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Building Bridges: Dubai Startup Hub's New Mentorship Program To Foster UAE-Africa Cooperation Startups from the UAE and Africa are set to participate in the first-ever Chamberthon during the Africa Tech Summit in Kigali, Rwanda, from February 13-15, 2019.

By Megha Merani

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

You're reading Entrepreneur Middle East, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.


Startups from the UAE and Africa are set to participate in the first-ever Chamberthon during the Africa Tech Summit in Kigali, Rwanda, from February 13-15, 2019, Dubai Chamber announced in a statement on Sunday.

The Chamberthon will be organised and hosted by Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry with an aim to provide a creative environment in which UAE and African startups can collaborate and develop new innovative ideas that will be used to structure the Global Business Forum Mentorship Program. The holistic three-month program will pair startups with mentors who can provide them with valuable expertise, support, and guidance to grow their businesses.

H.E. Hamad Buamim, President and CEO, Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said, "By bringing UAE startups to Africa to participate in the Chamberthon and Africa Tech Summit, we are creating a platform for continued cooperation between the two business communities. We are very optimistic about the prospects for the Chamberthon, and we are confident that it will achieve its objectives and create a program that really benefits startups and support them with mentorship and expansion."

Details about the Chamberthon and mentorship program were revealed during a kick-off meeting held at Dubai Chamber's headquarters on Sunday, which was attended by the UAE startups that will be joining the Dubai Chamber-led trade mission to Kigali this week. Entrepreneur Middle East Editor in Chief Aby Sam Thomas will also be a part of this trip to Kigali. As part of the Chamberthon, 20 UAE and African startups will be divided into mixed teams to develop and present their concepts for the mentorship program.

A total of 10 startups from the UAE and Africa that make the final cut will be selected to participate in the mentorship programme later this year, which will be joined by a pool of expert mentors. The program provides many benefits beyond mentorship, including access to networking and Dubai Startup Hub services and support, as well as speaking and exhibiting opportunities at the 5th Global Business Forum on Africa in Dubai, taking place in November 2019.

H.E. Buamim added that the Chamberthon and the GBF Mentorship program falls in line with Dubai Chamber's strategy exploring promising markets around the world, and identifying business opportunities in African markets that offer the most potential to its members and the business community in Dubai.

Related: Top Companies Announce Deals With Winners Of The Third Edition Of Dubai Startup Hub's Market Access

Megha Merani

Independent Journalist

Megha Merani is an independent journalist based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Her stories have made headlines across a number of publications including Reuters, Associated Press, Entrepreneur Middle EastBloomberg Middle East, Arabian Gulf Business Insight, Arabian Business, and former local daily 7DAYS.

Megha also produces editorial for government platforms including the World Government Summit and World Economic Forum's Annual Meeting of the Global Future Councils. She has been a grant winner of the Thomson Reuters Foundation and The Global Initiative Against Organized Crime funded by the government of Norway to report on the online trade in illegal wildlife.

Megha is also an Associate Fellow (AFHEA) at Murdoch University in Dubai and leads its Digital Newsroom course unit. In addition, Megha serves as a United Nations Women mentor to support equal opportunities for women entrepreneurs, and supports various other programs including TIE Women, 60 Day Startups, and the Watt Inc. Business Incubator.

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