UNDP: Ethiopia Has Tremendous Potential for Innovation, Entrepreneurship as Catalyst to Startup Businesses

1 Mon Ago
UNDP: Ethiopia Has Tremendous Potential for Innovation, Entrepreneurship as Catalyst to Startup Businesses

Ethiopia is among states that will be considered to host the Timbuktoo - UNDP’s bold, pan-African innovative and far-reaching initiative to spark a start-up revolution in Africa- according to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

The reason for the serious consideration of Ethiopia as a host, UNDP Regional Bureau for Africa Director Ahunna Eziakonwa told ENA, is that the country has a tremendous potential in innovation and entrepreneurship that would catalyze startups business.

UNDP launched on 17th January 2024 the bold and ambitious Timbuktoo initiative together with African countries at a special session of the World Economic Forum held in Davos, Switzerland.

The initiative is taken as the world’s largest financing facility bringing catalytic and commercial capital together to support Africa’s startup ecosystem.

The initiative is aimed at mobilizing one billion USD to transform 100 million livelihoods and create 10 million jobs, it was learned.

On the launch event, Rwandan President, Paul Kagame, who announced an immediate contribution of US$3 million to start the Timbuktoo Africa Innovation Fund which will be hosted in Kigali, said, “We cannot accept that another generation of African young people do not have the tools to reach their full potential. With Timbuktoo’s billion-dollar target, we can create more opportunities for Africa’s youth to put their talent and creativity to good use.”

Noting that Timbuktoo is a big initiative to boost the startup ecosystem in Africa, Eziakonwa said that Ethiopia is conducive for the advancement of enterprising and entrepreneurship among its youths.

UNDP is investing in Ethiopian universities to create space for young people to incubate their ideas and be able to actually influence sustainable development, the director said.

“You have a lot of engineers here graduating out of the universities but not enough jobs for them. So, we want to make sure that we create opportunities for these young people who are already skilled to be able to actually become employers themselves to be job creators, not just job seekers,” she said.

Eziakonwa added that UNDP here is very robust in Ethiopia, and it has been working with the Government of Ethiopia in many spheres.

UNDP report shows that the first phase of Timbuktoo entailed designing the model, establishing University Innovation Pods (UNIPODS) across 13 African countries; building partnerships and the launch of the initiative at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

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