With the portal we are changing this. Every detail on our website is checked before publishing and we work with experts in the fields we are focusing on. We continue to invest more into experienced researchers and writers and this is paying off quite nicely as is evident on the quality of information you can find on the portal.
To give you an idea: If you are travelling to a foreign country, you go to the information desk first and ask for a map, you ask for suggestions and want to know everything about the different areas and their special characteristics. In that sense, we are serving as the information desk for Africa in a musical perspective. In addition to that, we commission knowledgeable people — researchers, music educators, and journalists to contribute. What has been exciting over the years is that user-generated content has increased significantly as artists see real value in adding their content on the portal.
We have 18, profiles of musicians and over 50, accounts belonging to music fans. There are over , songs to listen to and added by the artists themselves. There are two aspects: From a developmental perspective it was important to create a platform which suits the very diverse, and at times challenging, African market. Internet connectivity and accessibility remains problematic, for instance not everyone in Africa has a smart phone. But obviously when it comes to music in particular, there is another, a lot more important aspect: All over the world the internet and technology are becoming more and more influential in music.
And there have been a lot of discussions whether that is good or bad. It has groomed a new kind of musician. But this is exactly why we need this kind of platform, to promote musicians, to reach out to new fans, to build new audiences, and be part of sustainable networks. The money now is in events, live performances and all these kind of things — however, without awareness people will never go to your show.
Technology is will always be evolving.
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We aim to make the best out of it. Music In Africa is just one of the many great tools available for musicians today and I am pleased that musicians are starting to understand the need to build strong online identities. We are playing an important role in supporting African musicians to achieve this and I think there is even more change ahead of us.
The beginning was a little difficult but we are at another stage now where we generally find more people wanting to work with us and sending us proposals every day. But it is worth noting that in its structure, Music In Africa was developed in a very inclusive and consultative way. We had over music professionals from across the globe making contributions in various ways and most of these people are still very loyal to the initiative. To date we have over 45 key partners across the world, including media houses, festivals, associations, NGOs, record labels and many other.
This gives us more perspectives and exposure. We now have over 25, people in our mailing list and very strong social pages amounting to hundred thousands of followers. Our strategic plan for the next five years is to increase reach of our work, by extending our research into all the African countries. This should be completed by We are also planning to open our first office in Northern Africa, in Morocco this year.
More importantly, we are expanding our offline programs, with the introduction of a pan-African music mobility program and an Instrument Building And Repair program. These programs are in line with our strategy to diversify our funding base and be more self-sustaining. And as you can imagine, there is room for improvement with the portal and all our work in general. The music industry in Africa is moving up swiftly and that means we have to constantly keep updating our functionalities and content strategies. Music In Africa should be the first port of call for all inquiries related to music in Africa.
Siemens Stiftung has established WE! Hub Victoria Ltd in Kenya. The social enterprise will work on innovative solutions related to drinking water and energy supply on the shores of Lake Victoria.
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In addition, newly-developed electric vehicles will be deployed for the first time in rural Africa. These solutions, along with social and ecological business models, are intended to improve living conditions for locals, create jobs, and establish new economic opportunities. We strongly believe in a business approach: Self-sustaining, environmentally-friendly business models can be used to reach sustainability goals and achieve social development in rural Africa.
This is why WeTu is a social enterprise with clear goals pertaining to social, economic, and ecologic interests. The business model is based on technological solutions that have been specifically developed for rural Africa.
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According to our experience, self-sustaining and financially independent solutions are possible when ideas of local communities are matched with regional and international networks and knowledge. We were actively involved in We! Hub, the previous version of this project on Lake Victoria, meaning we know the region, the communities, and the potential business models quite well.
There are many, highly-motivated young people who want to improve their standing in life. They want to seize opportunities and have a real entrepreneurial spirit. But on the other hand, there is 20 percent youth unemployment in the region — toxically frustrating for such a young society. Beyond that, access to basic goods is not always guaranteed.
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The drinking water situation is also dire: many people continue to drink contaminated water straight from Lake Victoria. Pollution threatens the livelihoods of local communities that depend on income derived from fishing in the lake. There is poor infrastructure in rural areas: streets are bad if they exist at all, which creates challenges for transporting goods like food or drinking water. These are large hurdles when it comes to development. The technologies we are going to provide have been carefully checked to make sure they are suited for the needs and conditions on the ground.
For example, the fishing lanterns were developed specifically for WeTu. They are very durable, and their lithium-ion batteries will replace lead batteries and oil lamps that are often used; these are harmful to human health and the environmental health of the lake. They make robust, low-maintenance water filtration systems specifically for rural developing regions.
The system has a four-stage filtration process, making it ideal for consistently providing the best and safest drinking water. In the e-mobility sector, we are planning on testing a few products.
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The electric truck will be used to make WeTu water and battery deliveries in remote areas. I am confident we are going to see encouraging technological leaps quite soon in the e-mobility sector of East Africa. We work with a few technology partners and are also planning on linking up with the local startup scene. This is why we set up the company at the LakeHub entrepreneurial center in Kisumu. Beyond that, we are working on a German-Kenyan research network to accompany the expanding technological infrastructure and to come up with new business models.
These could include rental concepts and local value creation for more local production and jobs.
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Their activities include Hygiene Promotion with schools and health officials. A network tends to be more innovative, and members can learn from one another. This is how progress is made, and we need new ideas in development collaboration. Initially, we are focusing on expanding the core business areas of energy and water, WePower and WeWater. Then we want to add WeMobility, expanding e-mobility solutions until it includes local production. The goal remains to use reliable products and excellent service to provide better basic services for tens of thousands of people and families.
It is also important that we contribute to improved environmental protection, and WeTu will help reduce water and air pollution. In the future, the technological solutions we are providing will be well-suited for local production. By shifting the value creation to the local level as much as possible, many new jobs will be created. Since we work so closely with our partners, in the future we hope to see stronger networking with the public sector as well as additional organizations and businesses with local or international experience.
Siemens Stiftung established WE! Hub Victoria Ltd. Hub project. Siemens Stiftung provided WE! We coordinated with our German Tax Office and local officials and decisionmakers on setting up this model to create a full subsidiary of our foundation. This was a new experience for us, and the new knowledge is something we will be able to share with other foundations, nonprofits, and social enterprises. We hope that our own actions will contribute to more impact in the social sector. The goal of the regional clusters is to master 21st-century challenges in education and the working world as well as facilitate sustainable social development.
Ulrike Wahl, Siemens Stiftung employee in Latin America, explains why the region is particularly open to innovative educational approaches and what makes the approach in STEAM regions so effective. In Latin America as well as in Germany and other countries, the challenge challenge lies in modifying science and technology education to better impart skills necessary for the 21st century such as creativity, value orientation or problem-solving competences An economic necessity in Latin America, STEAM bridges a gap between the natural sciences and the more creative and humanities subjects.
In times of rapid technological development, science and technology education is a key factor for creating jobs and ensuring prosperity. In Germany we were able to ascertain the enormous effect that can result from stakeholders setting mutual goals for a better education and then transparently sharing their experiences with each other. With its international education program Experimento, which is geared toward the skills of the 21st century, Siemens Stiftung has been active in the STEAM field in Latin America for many years. A good prerequisite, in other words, for us to transfer this idea to our regional networks and systematically bring them together.
In each of these, different institutions have assumed the coordination role: a university, a state education authority, a regional government and a municipality. People are currently sharing their experiences in these regions, and concrete measures are now being drafted.
Overall, the objective is for these regional alliances to have a greater influence on the respective education agendas by carrying more weight as well as having a voice, in addition to being able to coordinate their projects more effectively. Siemens Stiftung stands for content-driven, nonpartisan, transparent and pluralistic cooperation.
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An important topic we wish to dedicate ourselves to in the future is, for example, making the topic of climate change a core component of continuing education programs for teachers. We continue to see our role in being active bridge-builders, providing impulses and being a good partner in exchanging content, contacts and experiences.
Only in this way can we play an effective role in anchoring the significance of STEAM at the heart of the social development process. All the tools and methods used in those workshops were just published in a handbook of the same name.