Addis set to host African Innovation Week

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IBA Ethiopia Center for Innovation officially launched African Innovation Week 2019.
African Innovation Week (AIW) is a pan-African initiative creating innovation platforms determined to move Africa towards an inclusive and prosperous continent led by advancement in technology and science. AIW 2019 creates a platform to bridge the gap between innovation, investment and jobs among Africans and the rest of the world; building the continent’s future leaders. It will create a platform to gather innovative African, Norwegian and other international startups where they can share their experiences and connect with potential investors, executive bodies, policymakers and game-changers to work together for sustainable and inclusive development.
“Sixty percent of Africa’s population is under 25. The 10 youngest countries by median age are all in Africa. Unless we embrace this fact and start investing in youth, the statistic will remain a huge bulge that we let go to waste,” said Hailemariam Desalegn, Former Prime Minister of Ethiopia and Patron of IBA Ethiopia Center for Innovation. “We have young people that are already recognized for their innovations that bring on positive change in the daily lives of people in their community. But it is important to understand that there is still a missing link in which investors can be encouraged to support these innovations,” added the former Prime Minister.
Hundreds of young innovators from all over Africa and Nordic countries will be taking part at the African Innovation Week 2019. The Ministry of Innovation and Technology (MInT) of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia is undertaking the selection process of young innovators in Ethiopia. State Minister of Innovation and Technology, Ahmedin Mohammed, underlined that his Ministry is closely working with IBA Ethiopia to ensure that young Ethiopians with great innovations are included in this continental event.
“The ministry is working to create a national innovation ecosystem combining incubation, acceleration, access to funding and post incubation. Getting the innovators and investors at the same platform in at the African Innovation Week goes a long way in achieving agendas of job creation, wealth creation and technology capacity building.” added the State Minister.
One of the objectives of the AIW is to create a functional platform for African policy makers, researchers, academics, the private sector and international stakeholders that engage in fostering innovation and inclusive sustainable development in Africa. The event will also be a platform to showcase innovative startups that make a significant impact in lives of hundreds of millions of Africans with innovation and job creation.
Representing the African Union Commission Chairperson, Ambassador Rosette Katungye said that the AUC is helping to organize the African Innovation Week because they believe it has potential to boost job opportunities for continent’s youth.
AIW 2019 will also create a platform for Norwegian technology, in particular the energy and telecom sector, to transfer its expertise and position itself in emerging African markets. Providing input to African policy makers to formulate pro-innovation policies that facilitate the ground for Norwegian and other western investors.
The event which will take place from October 28th – November 2nd, 2019, is being organized by IBA Ethiopia in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Innovation & Technology of Ethiopia and the African Union Commission. AIW 2019 is supported by the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Addis Ababa, Oslo International Hub, ENNC – Ethiopian Norwegian Chamber of Commerce and other partners.