Sunday, March 13, 2016

TEDxLilongwe Speaker nominations are open

TEDxLilongwe is calling for interested people to apply or nominate a speaker for this year's TEDxLilongwe event which will take place on 21st May 2016 at CrossRoads Hotel.

Below is the original message posted on TEDxLilongwe Facebook page:

Hallo TEDxLilongwe fans! Now calling for nominations for ‪#‎TEDxLilongwe‬

The team is in full swing working, planning and coordinating. A lot is happening behind the scenes, towards the next #TEDxLilongwe 2016 event slated for May 21. It is going to be great!
Do you know someone with an interesting story/idea that could inspire via the TEDx stage? Please forward the name of nominee, contacts & brief summary of the person to

1. Name of nominated person (you can nominate yourself)
2. Contact details of nominee (email address and phone number)
3. Brief summary of why the person is being nominated

Deadline for applications is 31 March 2016

Many thanks in advance. See you in the next post!

Friday, March 11, 2016

Indiegogo Campaign for Industrial Hemp in Malawi

Hempower Malawi - making Industrial hemp a new cash crop- That is the title of the video accompanying a campaign for industrial hemp in Malawi. The campaign posted by Tanya Clarke, Director and Founder of Invegrow and Kawandama Hills Plantation is raising $50,000 to fund some of the farming inputs, buy small- scale farming and processing equipment, lab equipment for testing, and continue the lobbying and education campaigns.

Tanya says Invegrow has been campaigning for the legalisation of industrial hemp in Malawi since 2013 and it is now the first and only company allowed to conduct trials in Malawi.

This is a pioneering venture and Invegrow finally commenced trials in November 2015 at the Malawi Government's premier Agricultural Research Station. We are also helping amend the relevant Acts with the Government to correctly define iHemp in law. We aim to be growing the crop commercially by December 2016/17 season (rainy season).

According to the information posted on the indiegogo campaign site and the video posted, Invegrow has support from various civil society organisations, government and the private sector. The video features interviews with Joshua Nthakomwa, Director of Malawi Investment and Trade Centre and Parliamentarian Boniface Kadzakumanja, a well known advocate for industrial hemp who supports the campaign.

Industrial Hemp is a variety of the Cannabis sativa plant that is non-psychoactive and currently grown in 36 countries worldwide including Canada, Australia, Germany, France, and the UK. It's an incredibly versatile crop that is used in sustainable construction, seed and oil production for cosmetics and foods, medicines, and fibre for textiles. It is an age old crop that was bred specifically for industrial purposes, and was one of the most important crops in World War 2 for its strong fibres used for sails and military uniforms.

For the 13 days that the campaign has been running, it has managed to raise $12,338 out of the $50,000 needed. There are still 23 days to go.

Tanya and the team behind the campaign understands the challenges that their campaign will face to convince the Malawian society on the difference between industrial hemp and the other varieties of cannabis that are psychoactive.

Malawi is a very conservative society and more education must be done through the media, radio, and TV on iHemp and its potential. Distinguishing the differences between the varieties of Cannabis in the minds of the people is a challenge that we hope to overcome through a concerted sensitisation campaign.

Photo Credit: Tanya Clarke's Linkedin and Invegrow Website

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

TNM Smart Challenge Grand Finale on 11 March

This Friday all roads lead to the Crossroads Auditorium where Malawi's leading Telco,  TNM will be giving out prizes to the winners of the TNM Smart Challenge Competition. 

The event is expected to start 1 :00pm and end at 17:00.

There will be presentations from the finalists from both categories of the competition.  TNM Smart Challenge had 3 categories in Smart  Kid,  Smart Student and Smart Community.

The overall winner will win a trip to Silicon Valley in California to join other developers for the Facebook organised event,  F8.

TNM partnered with Facebook,  Opera,  IBM and a local technology and Innovation hub,  mHub to run the competition. 

A New Entrepreneurs Hub opened in Blantyre

Blantyre based entrepreneurs have all the reasons to smile following the launch of a new hub in the commercial city.  The hub intends to be a home to100 entrepreneurs plying different kinds of businesses.  It is an initiative of the Entrepreneurs Motivational Network led by renowned entrepreneur Jimmy Korrea Mpatsa.

The incubation space simply called the hub,  was opened by the Blantyre City Mayor Councillor Noel Chalamanda on Tuesday,  8th March 2016.  Interested business people from across the city witnessed the official opening of the hub which has 10 private offices,  one boardroom,  a  cafe,  bar and a common room to be shared by over 80 entrepreneurs.

According to a trustee of the Entrepreneurs Motivational Network,  Daniel Dunga,  the hub fills a gap that has been affecting most entrepreneurs in the city.  He also told the gathering crowd that the establishment of the hub follows the success of the monthly entrepreneur pitching platform called Blantyre Pitch Night.

The hub is situated in Namiwawa along Chilembwe road.  It is a third hub to be opened in Malawi following mHub in Lilongwe and the UNICEF's Blantyre Innovation Hub.

Some of the trustee's of the Entrepreneurs Motivational Network include American Nick Villele,  Ahmed Sunka ,  Kettie Sutton and businessman Arthur Nkosi.