Ethiopia, European Commission Sign Agreement to Support Digital Reform in Ethiopia

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Addis Ababa December 3/2020 (ENA) Ministry of Technology and Innovation and European Commission (EC) today have signed a 1.2 million Euros financing agreement for the implementation of a project that will enable digital reform under the Ease of Doing Business (EoDB) program in Ethiopia.

As one of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s reform programs, Ease of Doing Business Program is initiated to improve the business climate, to address the impediments for private sector development, and to monitor the reform efforts.

The program mainly focuses on supporting Ministries and Agencies in developing e-government and transactional portals for possible e-government processes.

The European Commission will provide a grant valued at 1.2 million euro to implement a project that supports the initiative.

Digital Transformation Program Director General at Ministry of Innovation and Technology, Dr. Abiyot Bayou said, “The grant will support our ministry in guiding and enabling digital reform under the EoDB Programme.”

He also stated that besides adding Bahirdar and Diredawa cities to the national business portal, the support will enable the ministry to facilitate the implementation of EoDB reform by allowing further digitalization and reform ownership of the project.

“In 2019, Ethiopia was 159 out of 190 in the Doing Business Index, this type of support will assist us to achieve our objective of placing Ethiopia in the top 100 by 2021 in the Doing Business Index,” Dr. Abiyot added.

On behalf of the European Commission, Team Leader for Economy and Infrastructure,  Sanne Willems  stated that a conducive business environment, which the Ease of Doing Business (EoDB) reforms are designed to deliver, is key for private sector development.

Digitalization and the development of e-governance systems are very effective means to create an enabling environment for businesses to flourish and take the driver’s seat.

“We are convinced that the EU’s support to the Ministry of Innovation and Technology for the national business portal and digitalization reforms will effectively contribute to create a conducive business environment and investment climate in Ethiopia,” Willems said.

This project benefits the institutions implementing the EoDB reforms, representative of the private sector, individual businesses, and citizens in Ethiopia, it was indicated.  

In December 2018, a high-level committee was set up to improve the business climate, to address the impediments for private sector development, and to monitor the reform efforts. Under the umbrella of the Prime Minister’s Office, eight institutions are involved in the Ease of Doing Business (EoDB) Programme.