Ethiopia to Host World Telecommunication Dev’t Conference for First Time in Africa

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Addis Ababa, November 9/2020 (ENA) Ministry of Innovation and Technology and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) have signed today an agreement that will enable Ethiopia to host the ITU World Telecommunication Development Conference (WTDC-21) for for the first time in Africa. 
The conference will be held from November 8-19 next year.

Innovation and Technology State Minister Ahmedin Mohammed and ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao signed the agreement.

During the virtual signing ceremony, State Minister Ahmedin said Ethiopia is hosting the conference for the first time in Africa and it is a testament to Ethiopia’s and Africa’s prioritization of digital development as a springboard for sustainable development.

The Government of Ethiopia has shown commitment to digital transformation by endorsing  the country’s first digital transformation strategy in June 2020, followed by a series of regulations, including a proclamation on electronic transaction, he noted.

According to him, the approved Digital Ethiopia 2025 Strategy that enhances inclusivity identifies pathways of unleashing value from agriculture, the next version of global value chain in manufacturing, building IT enabled services and digitalizing tourism competitiveness.

ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao said the conference to be hosted by Ethiopia is the first for Africa and comes at a critical time for Ethiopia which is exerting efforts to expand ICT infrastructure and working to attract investments..

The development of new technology ranging from Artificial intelligence to 5G are critical to achieve the SDGs, he added.

ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau Director Doreen Bogdan-Martin said “the WTDC-21 will be a landmark digital development conference, a unique opportunity for the global community to develop innovative approaches and new models of collaboration to overcome digital challenges, to accelerate digital transformation and to advance connectivity and digital solutions in this final decade of action to achieve the SDGs.”

The conference will mainly focus on partnership, inclusion, financing, leadership, innovation and youth engagement, it was learned.

Over 2,500 people are expected to attend the conference to be preceeded by a youth summit.