Govt Keen to Support UNDP Timbuktoo Initiative to Grow Start-ups and Unlock One-Africa Market

    The Ministry of Information, Communications and the Digital Economy (MICDE) is keen to support the  development of The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP’s) Timbuktoo Initiative, a Pan-African hub focused on growing global-class start-ups, addressing the gaps in early-stage risk capital and unlocking the One-Africa market.

    In a cordial welcome to the UNDP delegation at the Ministry’s headquarters today, Cabinet Secretary for MICDE Eliud Owalo expressed optimism about supporting the Timbuktoo Initiative and seeing it through to completion in Kenya.

    The CS promised to work in tandem with MICDE’s agenda to support innovation, creativity, and entrepreneurship, stating that the UNDP’s Timbuktoo Initiative aligns with it.

    The CS was accompanied by Eng. John Tanui, Principal Secretary for ICT and the Digital Economy, who praised the Initiative’s mission and pledged their full support to ensure its success in the nation.

    The two PSs will lead a ministerial technical team, according to CS Owalo, that will collaborate with the UNDP to develop a practical roadmap for Kenya’s Timbuktoo Initiative.

    The Initiative will be present in several hubs throughout Africa, according to UNDP Chief Innovation Officer Dr. Eleni Gabre Madhin, who was speaking on behalf of the UNDP delegation. According to her, the sectors that these hubs will concentrate on include trade logistics, green/climate/energy, agritech, fintech, healthtech, and smart cities.

    According to Dr. Eleni, the Initiative was created to address a number of issues facing Africa, including fragmented markets, and it has the potential to significantly spur innovation and change on the continent.

    She mentioned that the Initiative will give business owners access to knowledgeable mentors who will support and advise them as they develop their start-ups.

    In ten years, she disclosed, the Timbuktoo initiative hopes to generate $1 billion in public and private funding for innovative youth start-ups, affecting 10 million livelihoods and creating $10 billion in economic activity throughout the African continent.

    Other members of the UNDP delegation present at the meeting were the Resident Representative of UNDP in Kenya, Anthony Ngororano, Ecosystem Specialist, Timbuktoo, UNDP, Cris Aguelo, Programme Specialist, Timbuktoo, UNDP, Gift Ntuli and Head of Exploration, UNDP, Caroline Kiarie.