Global Internet Governance Forum Benefits Ethiopia’s Digital Transformation: Ministry

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Addis Ababa December 3/2022/ENA/ Ethiopia has gained useful experiences that enhance its ongoing digital transformation from the 17th Global Internet Governance Forum (IGF) held in Addis Ababa, according to Ministry of Innovation and Technology.

Digital Transformation Program Director-General at the ministry, Abyot Bayou( Phd) told ENA that the forum was useful for Ethiopia as it shared information and experience from the participants.

“The digital transformation journey of Ethiopia is a short time experience. In the past three or four years, meaningful efforts have been exerted to bring about digital transformation. So we have gained experiences from the IGF, especially on internet access for all.”

In Ethiopia, there are 30 million internet users, he said, adding that they are not using it meaningfully.

“Therefore, for the people to use the internet in a meaningful way, the infrastructures and favorable conditions should be made available,” Abyot noted.

The director-general, for instance, pointed out that digital payment systems, digital identity card systems, technological skills, and local contents should be available to use the internet in a meaningful way.

As many countries have passed the digital transformation process Ethiopia is undertaking many years ago, it has drawn lessons from IGF participants on how those countries put policy mechanisms in practice and allowed the participation of pertinent stakeholders, including the private sector, civil society, and academics in an integrated way to the success of their digital transformation, he elaborated.

The IGF was also a great opportunity for Ethiopia to share its digital transformation efforts, the digital capacity of its youth, and show around the positive image of the country.

According to him, expanding services that can be done with information and technology is one of the four growth paths of the country’s digital transformation strategy.

“Ethiopia is a country of predominantly youth. In our digital transformation strategy, one of the four growth paths is expanding services with information and technology. This means, there are various jobs in Europe and the US, and we have a huge number of youth. The strategy is to bridge our youth with jobs and create a condition to work from here online. This is something we put in our digital transformation strategy.”

Many countries in Asia and Africa have followed this growth path and attracted digital tasks, the director general observed. “This (forum) has created a very good opportunity for us to practice the strategy.”

The participants of the IGF were the most influential people who decide on the digital policies and market globally, he noted, pointing out that hosting them will contribute to building a positive image of the country, especially in the digital space.

The director-general further stated that the ministry has used the IGF to showcase the digital capacity in Ethiopia.

“One of the benefits that we obtained from hosting the IGF here is to show Ethiopia’s digital capacity.”

The director-general stressed that Ethiopia will work towards having an inclusive and strong national internet forum to decide on digital issues, drawing experience from the IGF.

Digital Ethiopia 2025 National Strategy has been set to transform the country’s national economy through four major pathway sectors and digitization of the sectors is expected to boost the economic transformation of the country.