Category: Press

Design Indaba: This Angolan innovation hub is helping to transform the nation’s creative sector

The country’s first innovation hub, Fábrica de Sabão operates as a vehicle for young people to pursue creative ideas that could impact Angola’s – and their own – socio-economic circumstances. Positioned to provide opportunities and a nurturing environment for these burgeoning makers, it is a place for ideas, knowledge transference, and creative experimentation.
Read more: http://www.designindaba.com/articles/creative-work/angolan-innovation-hub-helping-transform-nation’s-creative-sector

FÁBRICA DE SABÃO AND AIF HOST TOP INNOVATION SPECIALISTS AND INFLUENCERS FROM ACROSS AFRICA AND THE DIASPORA

  • IPA2018 Jury Members gathered in Luanda to review and shortlist the prestigious Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) submissions.
  • Week-long activities featured a workshop on submitting winning IPA applications and informal discussions between IPA 2018 Jury members and Angolan innovation enablers on building inclusive innovation ecosystems in AfricaLuanda,

Angola, 31 May 2018 – Fábrica de Sabão in collaboration with the African Innovation Foundation (AIF) hosted a week-long series of niche activities aimed at facilitating collaborative opportunities between local innovators and innovation enablers. The event took place in parallel to the IPA2018 judging session aimed at shortlisting the submissions of the prestigious Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA), which will be awarded this year in Kigali, Rwanda, October 11-12.

For members of the IPA2018 jury, who comprised of leading innovation specialists and influencers from across Africa and the diaspora, it was an opportunity to witness key developments in Angola’s emerging innovation ecosystem and to observe how hubs like Fábrica de Sabão are working to narrow the gap between the formal and informal sector by driving needs-based innovation. Amongst the key innovation influencers who were present were Aminata Garba, Assistant Professor at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, Africa; Dick Kamugasha, Director, Technology Development Centre, Uganda Industrial Research Institute (UIRI); Éliane Ubalijoro, Professor of Practice, Public-Private Sector Partnerships at McGill University’s Institute for the Study of International Development in Canada; Kaburo Kobia, YALI Regional Leadership Mentor, Center East Africa program and Yacouba Diawara, NBL Program Office Director at the US Department of Energy.

Tapping into the attendance of the illustrious panel of judges in Luanda, AIF led discussions on the importance of investing in inclusive innovation ecosystems and to identify opportunities to galvanize support for the continent’s growing pool of innovators. For the Angolan Government, represented by the Secretary of State for Science, Technology and Innovation, Domingos da Silva Neto, the discussion was a magnificent opportunity for interaction between his Ministry, the mentors and actors focused on innovation in supporting the promotion of entrepreneurship in Angola.
“These kind of events can contribute to the improvement of the innovation ecosystem, from the phase of attracting ideas to drawing up projects and transferring results in order to implement innovation in Angolan businesses,” stated Mr. Neto.
During the discussion, participants made recommendations on key issues that continue to impede the promotion of innovation on the African continent, including the need to promote innovation amongst all segments of the population such as women, youth and those living in disadvantage areas; the strengthening of internal and regional partnerships for the promotion and reinforcement of good innovative practices; the promotion of research and ensuring that the research output is capitalized on; facilitating collaboration between researchers and grass root innovators and the need to adopt policies that catalyse the financial support and transformation of valuable creations of inventions that are emerging in Angola and the continent in general for industrialization and creation of new jobs.
Pauline Mujawamariya Koelbl, Managing Director, African Innovation Foundation, said, “Innovation-led growth is crucial for Africa’s ongoing socioeconomic transformation. It is therefore necessary to invest in inclusive innovation ecosystems and to encourage inter-regional collaboration amongst African innovation enablers. Hosting a high profile pan-African and diaspora audience in an environment like Fábrica de Sabão allowed a great opportunity to highlight key developments in Angola’s emerging innovation ecosystem, identify strategic synergies, and showcase how inclusive innovation ecosystems like Fábrica are necessary to promote sustainable growth for Africans of all creed.”

In touring the facilities at Fábrica de Sabão, guests were able to observe firsthand how the hub has been designed to support inclusive innovation-led growth in Angola. Located in the heart of one of the largest, most densely populated slums in the country, the hub comprises of a Co-working space, Incubator, Accelerator, MakerSpace and Cultural Connector. It is a unique innovation ecosystem that facilitates knowhow, capacity development, mentorship and creative exchange to drive needs based innovation amongst all sects of Angolans. The hub currently has a range of niche enterprises in its incubator program, ranging from recycled furniture production, technology and artisanal crafts.

Commenting on the events, (Insert name and designation of Fábrica spokesperson) said, “Fábrica de Sabão is unique in its approach and is designed to be inclusive of all segments of society including women and youth who are amongst the most vulnerable communities. The hub encourages all forms of needs-based innovation and enterprise. Through our partnership with AIF, we want to showcase to regional and international audiences that this is an innovation ecosystem model that can be replicated across the continent to fuel economic diversification and inclusive growth.”
In an effort to raise awareness and excitement for IPA2018 and draw greater participation from Angolan innovators for IPA 2019 and beyond, AIF also hosted a workshop on how to submit winning application. The workshop was attended by a number of aspiring Angolan innovators and senior staff from the Ministry of Industry and Education, Technology and Science.

-Ends-
About Fábrica de Sabão
Where once stood an abandoned soap factory now stands an emerging vibrant hub for sustainable innovation and entrepreneurship in Angola. Fábrica de Sabão (FdS) is Angola’s first innovation hub designed for Angolans to connect, learn, create and grow. It is an emerging ecosystem designed to leapfrog education challenges and drive socioeconomic inclusion and growth at all levels of society. FdS is a hybrid of incubator and accelerator hubs, co-working and maker spaces, and a cultural exchange platform. It will soon have its own local radio station and a residence program for visiting mentors and artists. From nurturing young African startups to supporting niche urban manufacturing, the hub will bring together experts and mentors from around the world to share knowledge, harness creative ideas into tangible outcomes and help launch sustainable businesses in Angola www.fabricadesabao.co.ao

About African Innovation Foundation
African Innovation Foundation (AIF) works to increase the prosperity of Africans by catalyzing the innovation spirit in Africa.

For media enquiries, contact:
Emanuela Cassumba
emanuela.cassumba@djembecommunications.com +244.945 14 60 68

INNOVATION, EMPOWERMENT AND CREATIVE EXPRESSION-INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY

INNOVATION, EMPOWERMENT AND CREATIVE EXPRESSION TAKE CENTRE STAGE AS FÁBRICA DE SABÃO MARKS INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY

The public is invited to participate in a month-long celebration that pays tribute to Angolan women and the important role they play in the country’s socioeconomic development

Luanda, Angola, 8 March 2018 – This International Women’s Day, Fábrica de Sabão will join the global community in efforts to promote greater women’s equality, justice and rights by hosting a series of creative and informative activities throughout the month of March. Designed to underscore the important role Angolan women play in the country’s socioeconomic transformation, the program will feature a lineup of inspiring and innovative female artists and speakers. The public is invited to participate in the month-long celebration of women’s equality and rights to artistic expression, job opportunity, health and wellbeing and economic empowerment.

Commenting on the event, Manuela Ganga, Managing Director, Fábrica de Sabão, said: “Gender equality and inclusivity are key in order for developing nations to sustain widespread socioeconomic transformation. In Angola, women are actively engaged in all forms of enterprise, particularly in the informal sector, but their potential is yet to be fully realized. This is where hubs like Fábrica de Sabão can play a role in effecting a positive cycle of change. The hub has an exemplary network of women who are spearheading a number of creative platforms that encourage innovation and enterprise amongst Angolan women and young girls. This International Women’s Day, we have collaborated with many progressive Angolan women to lead activities that teach women of their natural right to inspire, create and innovate.”

Fábrica de Sabão, Angola’s first-of-its-kind hybrid innovation hub, was founded on the principle that innovation is for everyone. Comprising of five main pillars – Co-working space, Incubator, Accelerator, MakerSpace and Cultural Connector – the hub aspires to leapfrog education challenges and drive socioeconomic inclusion, offering opportunities for all Angolans regardless of gender or economic standing.

Fábrica de Sabão, is bridging the gaps between the formal and informal sector by training young Angolans from the surrounding communities into makers. The hub is fiercely focused on launching a new generation of ‘Made in Angola’ entrepreneurs in the creative, technology and niche manufacturing sectors. The hub has a vibrant community of women who are encouraged to improve their entrepreneurial skills and to independently run their own businesses. One of the prominent women-led platforms is the MakerMulheres, an extension of the hub’s MakerSpace, where women make and sell African-inspired jewelry, clothing, carpets and other creative products using recycled materials. The Dibaka incubator program at the hub is led by an Angolan woman whose role is to mentor and guide aspiring women entrepreneurs.

Throughout the month of March, the public is invited to join the vibrant community at Fábrica de Sabão and showcase their support women in Angola and across the globe.

The women’s month kicked off last week with poetry recitals in tribute of the famed Angolan writer, Iracema Cordeiro. Held in collaboration with Fundação Arte e Cultura, the tribute centered on her poignant work, ‘Poemas D’ Coraçao’.  The recitals also featured a powerful line-up of new generation poets including Perivaldo the Poet, Poet Katumbila, Poet Ninguém and Poet Suburbano. Musical compositions by artistes Kamane Silva, Mano Muzemba, Mas Guxi, Silvania Marisa, Truece Flow as well as Fundaçao’s ‘House of Music’ completed the atmosphere.

Upcoming activities will include a photography exhibition by artists Lwiana de Almeida and Kenned Flautas Negras, more poetry recitals in partnership with Movimento Lev’Art, panel discussions and talks on jobs and gender equality, a workshop to engage girls on manufacturing and technology professions, film screenings, breast cancer awareness talks, tree planting activities and Zumba sessions amongst others.

To know more, visit www.fabricadesabao.co.ao

For media enquiries, contact:

Olivio Gambo

olivio.gambo@djembecommunications.com

+244.92361.4857

 

FÁBRICA DE SABÃO LAUNCHES INNOVATION MONTH IN OCTOBER 2017 IN PARTNERSHIP WITH AFRICAN INNOVATION FOUNDATION

Month-long activities to Inspire Young Angolans to Unleash Their Creativity, Develop Skills and Pursue Real Opportunities in Cazenga

 

Luanda, Angola, Tuesday, 03 October 2017 – Fábrica de Sabão and the African Innovation Foundation (AIF) come together in October to celebrate Innovation Month in Angola. With an aim to foster the creative and entrepreneurial spirit of innovation, the Hub will feature multiple interdisciplinary events where the country’s entrepreneurship stakeholders, young students and innovation enthusiasts will share and celebrate their innovative ideas. The entire month of October is dedicated to showcasing the many innovative and entrepreneurial ideas emerging from Angola.

Reiterating the Hubs commitment to innovation, Manuela Ganga, Managing Director, Fábrica de Sabão, said: “We are excited to launch Innovation Month in collaboration with AIF and to celebrate the month- long activities with innovation enthusiasts in Angola. It is an opportunity for people to inspire, create and innovate new ideas that could drive needs-based innovation and support niche, Made-in-Angola enterprises.”

Innovation Month is a platform for Angola’s innovation enablers to connect with the local community and emphasize the importance of innovation and collaboration. Since opening its doors in 2015, Fábrica de Sabão has become synonymous with a place that fosters creative-led enterprise in Cazenga. The month-long activities will feature collaborative workshops, open installations and events led by innovators in the fields of design, media and culture. Artists, craftsmen, entrepreneurs, and investors are all welcome.

Enthusiastic about the Innovation Month, Walter Fust, Chairman, Africa Innovation Foundation, commented, “We are excited to partner with Fábrica de Sabão to celebrate October as the Innovation Month. We have planned various activities that we believe will create value for local entrepreneurs, innovators and young enablers.  Our goal is to remain the key partner of Fábrica de Sabão for all innovation-related activities and to host more of these activities beyond October, which brings together local innovators to explore, create, exchange, connect and collaborate.”

In June 2017, Fábrica de Sabão and the African Innovation Foundation (AIF) hosted the first edition of INOVEM, aimed at highlighting key opportunities in driving innovation-led entrepreneurship in Angola. AIF projects are aimed at releasing untapped potential in Africa, and at stimulating African innovative ideas and perspectives in emerging industries & diverse disciplines around the world as well as providing platforms to strength African innovation ecosystems.

Find out more by visiting http://www.fabricadesabao.co.ao/en/the-events/

FÁBRICA DE SABÃO HOSTS FÓRUM DE INOVAÇÃO & EMPREENDEDORISMO (INOVEM) IN PARTNERSHIP WITH AFRICAN INNOVATION FOUNDATION

 

H.E. Dra. Bernarda Martins, Minister of Industry, reiterates Angola’s commitment to supporting initiatives that drive innovation-led entrepreneurship

Luanda, Angola, 22 June 2017 – Fábrica de Sabão and the African Innovation Foundation (AIF) hosted the first edition of INOVEM, a forum that aims to highlight key opportunities in driving innovation-led entrepreneurship in Angola. Officiated by Angola’s Minister of Industry, H.E. Dra. Bernarda Martins, the event saw the participation of the country’s entrepreneurship stakeholders and innovation enablers.

The highlight of the event was a roundtable discussion featuring Jean-Claude Bastos de Morais, Founder, Fábrica de Sabão and AIF, Dimonekene Ditutala, Engineer and University Lecturer ; Vanda de Oliveira, Entrepreneur and Bantu Maker Co-founder; and Jose Carlos dos Santos, Founder, Touch & Talk. Moderated by well-known entrepreneur and journalist, Sebastiao Vemba, the roundtable discussion centered around fostering innovation in Angola and how to accelerate local innovations from ideas to market.

Commenting on the event, Manuela Ganga, Managing Director, Fábrica de Sabão, said: “We are proud to host the first edition of INOVEM in partnership with AIF, and to give Angolan entrepreneurs, innovators and enablers a platform to voice fresh ideas that can drive Angolan innovation forward. Our aim is to host this forum annually in an effort to encourage knowledge transfer and collaborative outcomes that will also inspire future innovators and entrepreneurs”.

During the event, AIF presented an exclusive preview of its soon-to-launch platform, ZuaHub, which aims to connect African innovators with resources and help them grow. The event also featured a series of inspirational talks on a range of subjects such including 3D printing, startup incubation and attracting venture capital.

Fábrica de Sabão is Angola’s first hybrid innovation hub that was designed with the belief that innovation is for everyone. Based on a model that incorporates five main pillars – Co-working space, Incubator, Accelerator, MakerSpace and Cultural Connector – the hub aspires to leapfrog education challenges and drive socioeconomic inclusion, offering opportunities for Angolans at all levels of society.

Fábrica de Sabão is built on land leased from the government of Angola and is an example of how the public sector is increasingly taking a keen interest in supporting inclusive opportunities for innovation and entrepreneurship in Angola.

FÁBRICA DE SABÃO OPENED ITS DOORS TO THE COMMUNITY TO CELEBRATE THE YOUTH, EDUCATION AND CULTURE

Youth and adults alike enjoyed a full day of activities aimed at promoting social inclusion and new opportunities for Angolans

 

Luanda, Angola 27 May 2017 – Fábrica de Sabão welcomed the local community onto its grounds during its second Open Day dedicated to youth, education and culture. Guests and visitors were treated to an exciting mix of activities such as exhibitions from local artists, Patricio Mawete and António Etona, workshops on journalism and a range of social activities including aerobics, capoeira, Zumba and friendly football matches. Additionally, there were presentations by Zola Vida (“Contemplating the Invisible”), Lusael (a construction project), Dibaka Incubator (an incubator program) and Techno Society (a startup that develops electronic and computer science projects) amongst others.

 

Fábrica de Sabão is Angola’s first hybrid innovation hub that was designed with the belief that innovation is for everyone. Based on a model that incorporates five main pillars – Co-working space, Incubator, Accelerator, MakerSpace and Cultural Connector – the hub aspires to leapfrog education challenges and drive socioeconomic inclusion, offering opportunities for Angolans at all levels of society.

 

Manuela Ganga, Managing Director of the hub, commented, “Fábrica de Sabão serves the community by being an interactive center of entrepreneurship and sustainable innovation. It is a place where production and training come together with the common goal of sharing knowledge in order to create, innovate and inspire.”

 

Since its inception in July 2015, Fábrica de Sabão has made much progress in its development, with most of the spaces metamorphosing into hives of creative energy. In April this year, the hub introduced a ceramic atelier, which produces handmade pottery and crockery. In May, the hub launched FabricaStore, a showroom displaying the range of products made at Fábrica de Sabão including furniture, decoration items, pottery, jewelry, soft furnishing and clothing. In the more immediate pipeline, the hub will have its own radio station and residence program, multi-purpose sports field and events area.

 

As the country’s first hub of its kind, Fábrica de Sabão was built to provide Angolans with an innovation-led environment that fosters the spirit of creativity, learning and growing

ACCREDITED DIPLOMATS IN ANGOLA VISIT FÁBRICA DE SABÃO, THE COUNTRY’S FIRST INNOVATION HUB – ENTREPRENEURS, BUSINESS LEADERS

Luanda, Angola, 17 May 2017 – Angola’s vibrant innovation hub, Fábrica de Sabão, welcomed key accredited members of the foreign diplomatic community to observe Angola’s emerging innovation ecosystem and to understand how the hub is creating and driving new innovation-led opportunities.

During a guided tour, guests has the opportunity to observe the work that was being developed to support the country’s efforts to diversify its economy and witness how youth of all ages are engaged in a range of creative activities. One of the key attractions was the hub’s makerspace, where local youth were learning to apply innovative technology such as CNC machining to make a range of furniture for the hub’s office spaces, co-working space, canteen, and the new launched juice bar.

Speaking about the vision behind Fábrica de Sabão, Manuela Ganga, Director of the hub, explained: “We wanted to create an ecosystem that would be inclusive of marginalized communities, and that could drive needs-based innovation and support niche enterprise. This is why we chose to build this hub in the middle of the country’s largest slum.

“The environment here allows for creativity and innovation to thrive, and teaches local children, women, and youth innovative ways to learn and create with their own hands. Ultimately, the aim is to support the community to build sustainable businesses for themselves, which we can incubate and launch within this hub”.

Fábrica de Sabão is the only hub of this nature in Angola, being a hybrid of an incubator, accelerator, co- working space, makerspace and cultural exchange platform. . Currently italso provides office space on rent to local companies who are keen to be a part of the ecosystem. These offices are housed in repurposed shipping containers that have been refurbished with furniture, fittings and facilities such as electricity and Wi-Fi connectivity.

The hub recently launched an auditorium to host lectures and presentations and screen educational movies. Soon to come is the sports area replete with a skate park made from recycled materials, and a marketplace for the community. In the next phase of its development, the hub will introduce organic farming. A residential wing is also being constructed for visiting mentors and artists.

Fábrica de Sabão is built on land leased from the government of Angola and is an example of how the public sector is increasingly taking a keen interest in supporting inclusive opportunities for innovation and entrepreneurship in Angola.

 

ANGOLA’S FIRST INNOVATION HUB, FÁBRICA DE SABÃO, WILL DRIVE CREATIVE AND SUSTAINABLE SOCIAL CHANGE FOR ALL NATIONALS

Luanda, Angola, 6 September 2016 – Angola’s first innovation hub, Fábrica de Sabão, hosted an open-day for the public to experience and learn how they can be a part of an emerging ecosystem for needs-based innovation and entrepreneurship in Angola. Designed to leapfrog education challenges and drive socioeconomic inclusion and growth at all levels of society, Fábrica de Sabão offers Angolans an innovation-led environment to connect, learn, create and grow.

As the country looks for new ways to diversify its economy and accelerate job creation, the hub offers an entirely fresh approach to drive innovation-led opportunities for Angolans. Fábrica de Sabão is a hybrid of incubator and accelerator hubs, co-working and makerspaces and a cultural exchange platform. It will soon have its own local radio station and a residence program for visiting mentors and artists.

Situated in the heart of Cazenga, with a population of 800,000 inhabitants and density of 23,000 people per square kilometer, construction of the innovation hub commenced in July 2015. The internal and external facades of the old soap factory as well as surrounding areas of the neighborhood have undergone a major overhaul to make the premises a safe, creative and conducive hub for sustainable social change. To date, approximately 200 children and youth from the community have been actively involved in workshops ranging from technical training using technology such as 3D printers and CNC machines, urban manufacturing, art, sports and language lessons. Local schools teachers have joined the hub’s volunteer network to carry out many of the programs.

Leaders of the community have also expressed how Fábrica de Sabão is positively impacting the community. “We are delighted by this noble initiative that brings dignity to our neighborhood and hope of a better future for our children. For a long time our community has struggled with the problem of garbage and delinquency that was practiced inside the abandoned soap factory premises, endangering our health and safety. We are certain that the initiatives taking place here will not only contribute to the education of our young but also promote the development of our community and country as a whole”, José António Guerra, Chairman of the neighborhood committee of São João, Zona 17, Sector I.

Founder, Jean-Claude Bastos de Morais commented: “I believe that need and creativity are drivers of innovation, especially in a community like Cazenga where youth are highly resourceful, hungry for knowledge and receptive to new ways of learning. Ultimately it is about narrowing the gap between the formal and informal sector and creating equal opportunities that will launch an innovation-led startup culture in Angola. Through Fábrica de Sabão, we are training local communities to become their own creators, designers, producers and marketers”.

The hub comprises of numerous repurposed shipping containers that have been converted into fully-functioning office spaces, workstations and meeting rooms. Companies, startups and entrepreneurs may rent these containers for a nominal charge or use the co-working spaces. The aim is to create a collaborative culture where ideas and knowledge can be exchanged and pollinated into sustainable businesses opportunities for Angolans and by Angolans.

Land from the surrounding slum area has been cleared away for organic farming purposes, which will enable the community to create its own local supply chain for herbs, fruits and vegetables. The hub also has its own sports and market place area for the community.

Fábrica de Sabão will bring together experts and mentors from around the world to share knowledge, harness creative ideas into tangible outcomes and help launch sustainable businesses in Angola.