The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Timbuktoo Africa Innovation Foundation, have launched the Fintech Timbuktoo Hub in Lagos, Nigeria. This hub is designed to catalyze innovation, foster collaboration, and drive growth within the Pan-African fintech ecosystem to spur socio-economic development.

Located at the UNDP Innovation Center, the Fintech Hub will serve as a nexus for fintech entrepreneurs, investors, and industry experts. It will provide a collaborative workspace for startups and established fintech companies, offering mentorship programs and expert guidance to emerging innovators.

The hub will feature both physical and virtual spaces, equipped with advanced technology to enable startups across Africa to build, test, and scale up their impactful solutions. 

Speaking during the launch, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Governor of Lagos State stated that “the launch of the timbuktoo Fintech Hub today embodies our shared commitment to fostering and driving solutions to Africa’s challenges.

The hub will catalyze efforts to propel the Continent towards a more globalized way of doing business. He further added, “for innovation to happen both government, policymakers and key stakeholders need to collaborate. This collaboration is what will spur the economic development we foresee in Nigeria and across Africa.”

timbuktoo represents a bold partnership between UNDP, African governments, and the private sector, positioning itself as the world’s largest initiative supporting Africa’s innovation ecosystem. It embodies a transformative force and stands as a powerful example of public-private collaboration, poised to reshape the landscape of financial technology and development across Africa.

The launch of the hub marks a significant milestone in the journey towards a more innovative and financially inclusive continent. By nurturing local talents and fostering cross-border collaborations, the timbuktoo Fintech Hub will play a pivotal role in shaping the future of financial technology in Africa. This portrays UNDP’s commitment to harnessing technology for sustainable development. 

“Africa is the place where ideas come from to unite the world. Our innovators are finding solutions to the most pressing global problems. timbuktoo is about changing the way development works and investing in young talents. I invite you all to join and begin to see Africa from the lens of opportunity,” mentioned Ms Ahunna Eziakonwa, UN Assistant Secretary-General and UNDP Regional Director for Africa, during the launch event.

The ceremony gathered key stakeholders—fintech entrepreneurs, investors, regulators, government officials, development partners, and industry experts—to celebrate the hub’s potential to transform technological innovations in the financial services landscape for sustainable development in Africa.

The launch of the hub was followed by the onboarding of the first Pan-African Cohort of Fintech Startups and a Fintech for Development Marketplace. The marketplace showcased innovative financial technologies with the potential to drive economic growth and transformation. This also featured networking sessions, policy dialogues, and fireside chats with key ecosystem stakeholders, creating a platform for collaboration and knowledge exchange in the African fintech sector.

Musa Suleiman
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