Meet Rachel Sibande, Malawi’s Innovation Champion
Rachel Sibande is the founder of M-Hub, Malawi’s first technology hub. It is an incubator for technology startups with a special focus on building young tech entrepreneurs by offering them training, skills development and mentorship. “M-Hub champions the development of technology solutions as its main lifeline. The hub invests its profits in social good programs that build capacities of children, girls and youth in developing technology applications. Ultimately, M-Hub wants to be the prime software solution provider in the nation and beyond, employing skills of young Malawians.”
Girls and Their Toys
Rachel’s interest in technology started in her school days when she found herself playing with different gadgets, radios and anything tech she could find. Later on, she studied computer science at Malawi’s Chancellors College and then sparked off her career as a programmer before diverting into lecturing and teaching. “Growing up I had a passion for gadgets. I was just curious on anything techy. I actually thought I would be a lab scientist. But I guess with time, my passion moved to computers.”
Still filled with a passion to use technology to change lives, Sibande then found herself working with development agencies like USAID, FICA and GIZ. It was around this time when Rachel got involved in rolling out Malawi’s first web-to-SMS service for the malawi’s smallholder farmer industry.
Malawi’s first Tech hub
After seeing the impact technology was making in Malawi’s agricultural industry, Rachel then developed a conviction to grow this impact to other sectors.
In 2012, While on a fellowship under Barack Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) Programme in the United States, Rachel was introduced to…