Econet partners AU in Elevate Youth initiative
LEADING mobile network provider, Econet’s youth empowerment programme, Elevate Club, in partnership with Africa University launched the Elevate Youth i5 Club at a ceremony held last week at the institution.
The launch event formally marked the coming of the Elevate youth programme to Manicaland.
Speaking at the event, Econet chief operating officer, Mr Fayaz King, paid tribute to the varsity’s efforts to house the Elevate Youth i5 Club which would serve as a satellite of the Elevate youth programme.
“I am inspired by Africa University’s foresight in building the i5 Hub because I believe that the time to invest in the future of our continent is now. Today we are here planting trees, and the shade will be the innovations that you, the youth, will generate,” he said.
He said Econet chose Africa University because of “the innovation, the talent and the ideas we are convinced are already here”. The event was attended by scores of students from Africa University as well as Marymount Teachers College, Mutare Poly and Hartzell High School. Mr King said he believed innovation was everything.
“You need to innovate and disrupt the current status-quo and find new ways of doing things,” he said, challenging the students and young people to take charge of their future and be Africa’s next generation of trailblazers.
Econet launched Elevate Youth Club early last year in a development aimed to create youth empowerment opportunities by supporting young people with life skills and business mentorship, as well as to equip them with entrepreneurial skills.
The University’s i5 Hub – now home of the Elevate Youth i5 Club on campus – was built around the five pillars namely idea generation, incubation, innovation, intellectual property and industrialisation.
It was established in September last year in response to the needs of thousands of graduates and enterprising young Zimbabweans in need of the opportunity to bring their ideas to a place where they could be refined, incubated and transformed into implementable business initiatives.
Speaking at the same event, AU Vice Chancellor, Professor Munashe Furusa, hailed the partnership between the learning institution and Econet’s youth programme saying it was founded on mutual interests between the two organisations.
“Our partnership with Elevate and Econet is born out of a common interest in impacting and inspiring the future of Africa, which is the youth. Africa University has taken the bold and conscious decision to become the hub of advanced technology and knowledge-generation within Africa and the region. This partnership is inspired by our belief in the future and the renewed optimism and confidence sweeping across Africa,” he said.