By Amanda E. Jojo
Zimbabwe is gradually enjoying the rewards that come with the internet. A rising population of educated youths that have access to modern technology devices is brewing a revolution across the country with the birth of tech hubs that have become launch pads for young entrepreneurs keen on solving the country’s problems.
This is the case for Liberty Huchu, a budding social technopreneur who runs Omni-Learning Centre a click and mortar facility fully equipped to provide access to affordable-innovative skills training, innovation, distance learning, scholarships, entrepreneurial support (resources and co-working space), funding opportunities and many other free as well as paid for offers.
“Omni-Learning was first built to solve common limitations and challenges to skills and education access in terms of the accessibility and affordability faced during the Covid-19 era,” Huchu told The Entrepreneurial Magazine.
Government through the Ministry of Information and Communication Technology in November 2021 highlighted that COVID-19 caused disruptions across many sectors and attested that the pandemic has been a silver lining for companies in the ICT sector as demand for online services rose significantly.
The head of Omni-Learning Centre strongly agrees with the assertion since his company was formed in the midst of the pandemic and the novel virus led to a very commendable rise of innovative technologies driven by youth, in particular in the service industry.
“It was during this period, we took heed of the government’s call for e-learning solutions. Our team set out to build the most stable, fast, secure, and interactive learning environment that would ensure success for its users,” Huchu said.
Initially, the Omni-Learning Centre’s mandate was to deliver curriculum-based courses only, but with time, the visionaries behind the company enhanced their impact to include skills courses for all, building Africa’s First Market Place for courses.
“To achieve this, we opened up our platform to content creators (individuals and institutions) from all walks of life to join the platform for free and deliver well-structured learning content, taking advantage of our powerful teaching tools and support system.
“Our platform offers experts an opportunity to transfer skills, inspire others and give back to the society by creating a free or paid-for course and increasing accessibility by allowing anyone and everyone a chance to learn anything, anytime from anywhere,” Huchu affirmed.
The brand strategist and tech solution enthusiast’s drive is anchored on attainment of sustainable outcomes.
“Our promise is to “help everyone succeed” by ensuring an increase in the accessibility, affordability, and flexibility of education/the necessary know-how required to succeed. This is at the core of our offers, we provide several solutions for all that aim to bring skills to those who could not previously access them.
“For example, if someone is facing challenges going to university or we want to provide the next best alternative route to success. A quick scan of our platform will show you that we provide several free-to-access courses, at the moment curriculum-based courses are free. Moreover, creating an account, either as a student or content creator is free,” Huchu said.
Through his social enterprise, he is hoping to accelerate social change for this reason, the Center in the near future is going to launch a series of impact-driven solutions that will transform a lot of people’s lives and empower the girl child and set her on a path to success.
In the view of the notion that quality is a subjective construct, Huchu believes that quality can be attained through understanding the needs of stakeholders, customers included, steadiness in the improvement of services offered, and hiring or working with a team that is passionate about what it does.
“This and the culture for continuous improvement are at the core of our culture and are key components to our success in high-quality delivery. Our goal is to deliver solutions that compete effectively internationally and make skills acquisition fun and affordable process,” he highlighted.
Zimbabwe has not been spared from the factors contributing to the heightened digital divide however, he commended government’s acknowledgement of the fact that the digital divide gap is broad especially in the rural areas and that pose negative impacts which will hinder progress.
“As an organization, we are finding creative and innovative ways and steps to address this issue in any way we can. Our belief is access to the digital world is a key right and I would like to commend the government for taking some key steps via education 5.0 to try and support the I.C.T industry and close the digital access gap,” he added.
Some of the steps include ensuring affordability of e-learning solutions for schools and the provision of a physical learning center, amongst other steps which will be shared in due course.
To narrow the digital divide gap he suggested: “I highly recommend subsidizing tech companies and start-ups in Zimbabwe via government grants and duty exemption for companies in the green technology and e-learning sector as these are key to the attainment of a digital and innovative Zimbabwe.”
The future is promising for the young solution-orientated businessman, since he aims to become the best in Zimbabwe and beyond on his drive for skills transfer, mentorship, and support across individuals, experts, professionals, and institutions