ITU Reiterates Commitment to Support Ethiopia’s Digitalization Ambitions 

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Addis Ababa, November 27/2023 (ENA) The International Telecommunication Union is working in tandem with the government of Ethiopia to get the most out of the nation’s huge potential and realize the national digital strategy, ITU Regional Director for Africa Anne-Rachel Inne said. 

To use the benefit of the digital world, Ethiopia has adopted a Digital Transformation Strategy 2025.    

The Digital Ethiopia Strategy 2025 is designed to realize the country’s digital potential and leverage technology to build digital economic development aligned with national development plans.

In an exclusive interview with ENA, Inne said Ethiopia is definitely one of the biggest populations on the continent and it is important that we cater with the government and to the priorities of the government.   

She added “we have been addressing already like mapping the country to see where connectivity is and places where there is no connectivity and how we connect people.”    

ITU is also working to connect schools with a very young population, it is important that they have the skills to know how to do all of the different and new job types, she affirmed.

Highlighting Ethiopia's huge potential with its large population, she said “For a country that is large, has a very big population that can be practically a market in itself so we need to help Ethiopia get the most out of this potential.”   

The Regional Director of ITU has also mentioned about her institution's collaboration with Ethiopia in the implementation of the strategy, which assesses how digital technologies can be used to develop an inclusive, knowledge-based, and prosperous society by identifying strategic sectors such as agriculture, global manufacturing value chains, IT-based services, and digitally-enabled tourism. 

“We work in tandem with the government as the country has a national digital strategy. We work with them and then we address all of the specific requests that come to ITU and that is how we actually work in Ethiopia and the entire continent.”  

Recall that the International Telecommunication Union launched Digital Transformation Centers (DTC) in Addis Ababa in 2022 with a view to enhancing the digital capacities of citizens in the country. 

The DTC initiative will also help Ethiopia to enhance the use of digital technology for teaching and learning, administration, research, among other purposes.

The Initiative delivers basic digital skills training to enhance digital literacy and foster uptake of digital tools among those at the bottom of the social pyramid, according to ITU. It also provides intermediate digital skills training to provide users with job-ready skills, improve workplace efficiency and enhance chances of employability.

Regarding the need to change in Africa’s digitalization agenda in general, Inne stressed that change is needed in policy and regulation.

She said regulatory expertise needs to be developed continuously to integrate new technologies, competencies and skills to allow for data and evidence-based decision making.  

For the regional director, the rapid pace of technological innovation and increase in volume of online services requires adaptive policy and regulation. 

“We at all levels have been as ITU helping our governments and countries that are all members of African countries at ITU as well as a lot of private sectors but also civil society. So we are trying as much as possible really to gel to work together.”

 

Ethiopian News Agency
2023