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Guestspeaker

More and more Close the Gap is evolving as “digital for development” topic owner with new strategic programmes and initiatives, both in Africa and in Europe. As a social enterprise in Kenya, Close the Gap has secured private sector investments to further develop the ‘no aid but trade’ perspective on the ground in Africa.

With the Close the Gap Hub in Mombasa, the organization has set up the first ‘incubator’ for the coastal area in East Africa. This Hub is focused on three pillars: educate, innovate and manufacture, for tech-4-development entrepreneurs and their poverty-alleviation innovations. Also, through a partnership with the BiD network, Olivier is dedicated to accelerating impact through investing in African entrepreneurs. Through this programme about 300 startups have been supported so far. Moreover, Close the Gap has also established the Circular Economy Hub in Mombasa, an IT Asset Disposition (ITAD) business.

To ensure the success of these recent extensions to the Close the Gap social enterprise ecosystem, Olivier Vanden Eynde and his family moved to Mombasa in the summer of 2019.

To increase and synergise impact on the African continent, Close the Gap Int. vzw, in close collaboration with the Prince Albert Fund, also established its activities in South(ern) Africa in 2021.

Building further on its African success in 2022, Olivier Vanden Eynde announced a partnership between Close the Gap and an innovation Hub in Kampala called Design Hub. Early 2023 Close the Gap created a joint venture with the Kinshasa based TEXAF to further expand its activities to the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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