UNDP Tanzania has launched the Accelerator Lab to test and scale new solutions to global challenges like climate change and soaring inequality. This is a key milestone for UNDP which will have significant impact on the development agenda of the country.
The launch ceremony was presided by local solutions showcase, prototype presentation by students from public primary schools of Bongoyo and Oysterbay. Each school had a different idea and solution of how they would like their future schools to be like. Bongoyo Primary school presented a high-rise school building so as to create more space for sports ground. Their modern building will have a modern library, enough classrooms, Laboratories, dining hall etc. Whereas Oysterbay primary school presented their dream computer laboratory, which will have enough computers for cater for all students.
“As we all know, Tanzania has set a target of becoming a middle-income country by 2025. To help multiply the speed of implementation of development programmes, the UNDP Accelerator Lab is tasked to come up with proven solutions for targeted issues which can catalyze wider benefits for social, economic and environmental spheres,” said Christine Musisi, UNDP Resident Representative.
Ms. Musisi further said, “In the first year, they will focus on issues of the circular economy, including turning waste to wealth; agricultural marketing systems and addressing challenges while harnessing the opportunities of urbanization. They will focus on ensuring that youth and women are full participants of this work.”
During the launch in Dar es Salaam, Ms. Musisi was joined by Prof. Mohammed Sheikh, Acting Director General of Commission for Science and Technology (COSTECH) who was the Guest of Honor, Hon. Abdulhadi Al Mansoori, Deputy Head of Mission of the State of Qatar in Tanzania and Julia Hanning, Head of Development Cooperation Germany embassy.
In his keynote launch speech, Prof. Mohammed Sheikh, Acting Director General of COSTECH commented, “This is event is historic and important for our country and directly aligned with a core mandate of COSTECH. The Accelerator Lab and related initiatives are coming at the right time whereby our country is experiencing a stable economic growth supported by strategic investments in infrastructure, education, health and manufacturing. These achievements will be sustainable if we embrace innovation as key catalyst to those investment and other current and future government investments.”
“I am pleased to be part of Accelerator Lab launch in Tanzania. Innovation has been central to Qatar’s accelerated development in the past few decades, and we are pleased to be part of this global movement to harness the power of innovation in addressing ever increasing and complex challenges in our world today. It is important for Qatar to strengthen ties with the internal community through collaborative approaches to development. I assure you full support as you embark on accelerating innovative solutions to address the big challenges facing Tanzanians and the globe at large,” said Hon. Abdulhadi Al Mansoori, Deputy Head of Mission of the State of Qatar in Tanzania.
The launch ceremony was also colored by exhibition of local solutions from various innovators i.e Robotech Labs, Clinovate Technologies, Veridoc Global, Kunismart from Mwanza region, DLab, TanzaAl Lab, Smart Lab Tanzania, Sagar Ebergy Solutions Ltd from Mwanza, WFP Accelerator Lab and Smartfit Tanzania from Mwanza.
The Accelerator Lab is a UNDP’s initiative to build the world’s largest learning network around development challenges. It is an investment towards innovation aimed at finding locally innovated development solutions, test them, broaden their potentials and accelerate them to address the widening gap between SDGs and the realities on the ground.
To date UNDP has launched 60 Accelerator Labs serving 78 countries – Tanzania being one of them, to create new capabilities for national partners to respond to exponential changes and 21 century challenges. The Labs have attracted over $70 million - $33 million from the Federal Republic of Germany, $20 million from the State of Qatar, $5.5 million from the Republic of Italy, and $20 million UNDP core partners