Innovation Africa Digital Summit focuses on access

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The 16th Innovation Africa Digital Summit officially kicked off on Tuesday, March 20, 2018 at the Sheraton Hotel. It was held under the theme ‘Access, Engagement and Retention’ and attracted policy makers, service and solution providers, major end users and investors.
“Studies made by the World Bank estimate that economic growth goes up 1.3 percent when high speed Internet connections rise by 10 percent. Facts like these have led Ethiopia to prioritize ICT infrastructure in its developmental agenda. Significant ICT transformations brought by the National ICT backbone are enormous especially those that serve as a tool in facilitation for the creation of a knowledge society and minimizing the digital divide, particularly in the rural areas,” said State Minister of Minister of Communication and IT Getachew Negash in his opening speech.
The State Minister underlined that Ethiopia has embarked on a transformative and digitally enabled journey to become a middle-income country with a climate resilient green economy by 2025.
To achieve the ambitious targets set in Ethiopia’s current five-year national Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP II) that fall between 2015-2020, the Government has already begun to leverage the power of digitalization to unleash investment, enable innovation, empower entrepreneurs, improve efficiency, promote collaboration, integrate and accelerate service delivery and realize unprecedented growth.
“As part of the initiative to the journey for industrialization, the Government of Ethiopia has also taken serious commitments on realization of manufacturing sector because it is a principal driver of the country’s economic development. Several ICT industry development platforms are in place to harmonize the initiatives of the private sector development ecosystem, and the direction taken by the government for establishing different industry and technology parks,” Getachew said.
He further said that positive results have been registered with regards to the manufacturing of ICT products and services over the last two years.  Ethiopia has been exporting assembled mobile devices to African countries.
This event was unique because it provided a platform for learning how to access, engage, and retain important solutions through an innovative blend of workshops, advisory clinics, conference and facilitated networking.