UAE unveils $500m fund to digitize Africa and aid startups

Dubai-based UAE Consortium for Africa is set to commit $500 million to expanding the continent’s digital footprint while helping the youths acquire skills that will make them less susceptible to technological changes. The consortium made this known during a recent session of the African Union.

The half-a-billion fund is driven by the vision to build a connected Africa. It is also aimed at speeding up the human capital and entrepreneurship initiatives across select countries on the continent.

Speaking about the commitment, the United Arabs Emirate’s Minister of State for International Cooperation, Reem Ebrahim Al Hashemi, explained that the consortium’s immediate priorities are digitalisation and youth.

Al Hashemi said, “We are committed to helping deliver the apparatus in which start-ups can thrive, entrepreneurs can lead, and young people can look forward with optimism to a future that is firmly in their control.”

She added that emphasis will be placed on drafting the models that have worked in the emirates into enriching the emerging enterprise and tech ecosystem in Africa.

According to her, the focus on digitalization and youth empowerment is to ensure “our young and talented populations are not overwhelmed by, but embrace, the opportunities of the future,”

The African Union is reaching out to partners across the world to ensure the continent’s economy keeps pace with the rest of the globe. This is seen as necessary, as the world slowly moves from a resource-based economy into investing in knowledge and tech.

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