KAMPALA, UGANDA: Makerere University and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have launched the Youth and Innovation Expo 2023 under the theme, “Fostering Innovation for Uganda’s Transformational Development” in an effort to showcase outstanding youth innovations and youth enterprise.
The 2023 Youth and Innovation Expo will be a two-day event held on August 25-26, 2023 starting from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm on day one and 9:00 pm to 9:00 pm on day two.
Mrs Lorna Magara, the Makerere University Council Chairperson revealed that the Youth and Innovation Expo 2023 is a platform meant to cause meaningful engagement between the youth and various actors to tap into their expertise and experience.
“In so doing, we aim to initiate viable forward and backward linkages that will facilitate the creation of jobs and foster entrepreneurship,” Magara said, adding that they are committed to establishing and supporting an ecosystem that will equip the youth with the necessary knowledge, skills, and entrepreneurial mindset to help them achieve their full potential and, in so doing, reap the demographic dividend.
“At the heart of all these aspirations are our students. We take cognizance of the fact that our youth are desirous and willing to make a meaningful contribution to shaping the century ahead. They are more technologically savvy than older generations. They can make the most of the affordances that various innovations offer to leapfrog Uganda and Africa into the future,” she noted.
In her remarks, Elsie Attafuah the Resident Representative of UNDP in Uganda, said the Youth and Innovations Expo 2023 is curated for the world to witness the sheer brilliance and genius which Uganda is known for.
She noted that as the world emerges from COVID-19, new and innovative approaches that effectively embrace the complexity of the 21st-century development challenges to enable transformative change need to be introduced and tested.
She added that Universities are the breeding ground for the kind of innovation, forward-thinking policies, and solutions we need to tackle 21st-century challenges and reinvigorate the SDGs, reasons why the UNDP is partnering with Makerere University to co-convene the Youth and Innovation Expo – an ingenious initiative designed to foster innovation and unearth youth-led creative ideas and develop solutions to address the defining crises of our time.
She noted that UNDP is keen to foster partnerships that build on the transformative power of innovation to address present-day challenges.
“Our Country Programme 2021 – 2025 has innovation and digital technology as strategic enablers of development which underpin UNDP’s determination to stay at the forefront of development thinking and innovation,” she added.
The Youth and Innovation Expo will leverage Makerere University’s innovation, MTN Uganda’s technology and UNDP’s development expertise and global innovation network to provide a platform for learning and sharing information on the emerging opportunities to harness science, technology and innovative finance to take on the complex yet fast-evolving development challenges of the 21st century.
The Expo is expected to attract thousands of young people, innovators, entrepreneurs and policymakers from across the country is part of UNDP’s efforts to foster innovation in development practice and create a platform for stakeholders in the innovation ecosystem to collaborate.
The event will also bring together MTN Uganda and Makerere Research and Innovations Fund (Mak-RIF) as the main sponsors of the event with House of Djs as the implementing partner.
The Expo 2023, which will be presided over by Deputy Speaker Thomas Tayebwa, will also provide exhibition space for vendors at the price of Shs 250,000 per day, per stall.
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