13 October Lagos – Today, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) officially launched the Accelerator Lab to help catalyze local solutions to some of the most complex development challenges in Nigeria. Funded by the German Cooperation, the Italian Government and the Qatar Development Foundation, the Lab will serve as a facilitator, helping to connect grassroot innovators and policy makers, to develop new approaches that fit the complexity of Nigeria’s current development trajectory.
The Accelerator Lab was unveiled in Lagos by UNDP's Assistant Administrator and Regional Director for Africa, Ms. Ahunna Eziakonwa, Special Advisor to the Governor of Lagos State on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Ms. Solape Hammond and UNDP Nigeria Resident Representative, Mr. Mohamed Yahya, among others.
The speed, dynamism and complexity of challenges, like climate change, poverty, insecurity, and rising inequalities, that Nigeria continues to face requires a new way of thinking, as well as a radical shift in the way that solutions are developed and deployed. The Accelerator Lab presents an opportunity for the innovation ecosystem within the country to re-imagine a new future, while leveraging local solutions for inclusive and accelerated development.
“We are seeing a different narrative in Nigeria, which is the face of remarkable innovation, cutting edge development ideas, and an excitement about the future” said Ms. Ahunna Eziako, UNDP's Assistant Administrator and Regional Director for Africa. “The Accelerator Lab will help innovators across the country look at challenges through the lens of opportunity and develop the true potential of this country's innovation and ingenuity”.
The complexities of development in the 21st century means the UNDP must play a role in finding faster and more sustainable solutions to transform our world. The Accelerator Lab offers the Nigerian innovation ecosystem a platform to develop human centered solutions, at the speed and scale required by the needsof the region. The goal is to help close the gap between the current practices of international development in an accelerated pace of change.
The Accelerator Lab in Nigeria will help to identify development problems which will be solved together with local and national partners by offering support in the areas of solutions mapping, testing, experimenting, and more.
Launched globally by the UNDP in 2018, a worldwide network of 90 Accelerator Labs serving 78 countries have been established to re-imagine development for the 21st century. The UNDP Accelerator Labs globally work to build the world's largest and fastest learning network to reach Agenda 2030 and the attainment of the SDGs.
Alison Clement, Acting Head of Communications, UNDP Nigeria email@example.com