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.


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