June 10, 2022

It started with three: the start of the dream

Building something great is not usually about one great mind but a collective. Many ideas put together and people uniting to support what they believe, is often how the change we want to see comes about.

In our previous blog, we talked about our co-founder Oliver’s journey, now Eunice Baguma Ball, another Ishango co-founder, shares her story with us.

Eunice is originally from Uganda but has been living in the UK since 2014. She has been working in the African Tech space for the last 15 years supporting entrepreneurs and organisations to use technology as a force for good. Her greatest passion is creating innovative solutions that can positively impact lives, particularly in Africa. Below she recounts how the seed that later grew to become Ishango was planted.

“The idea for Ishango came about when myself and Naveed Rantasi ( Ishango’s third co-founder), sat down towards the end of 2020 to contemplate on COVID-19 pandemic. We asked ourselves, despite all the challenges brought about by the pandemic, what opportunities might emerge from it. One clear opportunity we saw how remote working was breaking down geographic barriers and re-shaping the future of work.”

Combining Eunice’s passion and knowledge of the tech space in Africa and Naveed’s experience building and scaling education-focused startups, that is how they came up with the idea for Ishango.ai, a social enterprise that would upskill and connect data science talent in Africa to remote working opportunities with global companies.

For Eunice, Ishango is about levelling the playing field for talented young people in Africa who have skills but often lack access to opportunities. It is also about changing the perceptions about Africa and showing the world the immense talent across the region that is still largely untapped.

“It is really exciting to already see a change happening through our work. Many of the companies we work with would not previously have considered looking for data science talent in Africa. Now we have companies that after seeing what our fellows were able to achieve during the fellowship, have gone on to hire them for longer-term projects. As results jobs have been created and lives impacted”

This is a dream that has just started, the beginning of something much bigger. Sharing her vision for the future Eunice said:

“My goal is for Ishango to become the go-to partner for global companies to discover and work with the best data science talent in Africa. We are building the talent pool and infrastructure to enable us to do this at scale and in the process create thousands of high-skill jobs in Africa while fuelling business growth around the world”