We build future societies, today.
More than 2 decades ago, an impact organisation was born at the tip of Africa in Cape Town.
The Cape IT Initiative and the Bandwidth Barn was established in 1999, by a group of civic activists with a vision to build a future-fit, inclusive society through technology and innovation. They dreamed of a future where all Africans could become part of the digital economy to build an innovative, resilient society through entrepreneurial and digital skills development and by stimulating economic clusters with opportunity for growth within the ecosystem.
The organisation evolved into the Cape Innovation & Technology Initiative (CiTi) in 2015 and the Bandwidth Barn, known as the oldest tech incubator in Africa, expanded to the informal economy and the township of Khayelitsha to provide dedicated support to entrepreneurs that have been excluded from participating in the digital economy.
UVU Africa identified the lack of financial inclusion as being a constraint to participation for many people in the economy. In 2015, a FinTech cluster was launched to support innovation and financial inclusion in the financial services industry and to support blockchain initiatives. Barclays Rise selected CiTi’s Cape Town FinTech cluster as the home for its Africa FinTech Accelerator and Innovation Hub resulting in a substantial investment in the local economy. UVU Africa’s FinTech cluster was internationally recognised as being a major catalyst for Cape Town’s FinTech boom and becoming the tech capital of Africa.
The organisation also initiated bespoke interventions to address specific areas that could unlock substantial growth such as CapaCiTi Digital Career Accelerator, which produces digitally skilled labour for a growing tech sector and a campus was opened in Cape Town and Johannesburg. As an answer to the question of how we support the improvement of education outcomes in Africa, UVU Africa established Injini, an edtech-focussed incubator helping businesses in Pan Africa to grow and scale.
The latest addition to the group, BioCiTi, was established to stimulate access to the bioeconomy and unlock opportunities for entrepreneurs and scientists with a state-of-the-art shared laboratory and incubation programme.
Growing our physical presence and impact from Cape Town to Johannesburg and in 2022 to Kigali and supporting entrepreneurs in East Africa, UVU Africa and the Bandwidth Barn is now evolving its brand to reflect our future vision more clearly. Our new name and visual identity reaches back into the wisdom of our past and stretches forward into the possibilities of our future!
UVU Africa designs and builds a future-fit inclusive society through innovation & technology. We drive inclusive growth of the digital economy through business incubation, skills development, and through key projects that unlock industry growth as well as ecosystem development through open innovation and collaboration. We build future societies, today.
UVUmbuzi is a Swahili verb for invent, discover, or reveal and used as a synonym for innovation. UVU also happens to be a palindrome (a word fractal). UVU in sound, design and meaning takes our core mission and manifests it in the world.
We take our lead from our core purpose of designing & creating an optimal future through innovation. We draw inspiration from nature’s optimal design structure – fractals – and the conscious use of fractal technology in centuries-old African artisanal, civic, architectural, design, cultural and spiritual practices.
A fractal is a simple pattern that repeats itself at different scales – a tree is a branch of a branch of a branch; mountains are peaks within peaks; clouds are puffs of puffs, and so on. Fractals are patterns, that can be described mathematically, that allow the most innovation, creativity, and resilience to exist, and their emergent intelligence powers the universe. It’s been shown that fractal code systems used in ancient African practices are the basis of what we now know as binary code, which powers the digital world.
A powerful modern African brand that reflects our inclusive values while being inspirational, ambitious, and trusted. Established in 1999, the organisation has significantly impacted the growth of the Cape Town and South African technology and entrepreneurship ecosystem.
UVU Africa is extending & evolving its existing work and impact achieved in the last two decades even further throughout the African continent.
Over 20+ years of Innovation
UVU NPC board is made of a mix of experienced entrepreneurs, business executives and scientists.