Timbuktoo : a catalyst to boost startups [Business Africa]

Fostering Innovation: The “Timbuktoo” Fund Promises a Boost for Startups

The United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) “Timbuktoo” initiative, announced at the World Economic Forum in Davos, aims to mobilize $1 billion to transform 100 million livelihoods and create 10 million jobs, with Rwanda as the host country.

This creation comes amid a decline in funding in the African tech ecosystem, with a 36% decrease in 2023, reaching the lowest level since 2020, and a concentration of venture capital in countries such as Kenya, South Africa, Egypt, and Nigeria, primarily dedicated to fintech.

While details surrounding the implementation of the “Timbuktoo” initiative remain partially defined, our guest this week is Ahunna Eziakonwa, the Regional Director for Africa at UNDP.

“Timbuktoo, the name of the initiative, presents itself as the largest public and private initiative to support the startup ecosystem in Africa. It features several characteristics, including the adoption of a pan-African approach,” said the Director of UNDP’s Africa office.

Shell Exits Onshore Oil Fields in Nigeria for $2.4 Billion

Shell has agreed to sell its onshore activities in the Niger Delta, Nigeria, to a consortium of companies for $2.4 billion, marking a significant step to reduce its exposure in the country.

The assets include 15 onshore mining concessions and three shallow-water operations, largely held by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). After an initial payment of $1.3 billion, Shell will receive an additional $1.1 billion.

Facing environmental criticism and negative reactions, Shell plans to focus on its deepwater and integrated gas activities in Nigeria after the sale, raising environmental concerns from Niger Delta activists.

Agricultural Revival in Cameroon: Wheat at the Center of Projects

The Russo-Ukraine conflict has led to a significant increase in wheat costs in Russia, impacting Cameroon, which heavily relies on Russian wheat, constituting 65% of Russian imports to the country.

With Russia as the main wheat supplier to Cameroon, covering nearly 55% of the market, the country has initiated the revival of wheat production in Wassandé to address its trade deficit, planning to add 200 hectares in 2024 and investing over 430 billion Fcfa over 10 years.