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UNDP opens Timbuktu fintech hub in Lagos with 42 innovators

The United Nations Improvement Programme, in partnership with the Nigerian authorities, launched the Timbuktoo Fintech Hub in Lagos on Tuesday, showcasing a pioneering cohort of 42 startups from 31 nations.

This milestone marks the beginning of a groundbreaking initiative aimed toward boosting innovation and socio-economic improvement throughout Africa.

The launch introduced collectively high-level officers from varied sectors of the financial system, together with authorities officers, UNDP representatives, enterprise leaders, buyers, teachers and regulators.

The Timbuktoo fintech hub in Lagos is one in every of 10 thematic hubs below the Timbuktoo initiative, which is a part of the world's largest effort to help African expertise startups.

Talking on the launch, former Vice President of Nigeria Yemi Osinbajo pressured the significance of collaboration in making Africa an innovation hub of excellence.

Osinbajo, who at present serves because the custodian of the Timbuktoo Africa Innovation Basis, mentioned: “The spirit of innovation calls for that we work collectively on the journey to Timbuktu.”

He emphasised the potential of younger innovators to carry prosperity and energy to the Africa of our goals, citing profitable Nigerian startups corresponding to Flutterwave, Interswitch, OPay and Andela, based by innovators below 30.

“Younger innovators have the ability to carry prosperity and energy to the Africa of our goals. Right here in Nigeria, the founders of Flutterwave, Interswitch, OPay and Andela had been below 30 once they created these unicorns,” he added.

The hub offers a bodily and digital house with state-of-the-art tools and providers that allow startups to construct, check and scale their options.

This initiative is anticipated to strengthen the native and regional fintech ecosystem, thereby boosting financial development and improvement throughout Africa.

Through the occasion, the chosen teams offered technology-driven options to societal issues corresponding to local weather change, entry to credit score, hire funds, medical provides and extra.

Nigerian Afrobeats singer Patrick Okorie, higher recognized by his stage title Patoranking, was introduced on the occasion as the brand new UNDP Africa Regional Goodwill Ambassador.

The Lagos State Authorities lauded the launch of the Timbuktoo Fintech Hub, recognising the potential of younger innovators to search out options to the complicated challenges going through the continent.

In response to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, represented by his Particular Adviser on Innovation and Digital Expertise, Olatubosun Alake, the hub’s concentrate on monetary expertise will speed up problem-solving, promote inclusive development and help sustainable improvement.

The UN coordinator in Nigeria, Mohamed Fall, welcomed the well timed initiative.

He famous that the digital financial system has monumental potential to turn into a significant development engine in Nigeria and Africa and that the fintech hub will speed up the achievement of the Sustainable Improvement Targets (SDGs) within the area.

Timbuktoo, impressed by Timbuktu, Mali, is the biggest world initiative supporting Africa’s innovation ecosystem. Launched in February 2024, it goals to show goals into actuality, creating alternatives to disrupt poverty.

This initiative is consistent with the Sustainable Improvement Targets and the UNDP mission to empower African youth to take the lead within the Fourth Industrial Revolution and create wealth and jobs.

Elsie Attafuah, UNDP Nigeria Consultant, mentioned the launch marks a major milestone in breaking down obstacles and creating alternatives for tens of millions of individuals. The primary batch of startups is poised to redefine monetary providers and improvement throughout the continent.

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