Launching UNDP Accelerator Lab in South Africa

Accelerating innovation to attain SDGs by 2030


The 17 Sustainable Development Goals come with a deadline: 2030. And so far, very few countries have introduced the changes to keep the promises they have made. The deadline to achieve these goals is looming and there is a need to intensify the efforts of all sectors of society towards action to get back on track. UNDP has begun a three-year global initiative setting up Accelerator Labs in order to tackle these wicked, multifaceted development challenges. South Africa is one of 60 Labs serving 78 countries which have been established to achieve this; therefore, providing a new offer from the UNDP Country Office. This will help find radical new ways of delivering development solutions that go beyond business as usual; linear solutions discovered through unleashing the potential of local innovators, collective intelligence and experimentation. UNDP South Africa has partnered with the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) to implement this innovative global initiative and will be launching it on Tuesday, 28 January 2020.

The launch will be addressed by the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation; Dr Bonginkosi Emmanuel "Blade" Nzimande. The programme includes a panel discussion with specialists from government, private sector, civil society, academia and innovators to talk about “Advancing Development through Innovation in South Africa” which will be facilitated by Professor Derrick Swartz; Advisor: Strategic Projects in Ocean Sciences at Nelson Mandela University. This event will also present the results of a rapid assessment of the South African innovation ecosystem (including public and private sector hubs, and those within civil society and academia). There will be a special focus on showcasing young innovators.

What : UNDP South Africa Accelerator Lab Launch

When : 28 January 2020, 09:00 – 14:00

Where : CSIR Convention Centre, Meiring Naude Rd, Brummeria

Who : Professor Willem Fourie - Associate Professor, University of Pretoria; Ms Jessica Davies - Senior Disruption Analyst, Nedbank; Dr Nonhlanhla Mkhize - Chief Director: Innovation for Inclusive Development, DSI; Ms Simphiwe Mntambo - Innovation and entrepreneurship specialist, Pink menstrual product company.


For more information, or media interviews please contact:

United Nations, Rhulani Lehloka: 0663071827/This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Please RSVP to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call +27 12 354 8014


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