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Patoranking becomes first UNDP Regional Goodwill Ambassador for Africa

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Patrick Nnaemeka Okorie, better known by his stage name as Patoranking, was today appointed by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Africa as a Regional Goodwill Ambassador. For two years, Patoranking will primarily champion youth innovation and enterprise development, the timbuktoo initiative to build the innovation ecosystem in Africa,and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“Empowering African youth by providing them with the tools, resources, and opportunities they need to thrive is a cause close to my heart. I step into this role to lend my voice to important initiatives that hold immense potential to change development for many of our people through innovation and technology driven by the ingenuity and ambition of the continent’s majority – the young people,” said Patoranking.

Patoranking’s journey from adversity to success inspires many.Having faced and overcome significant financial challenges, he has made it his mission to give back. His dedication to fostering entrepreneurial leaders and creating educational opportunities for students from underprivileged backgrounds is a testament to his resilience and commitment to making a positive impact.

In 2020, he created the African Leadership University (ALU) Patoranking Scholarship, which offered ten fully paid scholarships for promising students from across Africa to attend the prestigious African Leadership University in Rwanda and Mauritius. He is finalizing scholarship offers for the next batch of students offering athree-year degree. In May 2024, he launched the PatorankingFoundation Tech Scholarships through a ground-breaking partnership with ALX Africa, a leader in innovative tech skills development for young African talents. The collaboration will soon announce a half-a-million scholarship to empower 40 exceptional young minds with access to cutting-edge technology education and career-ready training.

“Creatives are incredibly important to the evolving story of Africa. They bring something more than money—they bring authenticity, dignity, confidence, and influence. We look forward to working with Patoranking as the UNDP Regional Goodwill Ambassador forAfrica as a champion for youth innovation and timbuktoo, where he will use his talent to advocate and create opportunities for others”,said Ms. Ahunna Eziakonwa, UN Assistant Secretary-General and Director of UNDP Regional Bureau for Africa.

Patoranking’s unique craft and voice, which resonates with a diverse audience across Africa and beyond, will be instrumental in rallying young people to create African solutions. As the Regional Goodwill Ambassador, Patoranking will use his creative voice to advocate for SDGs attainment in Africa. He will mobilize a critical mass towards sustainable investment, bring the majority of African youth into the room, and inspire innovative action that helps in closing the gap between opportunity and investment.

He will also play a crucial role in advocacy for the timbuktoo initiative, which features ten thematic vertical Hubs in Accra, Cairo, Cape Town, Casablanca, Dakar, Addis Ababa, Kigali, Lagos, Nairobi, Lusaka, and timbuktoo University Innovation Pods (UniPods) based across the African continent. His advocacy, UNDP believes, will be critical in investing, reinforcing, nurturing, and building an African youth innovation ecosystem.

Media Enquiries:

Addis Ababa: 
Ms. Ngele Ali – Regional Communications Advisor, Africa: [email protected]; Tel: +251 9010 00962 

Ms. Christabel Chanda – Ginsberg
Public Engagement, Outreach & Partnerships Lead:[email protected]; Tel: +234 904 935 4441 

United States
Patoranking Management: Rickie Davies:[email protected]; Tel: +1 (770) 310-4098

Ms. Praise Nutakor: Partnerships and Communications Specialist: [email protected]

About Patoranking: 

Patoranking is a multiple award-winning artist and one of Africa’s most multifaceted artists. His international afro dancehall and reggae anthems have resonated from West Africa to the Caribbean. His music has generated over a billion streams globally and over 1.64 million subs on YouTube alone. Forbes Africa included him in its 30 under 30 class for 2020, recognising him for his efforts in music and philanthropy.

About UNDP Africa:

UNDP Africa supports 46 countries in accelerating the achievement of the sustainable development goals (SDGs) by eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions, expediting structural economic transformation for sustainable development, building resilience to shocks, and promoting sound governance, peace and security throughout the continent. Guided by the principle that Africa is not homogenous, UNDP’s Renewed Strategic Offer in Africa is a premier ENABLER and INTEGRATOR for the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and the African Union’s Agenda 2063. For more information, visit: https://www.undp.org/africa

About timbuktoo intiative:

The timbuktoo initiative was launched in January 2024 on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos. timbuktoo Africa Innovation Foundation is registered and headquartered in Kigali, Rwanda.

Guided by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and powered by UNDP, timbuktoo leverages Africa’s youth, finding them where they are and getting them ready to lead the fourth industrial revolution as a pathway to creating exponential wealth and jobs and thereby impacting communities at scale.

timbuktoo is the largest initiative in the world supporting Africa’s innovation ecosystem. It is not just a movement born out of passion and dedication for Africa’s youth. It is a catalyst for change, providing opportunities to transform dreams into reality. timbuktoo is a poverty-disruptor.

Inspired by the historic city of Timbuktu in Mali, it is a multi-stakeholder initiative bringing together governments, the private sector and academia to power Africa’s socioeconomic transformation through innovation. timbuktoo is not about supporting one sector or one country. It is about bringing together the power of the collective to create the conditions for scale and impact for the whole of Africa. For more information visit: timbuktoo

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