1. to make changes in something established, especially by introducing new methods, ideas, or products.

A big part of why Canopy Life International exists is due to the gaps in the current education system in Kenya. One of the most significant gaps we’ve identified is the lack of creative problem solving and critical thinking.

With the unemployment rate across the country as high as it is, many students – whether living in a rural community or in a major city, will (hopefully) finish school only to enter into a workforce where there will likely be no jobs waiting for them.

Canopy Life exists to help kids overcome the odds – like the unemployment rate in Kenya – to create jobs for themselves that don’t just serve their own needs of income but that provide jobs for others in their communities. Our Innovation program on campus gives our students the skills they need to cultivate an idea to market, grow a healthy business, and lead with integrity. Across Kenya, these ideas are not yet mainstream in public or private schools. However, that doesn’t mean they won’t be in the near future…

Growing Kenya’s “Silicon Savannah”

There’s currently a vision and movement to grow Kenya’s “Silicon Savannah” – the digital industry and startup community. It’s a part of Kenya’s vision for 2030 and there has been much growth, even in the last year.

Kenya’s tech startup ecosystem, which is now amongst the most popular on the continent, has been attracting overseas companies as the country launches an International Financial Center. Big tech firms are turning their interest toward east Africa’s Silicon Savannah. Kenya is offering numerous deals to foreign investors who may be interested in re-locating! These offers include tax and immigration incentives and space in the new building. Two major firms out of the UK have already committed to bring their headquarters to Nairobi as of June.

Most recently, Microsoft launched one of two Africa Development Center (ADC) sites in Nairobi. They plan to hire somewhere around 450 full-time employees. This will be a healthy boost of jobs for the city and surrounding suburbs! Additionally, Google announced it is hiring over 100 employees for its upcoming Product Development Center. The center will be the company’s first such facility in Africa!

The city of Nairobi is taking this development seriously. From changing buildings and neighborhoods, to making sure that the road infrastructure is convenient as possible. These changes are especially evident from the airport to the Westlands area. This is where the majority of this tech development is taking place.

So what does that mean for education?

Our biggest hope as these advances begin is that we will see a focus shift toward education. We hope this focus will prepare young Kenyan adults to fill these jobs themselves. This focus shift is needed to improve the overall quality of education through better and more robust curriculum. Changes in standardized testing would make a world of difference in preparing these students to enter into the ever flourishing tech world of east Africa.

Canopy Life continues to prepare our students in this way through our innovation programs and our holistic schooling approach. We are praying that education in Kenya can and will improve so that we can all innovate together for a healthier Kenya.