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SOLVE IT, a nationwide annual innovation competition, was launched at the compound of the United States Embassy on Thursday in an effort to embrace the “realm of tech entrepreneurship” among Ethiopian youth, and provide needed training in software, hardware and marketing for start-ups.

This year, the effort has managed to attract a record of interests around the nation.

Supported by the US and the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA), it was started in 2018 and is credited with creating awareness in the use of technology among a local society that is playing catch-up to it.

The US ambassador, Michael Reynor has been an active and noted supporter of the initiative.

“Your innovations show what Ethiopian youth can do, using Ethiopian materials and Ethiopian insights, to address Ethiopia’s challenges. You are this country’s future, and this is Point Number Two:  the United States supports you,” he told the participants in 2018. “We do this by investing in Ethiopians who will build this country’s bright future, and an example of this investment is the SolveIt program we’re celebrating today.

The Amassador further added stating “the United States asks for no repayment from such investments, and there’s no interest accrued, but we will undoubtedly see a return on our investment. The return we expect from these investments is an even stronger Ethiopia – a new centre of democracy, a thriving economic and trade hub, and a guarantor of security and stability in the wider region.”

This year’s event has attracted 112 young entrepreneurs from 15 cities and they have been networking and presenting their tech-based solutions all week, including participating in boot-camps and meeting potential investors.

The final competition will take place in Kana Studio, this afternoon and according to sources, there are to be major potential investors, and representatives of the respective Embassies and iCog Labs in attendance. 

The US continues to emerge as a partner of youth development and the virtue of democracy within Ethiopia. It is seen as a major supporter of the array of reforms implemented by the government of Abiy Ahmed (PhD) and through USAID, it plays a major role on developmental initiatives. 

Source: https://www.thereporterethiopia.com/article/annual-innovation-competition-kicks

The Kingdom of Qatar is set to build a kidney treatment center within the capital.

Believed to cost upwards of USD 18 million in its first phase, it also includes a teaching hospital for local aspiring medical professionals. The fund will be sourced from the Qatar Fund for Development, the development arm of the Gulf nation.

This is to be the latest gesture within Ethiopia, whose relationship was suspended in 2008 amid accusations of meddling in the internal issues of the nation, specifically with the Somali region of Ogaden.

The agreement was signed between Tebeje Berhe, the Director of Middle East with the Ethiopian Foreign Ministry and Misfer Hamad-Al-Shahwani, the Director General of the Qatar Fund.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD) visited Qatar in March of this year and had an audience with Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani, both promising to improve the bilateral economic cooperation in areas of health, infrastructure, education and tourism growth.

Qatar has further promised to help Ethiopia’s public health sector, whose 100 million plus population heavily relies on, and remains vulnerable and in need of more government investment.

The Ethiopian Kidney Association sees the disease as “A serious public health problem affecting hundreds of thousands of people regardless of age and gender.”

“Proteinuria is one of the three leading causes of maternal mortality. Post-partum hemorrhage or major bleeding after giving birth is among the causes that lead to acute kidney injury in young women. Thus, the risk of women exposure to kidney related disease increases. CKD affects approximately 195 million women worldwide and it is currently the 8th leading cause of death in woman, with close to 600, 000 deaths attributed to the disease each year.” Its president, Lissane Seifu (MD) reflected on the World Kidney Day that falls on March 8th.

As medical tourism gains more popularity within a small segment of the population, to nations such as India, Thailand and Kenya; there are still few specialized medical centers within the nation. It is to be recalled, the first kidney transplant in Ethiopia took place in 2015 at St. Paul’s Hospital.

Source: https://www.thereporterethiopia.com/article/qatar-build-kidney-treatment-center


The United Kingdom has extended a grant of GBP 120 million which is equivalent to 4.23 billion birr, for safety net, water and sanitation programs.

Signing the agreement at the Ministry of Finance on Friday, Alok Sharma, Secretary of State for International Development (DFID) said that the financing agreement is part of the assistance, the UK has been providing to Ethiopia. According to the secretary of state, both in bilateral and multilateral partnerships, the UK stands-out to be the biggest provider to Ethiopia. “Perhaps we are number one in Sub-Saharan Africa providing development assistance to Ethiopia.”

According to Sharma, these provisions are important to help mitigate climate change impacts and he mentioned discussions held with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (Ph.D.) on job creation programs, and said that the afforestation process is impactful. He added saying, “When Ethiopia succeeds, Africa succeeds and when Africa succeeds, the whole world succeeds.”

Admassu Nebebe, State Minister of Finance said that out of the total GBR 120 million, 95 million is set aside to finance a program: “Strengthening Climate Change Resilient System for Water, Sanitation, Hygiene Service (SCRS-WaSH). The remaining 25 million will be utilized to finance the Productive Safety Net Program (PSNP) which is entering its fourth phase of implementation. Both WaSH and PSNP have been implemented for the past seven years, and financing gaps to implement the programs were one of the challenges, Admassu told Sharma.

 According to Admassu, the water hygiene and sanitation program will deliver the much needed services to 1.2 million beneficiaries living in a drought-prone and affected areas.

Since arriving in Ethiopia on Wednesday, the DFID head was visiting some economic and social activities where the UK has an interest in, and was joined by Shimelis Adbdissa, deputy president of the Oromia Regional State to visit the Adama Industrial Park.

According to the statistics DFID has posted in 2017, Ethiopia stood third, out of the top ten UK’s largest aid recipients’ next to Pakistan and Syria, each receiving 463 million and 352 million Pounds, respectively. Ethiopia received GBR 334 million to stand third on the top ten list where Nigeria, Afghanistan, Tanzania, Jordan, South Sudan, Sierra Leon and Somalia have also received a total of GBR 1.4 billion in 2017.

Source: https://www.thereporterethiopia.com/article/uks-dfid-extends-gbp-120-mln-grant-ethiopia




The Ethio-Japan Trade and Investment Forum was held in Yokohama on the sidelines of the seventh Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD7).

About 180 Japanese investors and 43 members of the Ethiopian business community, including Minister of Foreign Affairs, Gedu Andargachew, attended the forum held yesterday, August 29, 2019

Stating that Ethiopia is ready to welcome Japanese investors more than ever before, Gedu called upon them to take advantage of this opportunity.

Ambassador of Ethiopia to Tokyo, Kassa Tekleberhan, assured the Japanese investors of the embassy’s all needed support in their efforts to invest in Ethiopia.

President of Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) Mr. Hiroyuki Ishige said he is working to encourage Japanese investors to invest in Ethiopia. (FBC)

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