Silicon Valley: Uganda’s Solomon King Awarded Among Africa’s Game Changing Innovators

Solomon King Benge, the founder of Fundi Bots.

Ugandan innovator and founder of Fundi Bots, Solomon King Benge has been awarded by the African Diaspora Network in Silicon Valley during this year’s Builders of Africa’s Future Awards.

He received the Award during the Africa Diaspora Investment Symposium held between January 24 and 26 at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, Silicon Valley, California in the U.S.

The three-day global convening brought together leaders, innovators, investors, and entrepreneurs who seek to uplift the African continent by building bridges among Africans, global collaborators and friends of Africa.

The conference sought to inform, engage, and inspire participants to be agents of change and active contributors to Africa’s development.

The Builders of Africa’s Future (BAF) Awards, now in the second year, celebrate innovation and impact in early-stage African enterprise. It recognizes and awards ten entrepreneurs hailing from East, West, and South Africa. The Awards showcase and award entrepreneurs who are running early-stage for-profit and not-for-profits that are addressing Africa’s unique needs through technology or differentiated business models.

“On behalf of @FundiBots, I received the Builders of Africa’s Future award from the @AfricanDNetwork in Silicon Valley. We will leverage these resources to continue the push for equitable access to high quality science education for Africa,” Solomon tweeted over the weeked.

While speaking at the conference, Twum Djin of Goodwater Capital said the Awards were “an opportunity for us to bring organizations that are on the ground, nonprofits and for-profits that are doing amazing things, here to celebrate them”.

Fundi Bots is an education non-profit with a mission to accelerate science learning in Africa. Founded in 2011, the start-up aims to promote better learning outcomes, improved career prospects and real-world technological advancement in African schools and communities through training and experimentation in hands-on, project-based and skills-oriented science disciplines, starting with robotics

According to the Fundi Bots website, the start-up provides a hands-on, practical Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM)) education to children and youth in classrooms, communities and universities.

“Our students learn how to build robots, which radically improves school curriculum knowledge, classroom performance, provides hands-on vocational skills and career development and empowers students to be forces of change in their communities,” the description adds.

The website further says the Fundi Bots learning model “is practical, fun, engaging and puts students in a collaborative and exploratory learning environment that inspires them to think beyond simply passing classroom examinations”.

So far 4,500 students have been reached in a network of 75 schools with 2 regional centres so far.

Solomon says he created Fundi Bots a robotics training space to inspire a generation of practical minds that will be problem solvers.

This, according to him, was a suitable way he would fulfil his long harboured dream of experimenting with machines, gadgets and technology.

In the process of teaching kids how to build robots, they also learn electronics, computer programming, mechanical engineering and life skills like leadership, discipline and project management.

This he says enables the kids to have a practical experience and to be transformed into future community changers.

Solomon, among others is also founder and CEO of Node Six, a Ugandan web solutions firm offering domain, email and hosting services a further manifestation of his burning desire for technology.

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