Press Release: UNDP and Kabale University Partnership Launch

Kampala, 23 May 2023: The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Kabale University today unveiled a historic partnership anchored in two strategic areas: Fostering Innovation Ecosystems in Uganda’s Public Universities, and Implementation of the Youth4Business Innovation and Entrepreneurship Facility.

UNDP Resident Representative Ms. Elsie Attafuah and Kabale University Vice Chancellor Prof. Joy Kwesiga officially signed a Letter of Agreement that will see UNDP and Kabale University establish the Kabale University Business Incubation Centre, a facility to help students innovate and access workspaces, mentorship, education and access to investors. The Centre will support student innovators and start-ups to obtain intellectual property rights and commercialize their innovations.

This initiative is part of UNDP’s broader support toward Fostering Innovation Ecosystems in Uganda’s Public Universities. UNDP has launched the Timbuktoo Initiative with the goal of raising a USD $1 billion youth innovation financing facility for Africa, aimed at achieving over 10 years: 1,000 high-growth start-up enterprises scaled across the continent, 50 million livelihoods improved directly and indirectly, and raising USD $10 billion in value creation. Timbuktoo focuses on ecosystem approaches in strategically selected hubs located in 13 cities across the continent. In Uganda, the Timbuktoo Hub is being established at Makerere University and will host a Maker Space, Design Lab, Collaborative Working Space and Technology Transfer Office.

The UNDP and Kabale University partnership will also support implementation of the Youth4Business Innovation and Entrepreneurship Facility, through the procurement and installation of equipment for Kabale University Business Incubation Centre as well as supporting operationalization of the centre. The Youth4Business Innovation and Entrepreneurship Facility is an innovative instrument designed to tap into the innovative and entrepreneurial spirit of Uganda’s youth to promote impact-driven entrepreneurship, foster innovation, and leverage business solutions to address youth unemployment. This is being achieved through supporting youth and youth-led enterprises to pilot innovative ideas, supporting enterprises to transform successful innovative pilots with commercial viability into impact at scale, promoting resilience of MSMEs and empowering them to build sustainable enterprises, and establishing a functional ecosystem platform to connect young entrepreneurs, Government, private sector, development partners, financial institutions and other relevant actors.

“At UNDP we wish to leverage Uganda’s vibrant public and private universities which have positioned Uganda as a centre of excellence for high education within the Eastern and Central African Region,” said Elsie Attafuah, UNDP Resident Representative. “Uganda’s universities such as Kabale University have in recent years recorded impressive results in expanding their roles toward stimulating innovation. Institutions such as universities now mirror what we are seeing in the global society, characterized by an increasing convergence between science, technology and innovation while actively engaging in development policies.”

“It is my hope that this new partnership between UNDP and Kabale University will accelerate achievement of the 2030 Agenda and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals and will serve as a prime example of the important role partnerships play in delivering unique and innovative development solutions. I wish to thank Professor Joy Kwesiga and the whole Kabale University team for making this partnership possible.”

“Kabale University is privileged to partner with UNDP in setting up this Incubation Centre which shall act as a regional Business Incubation Centre,” said Professor Joy Kwesiga, Kabale University Vice Chancellor. “In order to ensure the long-term creation of resilient employment and livelihood opportunities for youth, women and other marginalized groups, Kabale University will make use of the Youth4Business Innovation and Entrepreneurship Facility that asserts that a strong, functional and inclusive ecosystem that fosters and nurtures entrepreneurial ideation and innovation is essential.”

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Ashley Prigent
Communications and Partnerships Specialist, UNDP
Tel: +256 778 960 908
Kabale-logo-NoBG Sempungu Joseph Godfrey
Senior Communication and Branding Officer

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