Africa: Kenya Airways Launches First Aviation Fahari innovation hub in Africa

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East African carrier, Kenya Airways has launched the Fahari innovation hub as part of an effort to contribute to sustainable development and inspire corporate innovation.

According to airspace-africa.com, the airline is looking for inspiration from start-ups and SMMEs to accelerate development within its ecosystem.

The airline’s CEO, Alan Kilavuka remarked that Innovation has become imperative for KQ’s survival and growth and that it is embedded in the company’s strategy.

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The hub has existed in virtual format for over a year but Kenya airways has now moved to strengthen its potential with a physical workspace launched on Thursday. It has been built to be smart and eco-friendly, with some material from aircraft. The Fahari innovation hub has been launched with support from General Electric (GE).

Cabinet Secretary at the Ministry of ICT, Innovation and Youth Affairs Joseph Mucheru said during the launch
“We commend Kenya Airways for partnering with National Youth Council and GE and leveraging and harnessing Youth potential to design the Fahari Innovation Hub in fast-tracking the country’s mission to use new, digital and environmental friendly business models beyond flying to shape our tomorrow”

Through the hub we hope to see provision of upskilling, employment opportunities, community growth as well as support to local universities, enterprises and SMEs as we contribute to the sustainable development of Africa.”

Kenya Airways Chief Executive Officer, Allan Kilavuka said,
“At the pace at which change accelerates, especially now in the middle of a global pandemic, we have become increasingly aware of the need to be innovative as we position the business as a resilient, forward-looking and sustainable company with a deliberate inclusive agenda of empowering, partnering and co-creating with the society around us.”

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Enabling an environment that will accelerate innovative ideas, knowledge exchange and impact business operations brought together various think-tanks, industry leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs exemplifies our spirit to charge forward as we seek to innovatively find solutions that address some of our business problems and pain points.”

Last week, at a virtual workshop titled ‘KQ Aviation 101 Workshop’, the airline launched the Fahari Innovation Challenge to inspire practical solutions around key categories that are vital for the airline’s growth.

The categories included Sustainability, Engineering and maintenance, customer experience as well as a wild card for innovators and entrepreneurs to think outside the box and put forward a new product and business approach that can position KQ as an innovative company and strengthen the company by tapping into new markets and establishing new innovative products. The wild card must be practical, scalable and able to be commercialized.

Speaking at the virtual workshop, CEO Alan Kilavuka emphasized that the huge size of the Aviation value-chain means there are enormous opportunities for the start-up and SMME sector to exploit.

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