1 November 2017

Rwanda: 10 Rwandan Universities to Compete for Innovation Cash

A competition where 10 universities from Rwanda are going to tussle it out for the Hult Prize, one of the world's most important competitions in social entrepreneurship, was last week launched at Kepler University.

The universities include University of Rwanda, African Leadership University, Carnegie Mellon University, Kepler University, Akilah Women Institute, University Libre de Kigali (ULK), Mount Kenya University, Global Health Equity and IPRC. The competition, which will feature varsities from abroad, will be held in New York, US, in September 2018. The winner will walk away with $1 million.

Speaking at the launch of the Hultz Prize last week, Teppo Jouttenus, the chief academic officer, Kepler University, said the prize will be awarded to a student with the best innovative idea that can help solve a trending global problem.

He said the only way to solve such problems is to be creative and innovative, rather than copying the existing projects.

"Tomorrow you will get a degree, but those papers won't mean automatic employment. However, by exploiting this opportunity you can create your own jobs," he said.

Patrick Ndikumana, the programme manager, Hult Prize Rwanda, told the students not to have a phobia for failing and instead take risks.

"Don't think about money first; think about the exposure to potential investors that might love your project and sponsor your ideas. Brainstorm on the ideas that can transform the people in your communities. It's very possible that the panel might select you as the wining team," he said.

Jim Ntare Musika, a student at Kepler University said the Hult Prize offers a special opportunity, especially to African students who in most cases have good ideas but with no capital to continue transform their ideas into businesses.

About Hult Prize

The Hult Prize is an annual competition for social entrepreneurs preserved for students. The award goes to students who solve a pressing social issue around a certain challenge such as food security, water access, energy, health and education. It is run in partnership with the Clinton Foundation and Bertil Hult as sponsors. It was established in 2010 by Swedish Bertil Hult.

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