Digital Technology in Ethiopia Promising, Africa Next Epicenter of Digitalization: Expert

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Addis Abeba December 02/2021 (ENA)The digital technology in Ethiopia has been promising as Africa is becoming the next epicenter of digitalization, U.S based Digital Technology expert Behailu Belamo said.

In an exclusive interview with ENA, Behailu who has been in Addis Ababa for weeks and visited various sectors said that “overall, what I have seen here is pretty encouraging in terms of supporting digital economic growth across major sectors”.

Manufacturing, tourism and agro-industry are critical areas that are identified by the government and among the sectors given priority, it was indicated.

Ethiopia has made a lot of progress in this regard, he said adding “there are encouraging initiatives like the new proclamations coming up to encourage innovations in terms supporting start-ups and tax incentives which is quite encouraging,” according to the expert.

The Ethiopian 2025 digital strategy shows that the government has prioritized digitalization and willing to go the full distance to its implementations across the sectors, he pointed out.

Regarding the priority given by the government to the sector, he said there is a clear priority starting from the Prime Minister as digitalization is key for everything today.

However, “The wider community needs to understand what digital technology really entails, what it means, how it is manifested and how it can actually transform all of these different sectors,” according to the expert.

In his call on the young innovators in Ethiopia, the expert said “I would say keep pushing I know that there are some challenges but, there seems that for the last couple of years some progresses have been made in all aspects”.

Stating that the next couple of years seem really promising for digital technology in Ethiopia in particular and in Africa in general, the expert said “I would say keep pushing and be persistent”.

For the Diaspora, especially for those who are in digital technology, Behailu said “I would say consider investing in Ethiopia because there is a huge potential here and Africa is becoming the next epicenter of digitalization and invest in Ethiopia, be part of what is coming up”.  

In terms of collaborative works between the government and the private sector, Behailu stated “I think the government as well as the private sector will have to come up with the way to train individuals with required skill set and technologies so that we can implement these technologies across the sectors”.

Citing that there needs to be a strong cooperation between the government and the private sector, he said digitalization almost by definition requires public private partnership.

The government has to provide a legal framework, infrastructure and the private sectors need to take advantage of it as well. He added “Make sure that the partnerships are working well and would help the overall economic growth”.