Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Makerere University and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have announced that the Youth and Innovation Expo 2023 will be held October 6th and 7th under the theme “Fostering Innovation for Uganda’s Transformational Development.” This event aims to showcase remarkable youth innovations and youth-driven enterprises.
Makerere University’s Yusuf Lule Central Teaching Facility will hold the event co-sponsored by the United Nations Development Fund and MTN Uganda, with Start Hub Africa overseeing the knowledge sessions through the two-day Expo.
Since its inception in 1922, Makerere University has played a pivotal role in transforming communities and societies through its wealth of human capital, extensive research achievements, and technological innovations that have made a significant impact on Uganda, East Africa, Africa, and the global stage.
“We look forward to celebrating and showcasing the remarkable advancements that Makerere and its alumni have achieved in innovation and enterprise over the past century,” UNDP said in a statement.
In 2020, Ugandan President President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni launched the Youth4Business Innovation and Entrepreneurship Facility (Y4BF), a program developed by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in collaboration with Stanbic Bank Uganda. Y4BF was created to address the issue of youth unemployment in Uganda, particularly in response to the challenges posed by COVID-19.
The facility drives socio-economic transformation by promoting innovation, job creation, and entrepreneurship. It accomplishes this by providing support for access to a comprehensive range of financial products, business management skills, and market opportunities to young male and female entrepreneurs and youth-owned micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs).
Through this initiative, UNDP has directly assisted over 400 youth businesses and has indirectly impacted more than 6,000 young individuals through partnerships and outreach programs with organizations such as BRAC and the National Association of Student Enterprises (NASE Africa).
Leveraging a century of excellence in building a transformed society, Makerere University, as Uganda’s oldest and largest university, stands as a prominent hub for youth innovation, particularly through year-end research projects.
In partnership with UNDP, Makerere will showcase numerous youth innovations and start-ups that have successfully transitioned from research concepts to thriving commercial enterprises.
“Through this exhibition, we aim to establish valuable connections that will facilitate job creation and promote entrepreneurship by providing access to a holistic mix of financial resources, business management expertise, and market access for young male and female entrepreneurs and youth-owned MSMEs.,” Makerere said in a statement.
The Youth and Innovation Expo 2023 will incorporate a range of activities supported by its sponsors, Makerere@100 partners, internal and external university collaborators, including MTN Uganda, Stanbic Uganda, Bank of Uganda, Absa Bank, and many more.
These activities encompass master classes tailored for youth and students, panel sessions involving regulatory and compliance institutions for innovators, an art exhibition, a fashion show curated by Axarya Trends and the Margret Trowel School of Fine Art, a medical camp, food vendor stalls, and exhibitions from all ten colleges of the University, among other exciting offerings.
This two-day event will feature a comprehensive, insightful, and engaging program, including an opening ceremony, a student-inspired fashion show, captivating performances from the School of Performing Arts and Film, a showcase of student innovations, and exhibitions highlighting innovations-turned-enterprises from the UNDP-led Youth4Business program, and more. Thomas Tayebwa, the Deputy Speaker of Parliament, is expected to be the Guest of Honour.