Small Enterprise

Firm thrives on nurturing children’s skills in technology

Paul Akwabi. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Paul Akwabi. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Paul Akwabi has built an innovation hub on passion and drive to change the world and transfer knowledge to young people through the use of technology.

He is the brain child behind Tech Kidz Africa, a Mombasa-based startup incubated at Swahilipot hub. Tech Kidz Africa nurtures children through technology in software development, robotics, graphic design and character development.

Having won numerous awards and recognition in the world technology, Mr Akwabi, 27, has now ventured into nurturing children to become innovators and solve problems affecting humanity.

Children learn how to innovate toys and applications at the hub. “I did not have a chance of owning a laptop until I started working. Millennials have an advantage of owning smart phones and laptops, they should use the gadgets to build their lives,” he said.

He first gained recognition when he won a National Commission for Science, Technology and Innovation award while he was a diploma student at the Technical University, Mombasa, in 2015.

In 2016 the IT expert invented a digital visitor’s book software which was showcased during the official opening of the National Science Week held in May, 2016, in Nairobi. The innovation won a National Commission for Science, Technology and Innovation award.

He later innovated another app which saw him gain more footing within East Africa.

“I sold it at Sh3 million in Tanzania. I sold my second app to a company in Kenya at Sh500,000,” he said. He said his third app is lying idle due to high taxes imposed by the government.

“It is about sea safety, to ensure our vessels are not stolen in high seas,” he said.“I invented five apps, two while I was a student.’’ He said the cost of licences for technology is too high, hindering most entrepreneurs to develop them. Akwabi was motivated by Norwegian investors who linked him to a nine-year-old technologist.

“The boy, whom I communicated with through Skype, was supervising my work – can you believe it? Instead of looking down on him I leant a lot from him,” he said. He used part of his savings, about Sh200,000, to come up with Tech Kidz Africa.

“I wanted to ensure that Kenyan children learn about technology at a tender age. The company is worth more than Sh5 million today. There’s money in technology,” said Akwabi.

In 2017 his dream became a reality when he founded the Tech Kidz Africa, a hub children learn about robotics and coding. The children are building startups and using the internet to grow themselves.