instructions. It is a key issue.

xx: Well, it is also about global competition

Abu Backa: Thinking about culture… We have problems in Africa that we can provide solutions in Africa. Take the example of money transfer with mobile phones. We have opportunities to solve our local problems. To be successful in that, we need business models. Our realities, we need to make them visible.

Silvester: The way I see, yes we can be driven by culture, but there needs to be a business opportunity first. We can not only do things for ourselves. The discussion needs to happen in that area of business opportunities, which we can do then of course with a culture drive.


working together in groups

“Passing out parade”

Certificates are given. We are so proud ❤

Check more coverage on Facebook: and on tweeter


Live Blog: Round Table and Solution Design Workshop, 31 August 2016

Place: Golden Tulip Hotel, Nairobi.


Welcoming words by Victor Omondi: The Programme!

“Thank you all participants — the different stakeholders. We are in the process creating an pan-African model that will respond to the challenges of our field! Already at this stage, we work with policy makers and the industry, as well as international consultants and other stakeholders. Our mission is to tell African stories!” #Creativemedia

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Introduction to GESCI & AKE: Jerome Morrissey

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“This is an important day for us! An introduction to this programme for all our guests/and partners. GESCI was originally established based on the recommendation of the UN ICT task force. We work in 16 African countries:

  • Incorporation of ICTs to enhance education — involves many aspects. Models, scaling.
  • Funding: foundations, development funds (GESCI-AKE is funded by Finland, and Sweden).
  • This is a small project for us but a very important one: we are creating new curricula, a model! (Most organizations, internationally, are too slow to adapt changes in the workplace, in the industry…)
  • We are developing a model, researching it (Living Lab), AND we want to influence policy, share our experience with policy-makers.
  • CONTINUUM: from digital skills to business-industry skills to job creation!


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Mary Hooker: Living Lab – AKE 2016 Research Framework and Model

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Research design fro AKE 2016 LL

Mary: “Living Lab Research as the intervention to the process, not merely as a scholarly work.”

  • Bringing everyone on board – to make research actually to make something!
  • This is especially important in education – we need products! It needs to respond to the marketplace, the rapid changes in the workplace.
  • It is EXACTLY WHAT IS IN THIS ROOM: talent, business, educators coming together! Skills meet biz, and this is not a simple task to translate in education.
  • We are documenting this process to create a model!
  • 3 phases of the model — we are in the 2nd phase testing the products (if not, what should be changed? Feedback from the biz world!):

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  • We are documenting the model and will be sharing it: nationally and internationally!
  • Platforms  – this is about how we learn and share! No more silos!
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Example from the tutor reflections (shown as a slide)

More information about the research results of the first stage and next steps, please see this blog post: RESEARCH UPDATE.

Reflections from the audiences:

  • We are trying to redefine the marketplace.
  • Talent is the key.
  • Are there opportunities to grow into photography, film etc. other fields; as well as to high school context? – Jerome: Due to the time constraints it is not possible; also we would talk about different clusters, streams. But we would love to!
  • Mary: We develop models for others to use, do not necessarily implement!
  • Jerome: We want to root the model in Kenya but will also spread it; we will collaborate with the African Union, as of next May, so we have a great avenue to distribute the model. This is a process. It’s constantly changing.”

Setting the context: Showcase Animation, Music & Games products

Guests go around the space to check what the creator-participants are showcasing. The space is divided in 3 areas, each one with prototypes and products developed in AKE so far.

Mary reminds the visitors: “We are engaging in criticality. Guests: tell us what is working and what is not!

  • What do you think of these products?
  • What one or two changes would make these of commercial value?
  • Can you suggest ideas/ areas for turning these into products/ services that can find markets?
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The environment today at the round table and solution design workshop is of engagement, support and interest

The GESCI team in Nairobi has developed a  tool to capture ideas from the participants in the round table. The main aim is to recruit the help of visitors today, and capture ideas that will help all the projects move forward into viable ventures by 2016.

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Form for documenting ideas, tips and feedback from round table participants

The environment in the room is active and everybody is looking at the projects. There has been positive critique and many elements have been raised to help participant move up with their projects.

Some of the suggestions include

Practical tips: For example how it is possible to work on the key notes of the music, so they are not just flat and that the music can communicate?

Organizing work: e.g. feedback on how to ensure productions have clear roles and responsibilities like a director, a script writer and lead animator so that outcomes (like the Sponsor Series Video story) flow seamlessly.

Relevance and communication: Products should communicate their relevance by addressing issues that affect everyday life.  Messages need to be kept clear and an idea of the target audience should be framed on time. This is key for important for artistic purposes  and to ensure market success.

Back to basics: Well tested principles for storytelling and visualization should not be underestimated.

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Interviewing Soire Dickson (AKE participant) on his experiences during the round table

Soire Dickson, one of the participants in the AKE animation line, talked briefly with us on the many insights they have been gathering in this event. He was very positive with the AKA model of learning where industry experts, GESCI Staff and their tutors have challenged them to create animation that suits the Kenyan scene.

Mary asks the audience “What stood up”?:

  • Value entertainment! Produced by team work.
  • Creativity and innovation on current topics.
  • Role of humor.
  • Storytelling
  • Tensions between content vs technique that need to be resolved
  • What could be and should be “African touch”?
  • Quality needs to be continuously developed to reach industry standards. We are not there yet.
  • Team work
  • I which ways the products are valuable? How to support more participants to think as entrepreneurs?
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Some feedback for AKE. See more also at @Gesci or @Gesci2 #Creativemedia

Ideation: Generating Ideas by “scrumming”

Mary made a small introduction to the SCRUM approach that -with some adaptations- will be used in this session to generate concrete ideas and tasks for each theme to move forward. (Scrum meetings will also be at the core of the AKE second phase so this is good rehearsal for all participants :))

WHAT: In a scrum meeting (also called a sprint) the product owners gather together with the scrum team, share the results achieved so far, evaluate them and steer the project into a new direction for the next sprint. In the round table we did a version that included this elements:

Brainstorming –> Concept Mapping –> Voting –> Concept Pitching –>


Brainstorming for music products


Mapping and clustering the ideas

After brainstorming and concept mapping what concrete steps should the team do?

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Scrum ideas sprint – format for developing AKE products in the round table


Concrete tasks, work to do for the next months here at AKE



Reporting from the workshop sessions, by Shylor Mwanje

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Shylor Mwanje

An example: Music section — radio market analysis — what kind of music being played, involvement of the audience in music video production, involvement in social media marketing, touring as a relatively new opportunity.

Mary Hooker: “Networking and collaborative networks are the key. We can’t realize them alone. Results we be digitized and shared (also in this blog 🙂 ”

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Feedback via social media! We will put out a question and please give us feedback on Facebook, Twitter, or below as a comment to this blog!

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Guest Speaker: Ogwang Omuga Oongo

Screen Shot 2016-08-31 at 9.28.13 AM“Do you know the Superman? What’s the company that owns Whatsapp?

How do we grow the Sponsa (a GESCI-AKE creative project) into such a big success? Who owns Sponsa?

KNOWLEDGE is proprietary! We are handling proprietary information and talent and we need to organize. We don’t have structuralization. We need to copyright to protect us.

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BUT: Intellectual property does not only protect but also opens opportunities — investments, other products!

You need to know what is copywriteable. You can’t afford to assume, you need to know.

There are different forms of intellectual property: copyrights, trademarks, patents… 

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Knowledge and information form the economy but they take different forms. We are going to school but we are building companies.

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Your ideas will open doors for you. We can think into the future, 10 years ahead. So let’s begin that way, seeing intellectual property as proprietary.


Victor Omondi’s closing remarks:

This is not the end of our interactions and collaborations. This project ends in the beginning of December but that’s the beginning of the model.

We will share the report with everyone. And we will build on this network.