UNDP's "Timbuktoo" Initiative Nears Launch in Ethiopia

Apr 30 , 2024

A United Nations Development Program (UNDP) initiative, 'Timbuktoo,' which aims to mobilise one billion dollars and invest in Africa's start-up ecosystem, has moved closer to establishing its ninth hub in Ethiopia. A pre-launch event was held at the Science Museum, attended by Belete Mola, minister of Innovation; Brook Taye (PhD), director general of the Ethiopian Capital Market Authority and Ahunna Eziakonwa, assistant secretary-general and director of UNDP Africa Bureau; last week. Brook said the government is willing to remove bottlenecks for startups, like office requirements for business permits, tax incentives, and customs exemptions. A five-year-in-the-making startup proclamation is also being pushed through the legislative grill, giving startups an actual business category under which to be treated. Ethiopia's current start-up ecosystem comprises around 350 companies valued at around 83 million dollars and highly concentrated in the capital. Named after the historic city in the heart of Mali known for its opulence and prestige, the project looks to become a catalytic force in a flourishing continental startup economy which can create 10 million jobs in 10 years. Ahunna highlighted the importance of wealth creation, which can serve communities just as much as it has historically benefited individuals by creating supply chains across the continent that serve each other.


Geda Special Economic Zone Receives Prospective Tenants

East African Holding and Ethio-Chicken have been shortlisted to invest in the Geda Special Economic Zone(GSEZ), located in the tri-state area shared by Mojo, Adama, and Shashemene cities within the Oromia Regional State. The two companies were selected from 120 investors who showed interest in acquiring space in one of the largest SEZs in Africa. Close to 404hct of land has already been developed in the expansive economic zone, out of a potential 24,000 hectares, with lease prices set between...


Standard Institute Revamps Fees, Board Restructuring

The Ethiopian Standards Institute (ESI) is set to introduce fees for standards sticker, establish a new governing board, and address collaboration with other regulatory bodies. The Institute plans to strengthen its financial standing by charging fees for standards and product certification services to support its operations and annual budget. A key change involves replacing the current Council of Standards with an 11-member Board of Directors. The Minister of Trade & Regional Integration...


Safaricom Ethiopia Rolls Out its Network to Tigray

With 125 self-built towers, Safaricom Ethiopia has launched its operations in the Tigray Regional State. Executives disclosed plans to invest in an additional 166 towers and expand their reach to the remaining towns. "This is the most exciting milestone in Tigray since the return of social services," said Getachew Reda, president of the Interim Regional State Administration. In July 2021, the consortium-backed telecom giant entered Ethiopia's market, historically dominated by state-owned E...