Durban — The signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Innovate Durban and the American Corners took place in Cato Manor on Tuesday.
The US Consulate General in Durban deemed this is a unique opportunity to empower communities.
Innovate Durban CEO Aurelia Albert said this is a very important step in ensuring they create spaces that will bring people together and uplift their skills.
“This opportunity is a unique one because it provides a safe space for people to come in and access resources, information tools on technology, entrepreneurship, and innovative skills that was previously not easily accessible before, including information in American context literature as well as tools technology that come out from US companies,’’ said Albert.
Albert revealed that after this memorandum signing, they will be running a series of programmes every month, which will start in November, where people are enlightened to participate in innovative programmes up-skilling around innovation and entrepreneurship.
She also said that there will be engagements with US alumni to get more knowledge on different expertise, knowledge and skills.
“We will also be running an engagement with United States of America alumni with programmes where they will be sharing their expertise and experiences. Through that, we will get more knowledge, expertise and skills. So this will bring a lot of knowledge opportunities, including climate change and other highly important topics. Important topics that are importantly relevant to our economy and obviously for both parties,’’ said Albert.
Public Affairs Officer of the US Consulate, Durban, Jaclyn Cole, sharing her excitement, said public and private partnership is vital in empowering communities.
‘’We were really excited to officially sign. Public and private partnership is very important. They have the capacity, they know the local needs, and we have the resources, programmes that we can give to them, and expertise from the US that we can share, which will make us all better.
Cole also said it took the US government more than three years to get a space in Durban, and finally, it happened. Further, she said the journey of their partnership had been nothing but great success.
‘’We are really excited to continue with this partnership, which started in May 2022. What is great about this lab is that it is within the community and it is easily accessible. And it offers services free of charge,’’ said Cole.
This partnership between US and Innovative Durban started after the 2021 July unrest, where the Mayville Innovative building was damaged and equipment was looted.
The US then visited the lab and saw a great need to assist with resources to rebuild the lab facility and also buy the needed equipment.
There are two Innovative American Corners centres in the KZN province, one in Cato Manor and the other one is in Pietermaritzburg.
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