The Timbuktoo project, funded by the UNDP Regional Bureau for Africa, has been launched in Nigeria. Its goal is to raise and spend $1 billion in public and private capital over the next ten years to support the startup revolution in Africa.
In light of this, 8 private sector-driven pan-African Timbuktoo centres will be built throughout Africa, each of which will focus on a different priority area and house a Venture Builder and a Venture Fund.
Speaking at the launch event, UNDP Africa Chief Innovation Officer, Eleni Gabre-Madhin, said; “Timbuktoo is a big, innovative, and unique initiative to overcome the present vacuum in early-stage risk capital, to better integrate African innovation stakeholders from universities to corporates to investors, and to enable startups to embrace the African market opportunity. We’re opening a Timbuktoo hub in Lagos and we hope to utilize Africa’s youth brilliance to make it a worldwide knowledge and innovation powerhouse.”
She claims that Timbuktu’s exciting objective is to grow and develop enterprises for the One Africa Market and beyond that receive top-notch support, partnerships, and domestic and foreign investment.
The inauguration of Timbuktoo in Nigeria is a key milestone supported by a commitment to energizing Africa’s tech-enabled entrepreneurs, she said, adding that each pan-African centre would attract top startup talent from all around the continent.
She told the audience during her presentation that the objective is for more than 1,000 startups to become significantly large, improve the lives of more than 100 million people, and contribute to the environment. This will result in a ten-fold return of over ten billion dollars in wealth and value creation for Africa’s economies.
In his remarks, the UNDP Nigeria Representative, Mohamed Yahya, said because they prioritize innovation UNDP will continue to invest.
“So, it wasn’t hard to convince the Timbuktoo team to aset up a hub here in Lagos, Nigeria. This initiative is based on the belief that to achieve the SDGs, we 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.