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Kagame, Osinbajo, lead $1bn innovation fund for African startups

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As Nigeria’s former VP spearheads Timbuktoo Africa Innovation Foundation

President Paul Kagame of Rwanda and former Nigerian Vice President Yemi Osinbajo convened in Kigali over the implementation of the Timbuktoo Africa Innovation Foundation, driving the recently launched $1 billion fund for African startups.

Richard Tusabe, the Rwandan Minister of State for National Treasury, who made this known, praised Osinbajo for fruitful discussions regarding the implementation of the Timbuktoo Africa Innovation Foundation, stating its aim to empower African youths.

Tusabe emphasized the significance of the Timbuktoo Africa Innovation Foundation, saying, ‘The Timbuktoo Africa Innovation Foundation aims to empower African youth as entrepreneurs, innovators, and problem solvers, catalyzing transformative change across the continent by fostering innovation, creativity, and entrepreneurship on a pan-African scale.”

Recalling the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) initiative that was launched in January during a special session at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Tusabe emphasized the $1 billion innovation fund’s purpose to support startups across Africa.

As the High Representative of the Timbuktoo Africa Innovation Foundation, Osinbajo, also after his Monday, March 25 meeting with President Kagame, kickstarted the formal launch of the Foundation in Rwanda, marking a significant leap into the future from the heart of Kigali.

Osinbajo hailed the partnership between the UNDP, African governments, and the private sector, calling it the world’s largest initiative supporting Africa’s innovation ecosystem.

“‘Today, from the heart of Kigali, we witness a leap into the future with the launch of the Timbuktoo Africa Innovation Foundation,’” declared Osinbajo. “‘This partnership combines the strengths of the UNDP, African governments, and the private sector to create the world’s largest initiative supporting the innovation ecosystem in Africa.”

Osinbajo said, “With UniPods igniting creativity in 13 cities and thematic hubs promoting excellence in sectors from FinTech to GreenTech, Timbuktoo transcends being merely an initiative; it embodies a movement.”

“As we celebrate this historic day, let’s embrace our role in this transformation. Here’s to turning dreams into impactful ventures and to an Africa redefined by innovation. The future is bright, and it starts now,” the former vice president concluded.

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