386th International Astronomical Union Symposium Kicks Off in Addis Ababa
Nov 13, 2023 3507
Addis Ababa November 13/2023 (ENA)The 386th International Astronomical Union Symposium on Dark Sky and Astronomical Heritage kicked off today in Addis Ababa. The Symposium is organized under the theme “Dark Sky and Astronomical Heritage in Boosting Astro-tourism around the World.” The five day symposium is organized by the International Astronomical Union in partnership with Ethiopian Space Science and Spatial Institute as well as Ministry of Innovation and Technology and Ministry of Tourism. The symposium focuses on presenting research findings and sharing experiences to enhance the preservation and utilization of dark skies, discussing mechanisms for boosting astro-tourism worldwide. It also attempts to explore strategies for utilizing and investing in untapped dark sky areas around the world. The symposium brought together scientists, policymakers, and stakeholders from around the globe to discuss critical issues like dark sky preservation, astro-tourism development, light pollution mitigation, and protection of astronomical heritage sites. More than 200 participants from around the world are attending the five days symposium. In addition to the main symposium, there will be several side events including an African Planetarium Workshop, capacity building training sessions, and public lectures aimed at boosting interest in astronomy, it was learned. The symposium is the 4th International Astronomical Union symposium held in Africa and the 2nd in Ethiopia.
Use of Astro-tourism as Vehicle to Promote Tourism Industry Emphasized 
Nov 11, 2023 3551
Addis Ababa ,November 11/2023(ENA)- Innovation and Technology Ministry has emphasized the use of astro-tourism as a powerful vehicle to promote tourism industry. During the official opening of the African Planetarium Association (APA) Biannual Workshop today, Ministry Representative Solomon Belay said the event aims to promote and foster astro-tourism and planetarium development in Ethiopia and Africa. Most of the geographies and economic bases of African countries are the rural areas with striking potential for astro-tourism that could benefit the communities and the countries socio-economy, he added. In line with the Homegrown Economy Reform of Ethiopia, the country has implemented legal frameworks that foster digitization, research, innovation, technology, and link them with astronomy. "Now it is a good opportunity to use astro-tourism as a powerful vehicle to promote the tourism industry and to preserve astronomical sites, heritages, indigenous knowledge, and dark sky policies; and this is a good opportunity to local tourism industries to involve themselves in astro-tourism," African Planetarium Association (APA) Chair, Sally Macfarlane said the workshop aims to build capacity, create networks, and share knowledge to solve the challenges and capitalize on opportunities to transform the sector. It is also a platform that collectively addresses obstacles hindering the growth of planetarium in Africa and strategize in order to surmount the challenges. In the next two days, the workshop will delve into discussions to identify specific challenges, including technological, financial and educational, and seek together innovative solutions, share best practices and forge partnerships and friendships that will fortify the foundation of planetarium, Macfarlane stated. According to the chair, Ethiopia has astonishing potential for astro-tourism and planetarium development, and the dome theater that Ethiopia has constructed recently is the biggest in the continent. The dome theater, which is part of the Science Museum in Addis Ababa, has the capacity to accommodate up to 200 people; and is equipped with state-of-the-art projection and sound systems.  
Generative AI for Africa Hackathon Finalists Project Underway in Addis Ababa
Nov 11, 2023 3719
Addis Ababa, November 11/2023 (ENA): The Generative Artificial Intelligence for Africa Hackathon's finalists project expo opened at Abrehot Library in Addis Ababa today. Africa Silicon Valley (A2SV) Founder and CEO, Emne Varol said the project will end tomorrow with awards to winner projects, out of the 9 finalists. “These projects have gone through a selection period in the last three months; and out of 3,700 students from 47 African countries, we have the 9 finalists here. Of these 3 are Ethiopian projects,” he added. Such competitions will offer university and high school students opportunity to develop digital solutions for the continent's most serious issues. “We are in the age of AI, and we have the internet, computers and cell phones. We don't have an excuse for Africa to miss the AI era. I really hope, with this competition we bring attention to this important technology in the whole continent. I believe these projects are going to be the seeds of innovation that are spreading all over the continent and this starts from Ethiopia,” the founder and CEO said.   One of the finalists, Christian Nebot from Tunisia said, “This is a great opportunity for us to express what we know, and also take part in the competition. AI is a recent technology that must be exploited by Africa, and we have all the potential to do that.” Nebot noted that his team believes that the main problem of focus in Africa should be on education. “Our project is an e-learning platform that enhances education, but for the autistic students. We have seen that Africa has the highest number of autistic students in the world, but has less solutions to handle the problem. We are here to present a problem, a project that will help to enhance learning for autistic students,” he said.   The other finalist, Melek Messoussi came with her team with the project HealthHub, a cutting platform where powerful AI meets the complex realm of brain tumors. “We created this platform to help the medical history progress in neuro-science, progress in this specific field like in brains to help them understand the brain and learn about the brain, detect tumors, visualize the brain, monitor the progress of the tumors, among others.” The Ethiopian female finalist, Abigiya Getachew's project focused on transforming education through Artificial Intellegence.   “Our project focuses on transforming education in Africa through AI-powered solutions, expanding access, personalized learning and fostering academic achievements for students.” Africa Hackathon will award about 30,000 USD to all the winners, it was learned.
Int’l Dark Skies Symposium to be Hosted in Addis Ababa
Nov 10, 2023 3128
Addis Ababa, November 10/2023 (ENA) Ethiopia will host a major international symposium on dark skies and astronomical heritage next week. The IAU386 (International Astronomical Union) Symposium on Dark Sky and Astronomical Heritage will take place from November 13-17, 2023 in Addis Ababa. Organized under the theme “Dark Sky and Astronomical Heritage in Boosting Astro-tourism around the World,” the symposium will be the 4th International Astronomical Union (IAU) symposium held in Africa and the 2nd in Ethiopia. The symposium focuses on presenting research findings and sharing experiences to enhance the preservation and utilization of dark skies, discussing mechanisms for boosting astro-tourism worldwide, and exploring strategies for utilizing and investing in untapped dark sky areas around the world. Space Science and Geospatial Institute (SSGI) Regional Partnership Lead Executive, Aleme Mammo told ENA that the symposium will bring together scientists, policymakers, and stakeholders from around the globe to discuss critical issues like dark sky preservation, astro-tourism development, light pollution mitigation, and protection of astronomical heritage sites. In addition to the main symposium, there will be several side events including an African Planetarium Workshop, capacity building training sessions, and public lectures aimed at boosting interest in astronomy, it was learned. According to Aleme, the symposium will drive policy recommendations and cooperation in these areas critical to the future of astronomy, it was learned. Co-organizer and co-chair of the IAU386 symposium, Mirjana Povic, an astrophysicist who has been working with the Space Science and Geospatial Institute (SSGI) for the last seven years, noted that Ethiopia has immense potential for dark sky tourism. Co-organizer and co-chair of the IAU386 symposium, Mirjana Povic, an astrophysicist who has been working with the Space Science and Geospatial Institute (SSGI) for the last seven years, noted that Ethiopia has immense potential for dark sky tourism.   “Ethiopia has huge potential for dark sky tourism, due to its dark skies, remote location, and rich cultural heritage,” she said. The astrophysicist explained that “Ethiopia is well positioned to be a leader in dark sky tourism in Africa, given its two-thirds share of Africa’s high mountain plateaus, near the equator, with clear and dry skies for months.” The country can develop its dark sky tourism industry by investing in dark sky certification programs, developing stargazing infrastructure, promoting astro-tourism, and partnering with local businesses in the space, she added. Ethiopia’s remote geography and with over two-thirds of Africa’s high mountain plateaus and clear, dry conditions for stargazing most of the year, the nation is primed to be a leader in astro-tourism. National parks like Semien Mountains and Bale Mountains offer exceptional dark sky viewing opportunities. Ministry of Tourism Sales Manager, Bizualem Getu said the conference will benefit the country in many ways, including drawing lessons on how to develop dark sky tourism and approaches towards it.   “Apart from the sharing of experience, the symposium lends opportunity to showcase ancient Ethiopian astronomy, which was sophisticated and well-developed,” he stated. More than 200 participants from around the world are expected to attend the symposium.
INSA Foils About 98 Percent of Cyber Attacks in Last Quarter of EFY
Nov 9, 2023 2406
Addis Ababa, November 9/2023 (ENA) The Information Network Security Administration (INSA) has successfully thwarted close to 98 percent of the 2,556 attempted cyber attacks in the first quarter of this Ethiopian Fiscal Year (EFY), INSA Director-General Solomon Soka disclosed. The director-general told ENA that 97.73 percent of the attempted attacks were foiled. Solomon said the finance sector, health and education institutions, media organizations, entities that administer key infrastructures, security and intelligence institutions and government institutions were the main targets of the cyber-attacks. In this connection, he stressed the need to strengthen the capacity of institutions and individuals to prevent cyber-attacks noting that the capacity-building institutions include the three pillars: human resource, infrastructure, and technology. Stressing the significance of the national cyber security research conference held today to raise awareness on cyber-security, he commended 21 of the researches carried out by the administration and other institutions. Solomon further noted that "Digital Ethiopia 2025 creates favorable condition for the country's digital transformation and conducting supplementary cyber security studies, reducing dependence on other countries technologies and preventing cyber-attacks." In this regard, he added that the conference improves the connection and knowledge sharing between institutions and experts in the sector. INSA has been combating increasing cyber-attacks targeting the country as it is making progress towards achieving its digital strategy, it was learned. Solomon also mentioned the need to undertake consecutive awareness creation measures and pointed out that INSA has been doing so in a number of ways. INSA has been working on crafting and implementing law frameworks, policies, strategies and standards to prevent cyber-attack and ensure cyber security. The Computer Crime Proclamation was approved 10 years ago and the telecom fraud and Information Security Policy prepared two years later, the director-general recalled, revealing that this policy is submitted now to the Council of Ministers as a National Cyber Security Policy for approval.  
Ethiopia to Launch Third Earth Observation Satellite in Two Years
Nov 2, 2023 3518
Addis Ababa ,November 2/2023(ENA)- Ethiopia is preparing to launch its third earth observation satellite named ETRSS-02 in two years, according to the Space Science and Geospatial Institute. Recall that the previous satellites that have been launched into space have successfully completed their mission in the service period. Space Science and Geospatial Institute Director-General, Abdisa Yilma said that the government has conducted a financial and economic feasibility study regarding the launch of the third satellite. The study would take into consideration the experience from previous satellites and use the data to clearly define other missions, he added. Abdisa stated that the information about the satellite bid has been entered into the government's electronic procurement system, and an international auction will be issued in the coming months. Ethiopia launched the first ETRSS-01 earth observation satellite from China's satellite launch site in December 2019, and its second earth observation satellite in 2020. The two satellites have completed their service period and achieved their mission, the director-general stated. The data obtained from the satellites have been used as inputs for agriculture, tourism, land management, natural resources, disaster risk reduction, and other activities. Moreover, institutions are using the information they obtained for their various works, including research. A multi-satellite data reception and control station, which can receive high-quality data from satellites, was put into operation last Ethiopian year.        
INSA Aggressively Defending Nation’s Cyber Space
Oct 30, 2023 3274
Addis Ababa ,October 30/2023(ENA)- Information Network Security Administration (INSA) has been effectively defending Ethiopia’s cyber-space from the ever growing cyber-attacks. This was disclosed at the launching ceremony of the first National Cyber Security Awareness Survey findings today as part of 4th National Cyber Security Month being underway since last two weeks with various events. On the occasion, Government Communication Service Minister, Legesse Tulu said the country has been able to effectively thwart several cyber-attacks due to the crucial measures being taken by INSA in the area of cyber security. Many countries have prioritized strengthening their cyber security capabilities in order to protect national interests in the international arena, Legesse noted. He emphasized the importance of advancing cyber protection capacities and institutions within our own country as well. Doing so will allow us to maximize the social, political, and diplomatic benefits of cyber space across all sectors, the minister said. Overall, enhancing cyber security is crucial for safeguarding national interests, upholding domestic institutions, and harnessing the full potential of the digital domain. Ethiopia's cyber security forces have successfully defended against over 97 percent of cyber-attacks in the first quarter of current fiscal year, according to INSA.   INSA Director General Solomon Soka revealed that while cyber attacks on Ethiopian citizens, institutions, and infrastructure are rising alongside technology use, the country's 24/7 cyber defense has enabled it to thwart 97.73 percent of attacks. In the first quarter of Ethiopia's current fiscal year, the nation faced 2,556 cyber-attacks, mostly involving malware, denial-of-service, and network scanning. However, thanks to the vigilance of INSA's cyber warriors, the impact of these attacks was thwarted. According to Soka, 80-90 percent of attacks stem from a lack of cyber-security awareness. The agency hopes to reduce attacks through education. Thanks to Ethiopia's tireless cyber warriors, critical systems remain secure. However, continued vigilance and education will be key to reducing future attacks. INSA has foiled 96 percent of cyber-attacks on Ethiopia in the previous Ethiopian fiscal year. By so doing, is saved 22.5 billion Birr. The cyber security month is being held from 12 October to November 10, 2023 under the theme “Resilience in Cyber Capability for National Sovereignty." The aim of the event is to increase public cyber security awareness and prevent attacks on institutions and infrastructure.
Countries Exploring Ethiopia’s Incredible Innovation Ecosystem, Says Startup Awards Africa Co-Founder
Oct 28, 2023 2929
Addis Ababa October 28/2023 (ENA) Ethiopia is an incredible country at the moment where other nations have been exploring its innovation ecosystem, Co-Founder of Global Startup Awards Africa Caitlin Nash said. Ethiopia’s diversity is conducive for innovation, with the young population which is incredible asset and untapped resource for positive growth. In an Exclusive interview with ENA, Nash, who acknowledged the potential and the ambition of Ethiopia in the startup ecosystem, noted that the time that we spent working with Ethiopians, various professionals and the youth has been completely inspiring. She also said that Africa will continue to shift into a leading role across the globe with the demographic shift globally. Noting the need to build economies in the African way, she said “We need to build our economies not to imitate but to lead as Africans.” Nash also pointed out that a nation that is collaborative, cooperative and ambitious serves as a success story for innovation. Stressing that small businesses have always been the backbone of every national economy, she said innovation is the ability to provide services that are more cost effective and deliver more quickly. It is absolutely critical that the startup ecosystem in Ethiopia become a leading agenda for the nation, she further elaborated. Ethiopia is an incredible place at the moment in the sense that other nations have been exploring its innovation ecosystem, Nash affirmed. Regarding the necessity of innovation investment in Africa, Caitlin Nash underscored for multinationals, saying now is the time to wake up and participate in initiatives like Ethiopia’s startup economy to build it and to prioritize it as a strategic asset for business. Recall that the Next Ethiopian Startup (NEST) initiative was launched on 24 October, 2023 in collaboration with the Ministry of Innovation and Technology and Ministry of Labor and Skills. The objectives of the initiative include building the culture of entrepreneurship, innovation and creating competent startups. NEST is a groundbreaking national startup ecosystem development initiative, it was learned.  
DPM, FM Says Technology Capability Main Secret to Build Strong, Competent Nation 
Oct 24, 2023 2903
Addis Ababa, October 24/2023 (ENA) Technology capability is the main secret to build a strong and competent country and prosperous society in the current era, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Demeke Mekonnen said. Launching Next Ethiopian Startup (NEST) initiative today, Demeke noted that technology is crucial for realizing development ambitions and building a strong nation. For the Deputy PM, technology capability is the foundation and main secret in the current era to build a strong and competent country and prosperous society.   The initiative like NEST is instrumental to enable transferring a competent nation for the next generation by overcoming poverty and backwardness, he noted. NEST is a great opportunity for a country like Ethiopia and its huge youth population to overcome poverty and be competent at the global level, it was indicated. Accordingly, NEST is a groundbreaking national startup ecosystem development initiative which will be a central element for the startup innovation. Minister of Labor and Skills Muferiat Kamil stressed that NEST is the new face of Ethiopia as the country is rich in diversity which is conducive for innovation.   The need for policy and financial support to startups was also stressed during the occasion as they are instrumental to expedite economic development by creating sustainable jobs. Ethiopia's youthful population is an incredible asset and untapped resource for positive growth. The NEST was launched in collaboration with Ministry of Innovation and Technology and Ministry of Labor and Skills as the objectives of the initiative include building the culture of entrepreneurship, innovation and creating competent startup.  
Ethiopia Fends Off Exponential Spike in Cyber Attacks, Thwarts over 96 Percent of Attack 
Oct 24, 2023 3356
Addis Ababa, October 24/2023 (ENA) The Information Network Security Agency (INSA) has thwarted over 96 percent of cyber-attacks against key institutions, Cyber Security Audit and Evaluation Directorate Head Tilahun Ejegu said. In an exclusive interview with the Ethiopian News Agency, the head said Ethiopia has experienced an exponential increase in cyber-attacks over the last eight years, with a 50 percent spike year-on-year. According to him, the number of cyber-attacks targeting Ethiopian infrastructures has increased from 214 eight years ago to 8,845 last year. The cyber-attacks included distributed denial of service (DDoS), scanning, and malware attacks, he said, adding that the most targeted sectors were financial, security, media organizations, key infrastructures, government ministries and cross sectorial institutions like education and health. According to Tilahun, Malware, denial-of-service, and scan attacks are the most common types of cyber-attacks on Ethiopia. Malware is malicious software that can damage or disable a computer system or network, while denial-of-service attacks are attempts to overwhelm a computer system or network with traffic, making it unavailable to legitimate users. Scan attack is evaluation of vulnerabilities in systems for any future attack. The aim of the attacks, the head said, is to deny service, steal data, and damage public trust in the government. The head revealed that the attacks are carried out by some elements with different political intent, especially by those who wanted to profit from the insecurity and political instability of the country. Geopolitics of water is also among the reasons of cyber-attacks. Last year alone, there were 695 scanning attacks, 1,295 malware attacks, 603 penetration attempts, and 2,254 website attacks. However, INSA has managed to thwart the attacks and saved over 23 billion Birr worth of potential damage, Tilahun said. These attacks could have a significant impact on the country's economy and security if it wasn’t for INSA’s good posture to thwart the attack. The head pointed out that Ethiopia's cyber security posture is among the best in the African continent. "Our cyber incident response team clearly understands from which geographical area the attacks come from, targeting which infrastructure for what purpose," he stated. Yet, the agency has conducted comprehensive vulnerability assessments across 127 key government institutions to identify gaps and weaknesses in the country's cyber defenses. Based on these findings, INSA is working diligently to close any discovered gaps and fortify systems against attack by thoroughly evaluating cyber vulnerabilities at a national scale and addressing the risks. Tilhaun said that the comprehensive assessments and remediation efforts demonstrate INSA's proactive approach to improving the country's cyber security standing.    
Institutions with Key Infrastructures Urged to Make Cybersecurity Part of Regular Mission
Oct 23, 2023 2026
Addis Ababa ,October 23/2023(ENA)Defense Minister of Ethiopia Abraham Belay has called on institutions with key infrastructures to make cybersecurity among their regular mission. The minister made the remark at the inauguration of cyber-security exhibition organized by Information Network Security Administration (INSA) in Addis Ababa today.   The event was held as part of the fourth national cyber-security month, which is being celebrated under the theme "Invincible cyber capability for national sovereignty." Defense Minister Abraham said on the occasion that in the current world affairs, cyber technology has become the biggest competitive advantage of countries. He also noted that maintaining cyber-security in Ethiopia plays a vital role in the success of development, peace, and prosperity. The minister said that the ten-year national development plan of Ethiopia has given a great deal of attention to the advancement of cyber-security. He stressed the need to increase the use of technology and ensure cyber-security in order to realize the Digital Ethiopia 2025 strategy. Abraham also warned that cyber-crime is the primary concern of countries in the world, urging key infrastructure institutions to make cyber-security their main task and regular mission. Director General of INSA Solomon Soka also spoke about the threats of cyber-attacks.   He said that with the expansion of the use of information technology, the type and amount of cyber-attacks are increasing. Solomon stated that in the fiscal year of 2008 Ethiopian Calender year, there were only 214 cyber-attacks on Ethiopia, but in 2014 Ethiopian Calender year, the number of attacks have exponentially increased to 8,845. However, INSA has managed to foil 96 percent of the attacks , he said, adding more than 23 billion Birr worth of damage has been saved. He further stressed the need to create a large-scale awareness of cyber-security for citizens and institutions to prevent attacks in the complex and unpredictable cyber world. The Director General of INSA pointed out that the National Cyber-security Month, launched today, is one of the ways to enhance awareness, and that there should be an arrangement to reduce the threat of digital sovereignty, taking into account the current situation in the world. He also stated that cyber-attacks on key infrastructures are a threat to the country's sovereignty and national interest, so it is appropriate to ensure the ownership of own technology.  
International Day of the Air Traffic Controller Celebrated in Ethiopia
Oct 20, 2023 1991
Addis Ababa, October 20/ 2023 (ENA)- The Civil Aviation Authority, in collaboration with the Ethiopian Air Traffic Controllers Association, has celebrated the International Day of the Air Traffic Controller today. During the occasion, Transport and Logistics Minister Alemu Sime said that air traffic control is one of the most important and respected professions in the aviation industry. Noting that the role of air traffic controllers in the aviation industry is great, he added that the ministry will pay attention to building the capacity of the professionals in the field. A safe and secure air service can be provided when air traffic control functions can be carried out smoothly and effectively. Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority Director-General Getachew Mengiste said on his part that the International Day of the Air Traffic Controller is celebrated to recognize the professionals who contribute greatly to the development of the country's aviation industry. According to him, it is important to give appreciation to air traffic controllers who are serving their country with insufficient resources and under unfavorable conditions. Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO Mesfin Tasew appreciated the contribution of air traffic controllers for supporting the country's economy by reducing fuel wastage and enabling a safe and secure air transport service while working in unfavorable conditions. Each year, October 20th is the International Day of the Air Traffic Controller, which celebrates those who keep air travel safe. The day serves as a reminder of the relentless dedication and hard work of air traffic controllers who ensure the skies remain safe for travel.  
Stakeholders’ validation workshop on Best Practices, New Technologies in Pastoral Areas Conducted
Oct 12, 2023 2582
Addis Ababa October 13/2023 (ENA) Addis Ababa University with its Stakeholders’ held validation workshop on Best Practices, Adoption of New Technologies and Systems in Pastoral and Agro-pastoral Areas. In an exclusive with ENA, Project Principal Investigator Meskerem Abi said various technologies and systems have been implemented in different parts of the country during the last 2 years through EU Reset Plus Innovation Fund projects. Accordingly, the respective action research have been conducted with the view to finding out best practices on adoption of new technologies and systems for resilience building in pastoral and agro-pastoral areas of Ethiopia, particularly in the areas where the project was implemented. She further explained that assessments were conducted to investigate innovative technologies and systems, whether they were effective and productive, can be practical, and the community’s interest to accept or adopt new technologies, among others. The research results indicate that the innovative technologies and systems show promising results in improving the livelihoods of the community and the people are also interested in implementing the technologies in the future. The principal investigator stated that digital technology for pastoral information systems was implemented in Borena, Oromia Region, by using a kind of mobile application that enables the pastoralists to easily locate suitable pasture and water for their livestock. Also, the insurance scheme for livestock was introduced in Borana, which has enabled the community to survive when they faced drought by enabling them to establish resilient livelihood. Furthermore, the research result indicates that 73 percent of the users are interested in adopting the technology, according to Dr Meskerem. The other best practice that had been implemented was the provision of vaccines for goats and sheep in the Siti Zone of Somali region. Besides, the vaccine was delivered by trained local women and this has enabled them to generate more income as well. Similarly, innovative technologies and systems have been introduced in South Gonder Zone, Amhara Region, for resilient food production in drought affected areas. In addition, compensation for ecosystem services scheme was implemented in West Gojam, Amhara Region, for protection of flooding and other environmental problems from upper watershed areas to lower watershed areas. The research found out that communities living in the two areas have accepted the innovative ideas. She recommended that such innovative technologies should be expanded to other areas of the region to enhance the resilience capacity of the community.  
DPM, FM Inaugurates Ultramodern Training & Research Center on Kaizen in Addis Ababa
Oct 8, 2023 3769
Addis Ababa, October 8/2023 (ENA)-Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Demeke Mekonnen has today inaugurated a new state-of-the-art training and research center on Kaizen built in Addis Ababa with a 27.5 million USD grant from the Government of Japan. The center will serve as a hub for African industrial human resource development, and it is expected to spread from Ethiopia throughout Africa. The center will also provide trainings to employees of manufacturing companies, civil servants, vocational school teachers and Kaizen consultants from the Ethiopian Kaizen Institute on Kaizen methodology. Kaizen focuses on continuous improvement, increasing productivity, enhancing quality and boosting competitiveness. At the inauguration ceremony, JICA Senior Vice President Sachiko Imoto said the center will allow Kaizen consultants to provide lectures and hands-on Kaizen training to private sector employees.   She noted Kaizen could be a solution for improving productivity at manufacturing sites planned under Ethiopia's 'Let Ethiopia Produce' national movement. Imoto added that the center will be a hub for industrial human resource development in Ethiopia and across Africa. It will be a key venue for jointly promoting Kaizen on the continent. The Kaizen Project is one of JICA's flagship projects in Ethiopia. The center is expected to train thousands of individuals annually and will play a major role in helping the Ministry of Industry achieve its goals. While inaugurating the state of the art facility, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Demeke Mekonnen said the establishment of this center is one of the many expressions of friendship and longstanding cordial bilateral relationship between Ethiopia and Japan.   “We are glad that Ethiopia is becoming the Kaizen excellent center that serves the whole of Africa,” he said, adding Kaizen is embraced in Ethiopian governance system through programs launched in 2009. We have been observing encouraging success stories in enterprises, which are utilizing Kaizen tools, he said. It is time to scaling up the experience to realize our development agenda, he added. Minister of Industry, Melaku Alebel, said the KAIZEN excellence center represents a significant step forward in our journey towards continues improvement and growth.   “It is a testament to the unwavering commitment of our government, in collaboration with the people and government of Japan to invest in the future of our workforce and industries.” The government of Japan, through JICA, has been resiliently capacitating our KAIZEN excellence center since 2009, the minister said. KAIZEN has had a great impact on Ethiopia’s manufacturing industry. KAIZEN was being adapted by Ethiopians, he stated. “We are aware that our industries have been benefiting from the KAIZEN disseminations. The improvement of quality has been improved from 5-46 percent, productivity 15-39 percent and generally speaking from improvement activities, production waste reduction and elimination efforts above five billion birr in monetary value have been registered.” The Government of Ethiopia has adopted policies to use KAIZEN to further develop the manufacturing and services sectors, as well as hospitals and schools.   Japanese Ambassador to Ethiopia, ITO Takako, on her part said the center will serve as a hub for African industrial human resource development, and it is expected to spread from Ethiopia throughout Africa. The Nairobi Declaration of TICAD 6 in 2018 pledged to increase the productivity in Africa by 30 percent through the expansion of the Kaizen Initiative throughout Africa as human infrastructure development is one of the priority areas of cooperation between Japan and Africa. It is to be recalled that on September 30, 2019, a groundbreaking ceremony was held for the construction of the TICAD Human Resource Development Center for Business and Industry (TICAD-HRD) the fund covered through Grant Aid from the Government of Japan.  
South Sudan Eyeing Benefits from Ethiopia’s Telecom Liberalization, Digitization
Oct 6, 2023 2687
Addis Ababa, October 6/2023(ENA)- South Sudan is looking forward to benefitting from Ethiopia’s telecommunication liberalization and digitization, South Sudan National Communication Authority Director General Gai said. South Sudan is avidly following Ethiopia’s telecom reform and digitization, the telecom liberalization, and technological innovations which benefit neighboring countries that share borders with Ethiopia, including South Sudan, the director general added. “The liberalization in Ethiopia is welcome news for the region, and particularly for countries that are bordering Ethiopia. We are following the development keenly. We are following with the purpose of tapping into Ethiopia’s great technological innovations that have been here and that have not been tapped into the region.” According to Gai, the telecom liberalization in Ethiopia could usher in rolling out of technologies that were limited before in the country and beyond. “We have already reached out to Ethio Telecom. Its CEO Frehiwot was in Juba and we did a great exchange with her where South Sudan is looking into creating a point of presence on our border,” he revealed. There is also a potential study of the infrastructures development being done from Ethiopia to South Sudan to incorporate telecommunication infrastructure. South Sudan is looking to get electric power from Ethiopia and connect the countries on the road, especially to the oil-rich Upper Nile region, it was learned. “We are hoping that as those infrastructures are rolled out, a telecom sector is integrated into it.” The director general stressed the need to add telecom infrastructure and electric power connectivity to the LAPSSET Corridor infrastructure connecting Kenya, Ethiopia and South Sudan together and with Somalia for the countries in the sub-region to tap potential and maximize benefit. Ethiopia is a giant country that has the potential to penetrate the largest population of East Africa, Gai noted, adding that South Sudan sees the opportunity and the emerging digitalization of the telecom sector in Ethiopia that carries a great promise for the region. “We, as South Sudan, are looking for Ethiopia to benchmark many of its technological innovations, especially in the e-government sector,” the director general pointed out. For him, introducing the e-government services will enable citizens to access services digitally, improve service efficiency, and eliminate corruption. As a new nation, South Sudan is learning about the great experiences of Ethiopia and the region, Gai said. “We are trying to complement that by encouraging regional connectivity through developing communication infrastructure that has a transit onward capacity.” East Africa has great potential to interconnect the region as we have seen from other infrastructures development like the LAPSSET, the director general pointed out. The LAPSSET Corridor Program is Eastern Africa’s largest and most ambitious infrastructure project bringing together Kenya, Ethiopia and South Sudan. This mega project consists of seven key infrastructure projects starting with a new port at Lamu, interregional highways from Lamu to Isiolo, Isiolo to Juba, Isiolo to Addis Ababa, and Lamu to Garsen, crude oil pipeline from Lamu to Isiolo, Isiolo to Juba, product oil pipeline from Lamu to Isiolo, Isiolo to Addis Ababa; interregional standard gauge railway lines from Lamu to Isiolo, Isiolo to Juba, Isiolo to Addis Ababa, and Nairobi to Isiolo; 3 international airports: one each at Lamu, Isiolo, and Lake Turkana; 3 resort cities: one each at Lamu, Isiolo and Lake Turkana; and the multipurpose high grand falls aam along the Tana River. ፡        
ITU Regional Forum Concludes with Calls for Transforming Pledges to Commitment   
Oct 5, 2023 2089
Addis Ababa, October 5/2023(ENA)-The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Regional Development Forum for Africa has concluded today with calls to transform pledges to commitment. During the closing session of the three-day forum in Addis Ababa, Partnerships for Digital Development Chief Cosmas Zavazava said ITU has through its Partner2Connect Digital coalition received a pledge of 31.88 billion USD from 392 entities in 132 countries.   As a result “we had numerous commitments to be implemented in areas of infrastructure, cyber-security, digital skills and capacity-building, digital innovation systems, and digital inclusion and others,” he added. Getting the pledges is an important step, but implementing the pledges is a bit of a challenge, the chief said, noting that making impacts on people with these pledges is more crucial. “We have projects that will impact real people. Technology with a human face, human centric digital development is what we are looking for partnerships.” According to him, the matchmaking is a shot in the arm for digital transformation on this continent and is part of a progress to close gaps and empower the rising generation of Africa with the universal and meaningful connectivity.   Innovation and Technology Minister Belete Molla said “I'm particularly encouraged by the solutions-oriented mindset that has been evident throughout the forum. Stakeholders from across the region have come together to discuss and collaborate on ways to bridge the digital divide, support innovation and entrepreneurship and promote inclusive digital policies and regulations.” The barriers to meaningful connectivity and productivity and those enabling devices for increased access were put on the table for resolution, he added. “Bridging the digital divide on the African continent for urban and rural, for young and old means harnessing opportunities using digital innovation to bolster a vibrant entrepreneurship startup ecosystem; and with this a thriving digital economy requires reliable and affordable broadband access and required digital skills to benefit from that connectivity.” Key actors, such as governments, regulators, and private sectors, have a role to play collectively contributing to strong ecosystems that accelerate the creation of required local content and service to achieve an inclusive and equitable digital economy. The Partner2Connect Digital Coalition matchmaking roundtables have been the valid platform for matching needs with solutions in identifying effective mechanisms to scale up the impact of commitments made for sustainable development in Africa. These pledges are a testament to the strong commitments of stakeholders to accelerate sustainable digital transformation in Africa. However, it is important to note that pledges are just the beginning, the minister said, stressing that we must work together to transform these pledges into commitments and then into impacts. Belete further encouraged more pledges to come up because digital transformation is a massive undertaking needed by all. “As a country that hosts the African Union, Ethiopia is committed to being a leader in Africa's digital transformation. We're ready to host more forums like this in the future.” Ethiopia will work with all to make our vision for a sustainable and inclusive digital Africa a reality, the minister underscored. The ITU Regional Development Forum for Africa was conducted under the theme “Digital transformation for a sustainable and equitable digital future: Accelerating the implementation of the SDGs in Africa through digital transformation.” ​  
Stakeholders in Africa Discussing Ways to Expedite Digital Transformation in Continent
Oct 3, 2023 2302
Addis Ababa, October 03/2023 (ENA) The International Telecommunication Union's (ITU) regional development forum for Africa opened in Addis Ababa today with a view to accelerating the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the continent through digital transformation​. ​ The Forum will take place for the coming three days under the theme “Digital transformation for a sustainable and equitable digital future: Accelerating the implementation of the SDGs in Africa through digital transformation​".​ Hundreds of people drawn from various parts of the continent and other stakeholder are participating at the forum which is organized by ITU in collaboration with the Government of Ethiopia. Speaking on the opening event, ITU Department Partnerships for Digital Development Chief, Cosmas Zavazava said the forum is a platform for views exchange and matchmaking among stakeholders. "The regional development forum is one of the key forums or events that we hold and the idea is to bring stakeholders together to brainstorm, to exchange ideas. But most importantly, this regional development forum is unique, unique in the sense that we are going to engage in a matchmaking exercise." The aim is to convert pledges into concrete commitments that will result in the implementation of concrete impactful projects based on the priorities adopted and contained in the Kigali Action Plan, it was indicated. The Kigali Action Plan is a comprehensive package that will promote the equitable and sustainable development of telecommunication/ICT networks and services, it was learned. We would like to make sure the 36.1 billion USD pledged to us is implemented for concrete works, he said. The forum will also provide an opportunity for the ITU's Telecommunication Development Bureau to report on the progress that has been made towards the implementation of the outcomes of the World Telecommunication Development Conference 2022. Some 2.6 billion people, most of them from the currently 46 least developed countries, of which 26 are in Africa, are unconnected to the internet, he noted. So, let's move from potential to prosperity by tapping into the potential and create enabling environment to make sure that we create the right policy, the right regulatory framework, he stressed. To do so the opportunities are huge compared to the constraints and digital transformation is an agent to development supplemented by international cooperation and assessment, he added. Innovation and Technology State Minister Huria Ali said the theme of this year is more important than ever before for Africa as we face a number of global challenges including COVID-19 pandemic and climate change. "Digital technologies can play a vital role in helping us to overcome these challenges and build a more sustainable and equitable future for all. Africa is a young and dynamic continent. With the rapidly growing population, we have a unique opportunity to leapfrog traditional development process and invest in digital technologies to create a better future for our people," she said. However, Africa also faces a number of challenges Huria pointed out citing that only 43 percent of Africa has access to the internet. "We need to invest in infrastructure and skill development to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to participate on the digital economy." She further added: "We also need to ensure that digital technologies are used in a way that is sustainable and equitable. We need to protect our people privacy and security and we need to ensure that digital benefits are shared widely across the continent." Meanwhile, the state minister reassured Ethiopia’s commitment to digital transformation, noting that the country has made significant progress in recent years. The progresses made include enacting a national digital transformation strategy, liberalizing the telecom sector, launching a national digital ID system, developing a digital payments ecosystem, promoting the growth of E-commerce, investing in research and development in digital technologies. "We are also working to ensure that digital technologies are used in a way that is sustainable and equitable." For example, Huria pointed out, "we have development and National Cybersecurity strategy. And we are working to promote digital literacy among all Ethiopians." However, "even though we have done a lot of things, we know that there is still more to be done," she stressed. "We are committed to work with our partners across Africa and the world to achieve a sustainable and equitable digital future for all." In this regard, this important event brings together key stakeholders from across the region to discuss and collaborate on ways to accelerate digital transformation and achieve the sustainable development goals, Huria observed. "The ITU regional development forum for Africa is an important platform for us to discuss the challenges and develop solutions."    
Ethiopian News Agency