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Tech News & Podcast | Africa

UNDP Launches “timbuktoo” a $ Billion initiative to Transform Livelihoods and Create Million Jobs in Africa

The Timbuktoo Initiative is a new initiative launched by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and African leaders to support Africa’s startup ecosystem and unleash the continent’s startup revolution. The initiative was launched at the 24th Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

This was graced by prominent people from Africa such as UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner, Secretary General of the African Continental Free Trade Area Secretariat HE Wamkele Mene, UNDP Africa Chief Innovation Officer Dr Eleni Gabre-Madhin, Rwanda Minister of Information and Technology HE Paula Musoni, UNDP Africa Bureau Director Ahunna Eziakonwa, HE Nana Akufo-Addo, President of Ghana, HE Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda, James Manyika, SVP, Google, Nigeria Minister of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy HE Bosun Tijani.

Mobilizing African Startup Revolution

The initiative aims to address critical gaps and work with African governments, investors, corporates, and universities to support the African startup ecosystem . The initiative is positioned to be the world’s largest financing facility bringing catalytic and commercial capital together to support Africa’s startup ecosystem .

The timbuktoo Africa Innovation Fund will be hosted in Kigali, and HE Paul Kagame, who promised an initial contribution of US$3 million, emphasised that “we cannot accept that another generation of African young people does not have the tools to reach their full potential.” “We can provide more opportunities for Africa’s youth to use their talent and creativity by reaching Timbuktoo’s billion-dollar target.”

“Making sure we put in place the right structures to enable young Africans to create compelling and innovative businesses that can significantly contribute to job creation and sustainable economic growth is currently our foremost challenge for many African countries,” emphasised HE Nana Akufo-Addo. ” I’m enthusiastic about what lies ahead for our continent. I’m excited to watch as we build a future that values creativity, rewards inventiveness, and distributes wealth”.

The initiative is expected to create more opportunities for Africa’s youth to put their talent and creativity to good use. The initiative is expected to fill critical gaps and support the startup ecosystem by providing startup-friendly legislation, global-class startup building, and de-risking capital to increase investment.

Africa currently contributes only 0.2% of the global startup value, whereas trade value accounts for 2% of the global total. Over sixty percent of venture money moving into one sector—fintech—comes from outside Africa; 89 percent of this cash is concentrated in four countries: Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, and Egypt.

The initiative will also establish University Innovation Pods (UniPods) across Africa. The Timbuktoo Initiative aims to mobilize and invest $1 billion of catalytic and commercial capital to transform 100 million livelihoods and create 10 million dignified new jobs.

The initiative will invest $1 billion of public and private funds in youth innovation startups. The initiative is expected to harness the momentum of Africa’s major youth demographic and abundance of innovative talent. The initiative is a new model of development that gathers key actors to push on all fronts at the same time .

The initiative is a pan-African hub for startup growth and innovation. The initiative is expected to encourage innovation, support ingenuity, and promote prosperity sharing.

Timbuktoo is a pan-African startup support platform that combines commercial and catalytic capital to reduce the risk associated with private investment. It also focuses on the entire ecosystem, strengthening the connections between corporates, government policy, universities, development partners, and commercial investors.

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