The Innovation Village, Kampala: 29th July 2022
Sahara Foundation, the corporate responsibility vehicle of energy and infrastructure conglomerate, Sahara Group, has launched the Sahara Steamers Programme in Uganda to give young inventors a platform to hone their skills.
The programme which involves showcasing innovations in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM), attracted 50 participants from two secondary schools. The participating schools included Kyambogo College School, one of the traditional schools owned by government of Uganda and St. Peters’ Naalya, a privately owned. These two schools are ranked among the best performing schools in Uganda for the last decades. Each school had 25 participants, and five different groups. Each of the groups had a unique idea that would solve a number of challenges within their communities. There were innovations in land management, security, agriculture and health among others. All these were supported by Sahara Group under the “Catch Them Young and Curious Program” (CTYC). As part of the event, three out of the ten groups were awarded with gift hampers from Sahara.
Mr. Temi Adeniran Finance Manager, Asharami Uganda Limited, a Sahara Group downstream company in the country, noted that Sahara has a vision of seeing many young innovators benefit from the programme. “We are happy to see that we have many young innovators in these schools. Sahara Group is committed to have as many innovators on the continent including Uganda. The Programme will facilitate sustainable development in Africa as the innovations are expected to create jobs and address the unemployment challenge on the continent. To the young innovators, we want you be as innovative as possible. Do not give up on the many ideas you have in mind.”
Mr. Moses Abimpeire, the Business Development Manager at Asharami Uganda Limited, said Sahara was delighted to contribute to Uganda’s development through projects and interventions that promote access to energy and sustainable environments. “Asharami Uganda is delighted to be one of the promoters of innovation in the nation, especially with a focus on young Ugandans. The success we have reviewed here today will certainly pave the way for more projects while we continue to work towards ensuring the supply of top quality and safe petroleum products to fuel economic growth in Uganda,” Abimpeire said.
Both the participants and the school management, represented at the event, lauded Sahara Group for the initiative and supporting young innovators. They also asked the Group to extend the programme to several other secondary schools in the country. The school managers asked Sahara Group to launch the programme in several regions in the country, as they have done with the two.
Dave Musaazi, a participant offering Math, Economics and Geography/ ICT at St. Peter’s Naalya said,” The programme is very engaging. It also encourages working in groups and this too promotes team work. I want to thank the Sahara Group for this initiative. May God bless them!”
Elizabeth Kadia, a participant from Kyambogo College offering Mathematics, Economics, Technical Drawing/ICT, said,” When we were asked to participate, I had doubted it. But after engaging the team from Sahara, I saw doors open for me. As a girl child, I want to be the best in innovations in this country. I thank Sahara for this opportunity.
Mr. James Opio Ayo, the Director of Studies and Head of the Department of ICT at Kyambogo College School noted that the Sahara STEAMers Programme will encourage innovativeness among learners. In addition, he said, it will drive competition in science and technology. The programme, Mrs. Ayo says, comes at a time when the academic system especially for the upper secondary is examination oriented with little focus on innovations. Rolling it out in Uganda, he said, will be a big step in improving the education system in Uganda. “Unlike the new lower secondary curriculum in Uganda, the upper one mainly focuses on examinations. With the Sahara programme, it is encouraging practical learning and innovation. This is a good step in our education system,” Mr. Ayo said.
Mr. Eliya Bwenje a Physics and Mathematics Teacher at St. Peters Naalya said,” I do not have a better way to thank you; Sahara Group. This support to our students will be rewarded by God. We are extremely happy that you provide funds to invest in these young innovators. You have demonstrated that you have a big heart.”