The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has Thursday launched the UNDP Accelerator Lab Uganda that will foster the creation of innovations tailored for challenges the country is grappling with.
The Country Accelerator Labs are a three-year Global initiative with a high level of ambition, driven by an innovative approach built on the best current thinking.
The launch saw a number of dignitaries in attendance as well as innovators and was presided over by the Minister of State for General Duties in the Office of the Prime Minister, Mary Karooro Okurut who represented the Prime Minister, Ruhakana Rugunda who is out of the country.
In her remarks, the UNDP Resident Representative, Elsie Attafuah said that this is history being made in Uganda as the first ever UNDP Accelerator Lab is launched.
The UNDP boss said that the UN development agency has taken a bold step to introduce a network of 60 UNDP Accelerator Labs worldwide an expression of their committed to helping countries find faster & more durable solutions to achieve the 2030 Agenda.
“We believe Accelerator Labs offer a safe space where partners can explore innovations and build on locally-sourced solutions; test, nurture and implement what works. Generating collective knowledge and accelerating progress by bringing expertise, creativity and collective intelligence to day,” Attafuah said.
The UNDP Deputy Resident Representative, Sheila Ngatia said the lab methodology will help address a number of challenges which include deforestation, youth unemployment by going beyond the issue of jobs to explore the platforms available for the young people.
“The other major development challenge that we seek to address through the Accelerator Lab is climate change which can not be handled by a single entity as well the focus around technology and innovation as tools to get solution to all challenges,” Ngatia said.
The Office of the Prime Minister appreciated UNDP for the initiative noting that it brings new energy to the initiatives that government has so far put in place through the Ministry of ICT as well as a culture of innovation and creativity as the country transits from PRDP II to PRDP III.
The OPM Assistant Commissioner, Monitoring, Evaluation & Inspection, Timothy Lubanga noted that government is expectant that the Lab methodology will help to coordinate government departments to work as one body so as to enhance development.
“The Labs will help improve planning and budgeting of government programs and will contribute to effective execution of several projects,” Luganga said.
The Minister Karooro Okurut said that promoting innovation and creativity is very essential in key growth opportunity which help change the face of the world.
She added that innovation is a fundamental engine of growth adding that the Accelerator Lab will help change the way businesses are done in the country.