Timbuktoo hub is looking to build innovative startup ecosystem for Africans
Startups Technology

Timbuktoo hub is looking to build innovative startup ecosystem for Africans

The Timbuktoo initiative, sponsored by the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) Regional Bureau for Africa, was launched in Nigeria to mobilize and invest $1 billion in public and private funding over the next decade to help fuel Africa’s startup revolution.

The Lagos event brought together representatives from various organizations, including governments, the private sector, development partners, universities, and startups.

According to the organizers, Timbuktoo will be a game-changing addition to UNDP Africa’s mission to transform the African continent by leveraging its people, particularly its ambitious, dynamic youth, as the key to its growth and path out of poverty.

Across Africa, eight private-sector-driven Pan-African Timbuktoo hubs will be developed, each focusing on a different priority area and housing a Venture Builder and a Venture Fund.

The UNDP Africa Chief Innovation Officer, Eleni Gabre-Madhin, said that Timbuktoo is a big, innovative, and unique initiative to overcome the current vacuum in early-stage risk capital; better integrate African innovation stakeholders from universities to corporates to investors; and enable startups to embrace the African market opportunity.

The multifaceted initiative encourages and grows innovative, scalable, and impactful entrepreneurship among young Africans. It accomplishes this by relying on a network of partners who, when combined, make a significant contribution to developing an innovation and startup ecosystem for young Africans.”

The Timbuktoo approach will be based on finding, nurturing, and building African solutions proposed by Africa’s youth that directly address one or more of the 17 SDGs (SDGs).

Mohamed Yahya, UNDP Nigeria Representative, said that at UNDP Nigeria, innovation is prioritized, which is why it wasn’t hard to convince the Timbuktoo team to set up a hub in Lagos, Nigeria. He also said that the initiative is based on the belief that to achieve the SDGs, UNDP must work hand in hand with the private sector and embrace a bold and innovative reality in which the future will be driven by technology and innovation.

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