UNDP Zambia Accelerator Lab

We work on issues related to waste management, informality, energy, COVID-19 response and climate change, while alert to other challenges such as mining and tourism.

Working with the National Technology Business Centre (NTBC) and in collaboration with Zambia Information and Communications Technology Authority (ZICTA), the UNDP Zambia Accelerator Lab launched the National Innovation Initiative (NII). The NII aims to scout for local innovations that address developmental challenges. In 2021, the Patents and Companies Registration Agency (PACRA) and United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) came on board to provide expertise in patents and innovations in maternal health, respectively. In 2021 we partnered with three government research institutions to provide testing and experimentation to NII innovations that focused on energy and climate change. The Lab led the identification of innovative responses to COVID-19 by conducting experiments to develop standardized cloth masks. Results from the experiments led to a scaled effort within the country office and partnerships with the private sector. The Zambia and Zimbabwe Accelerator Labs were awarded a grant by the Africa Borderlands Centre under an innovations challenge to implement innovations aimed at improving livelihoods in cross-border trader and trading communities.

Our team

Nampaka Nkumbula
Head of Experimentation
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Roselyne Mwila
Head of Exploration
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Salome Nakazwe
Head of Solutions Mapping
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Our learnings

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Our partners

We would like to thank NTBC, ZICTA, PACRA and UNFPA on the partnership on the NII as we surface innovations from across Zambia, #ZambiaInnovates. The process of experimentations with the National Institute for Scientific and Industrial Research, the University of Zambia and Copperbelt University is an exciting journey that we have started, and we hope to grow this portfolio to support testing and experimentation. We would also like to thank the Lusaka City Council on our collaboration of understanding behavioral insights in waste management.

Visit the UNDP Zambia website for more information.