Creative youth shine at African Innovation Week

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(Photo: Anteneh Aklilu)

The first African Innovation Week took place in Addis Ababa from October 28-November 2, 2019, attracting innovators from around the globe.
“The innovation week is in line with the African Union’s flagship project, Agenda 2063 as it creates new value chains, unique markets, addresses the question of youth unemployment, and attracts more investors,” Professor Sarah Anyang Agbor, Commissioner for Human Resources, Science and Technology said conveying a message for Moussa Faki Mahamat, African Union Commission Chairperson.
The event showcased innovative ideas which can make a significant impact on the lives of hundreds of millions of Africans and create many jobs.
More than 200 hundred young African startups from Nigeria, Togo, Uganda, Kenya and Ethiopia pitched their projects throughout the six-day event. Of these, 50 finalists won 1,000 USD and the top 5 prize winners were awarded 5,000 USD each.
The Ministry of Innovation and Technology, African Union Commission, Oslo International Hub and Independent Business Accelerators (IBA) Ethiopia Center for Innovation organized African Innovation Week.
There were many themes to the event, including women’s innovation and entrepreneurs, agri-tech, smart cities, circular energy, tourism–tech hospitality, and trade and investment.
As part of a side line event, a fashion show dubbed Textile and Leather Innovation took place at the residence of Norway’s Ambassador to Ethiopia, Her Excellency, Merete Lundemo.
Prior to the runway show, panelists briefly discussed challenges and opportunities in the fashion industry and how to network with groundbreaking African designers and the rest of the world.
Diplomats, celebrities and government officials including the Minister of Innovation and Technology, Getahun Mekuria were among the guests.
Minister Getahun said the week gave African youth a chance to create jobs and make a difference in consumer’s lives.