MIS is rooted in an ideal: to create the future of students in East Africa. When we started in November 2018, our aim was to promote innovation & entrepreneurship among students in primary schools, secondary schools, and tertiary institutions while creating a network of innovators in these institutions across East Africa.
Makerere Innovation Society (MIS) enjoyed the first successful year in 2019. Key to that success was an emphasis on teamwork & collaboration birthed from our core values, not only across our staff but also with our members both in higher & lower institutions of learning and with other partner organizations. We saw the benefits of that collaboration in the stabilization of MIS membership figures, expansion of our activities’ coverage, improved efficiency and effectiveness of our operations.
In 2020, despite the challenges caused by COVID-19, we have been able to reach & empower up to 4234 children, 302 youth, and 77 teachers in East Africa with ICT innovation skills which included Scratch coding, ideation, prototyping & product development, pitching, website development, mobile application development, games & animation development, machine learning & Artificial Intelligence, robotics among others. This was achieved through our online & onsite training workshops coupled with the Creative child magazines which were widely distributed across all parts of Uganda. We partnered with Africa Code Week, Guardian Angel Foundation, Iparhona, Bamboo concept center, ICT Teachers Association of Uganda (ITAU), Edify and several other organizations/institutions to reach this milestone. Most notable, after a great deal of shared thinking, consultation and refinement, MIS is yet to publish a new strategic plan, ‘Creating the future of students in East Africa’ that will guide all our work for the next ten years.
With creation of more job opportunities and wealth creation for young people at its heart, the Plan sets innovative development goals and defines how MIS can best contribute to fighting the injustice of youth unemployment & insufficient skills empowerment programs for children in East Africa. It focuses on empowering children and youth with innovation, leadership & entrepreneurship skills so that they can participate in the creation of start-ups that will create more job opportunities. Such major long-term goals demand a coordinated approach, as set out in the new Plan. By working more closely together with our strategic partners, we will ensure that our efforts deliver positive results.
In our next 9 years, we plan to expand our activities to the neighboring East African countries targeting 10 million children & youth and aiming at over 10,000 new jobs made available annually. Reaching this ambitious objective relies on an estimated budget of USD 10 million covering the 10-year period. We will stay focused on the key elements that are essential to our vision: our partnerships with both national and international organizations, key for us to access the necessary expertise, financial resources, training material, equipment and data to bring wealth creation skills and opportunities through to the hands of students; the support which has been the lifeline of our endeavors.