Young Ethiopian Innovators Dream Big

ADDIS ABABA (Xinhua)–During a forum on youth innovation and creativity, which was held Tuesday (Aug 29) in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa, three young Ethiopian innovators, all aged 17, came to the podium and spoke to the audience that they aspire to put Ethiopia on the map of “technology countries”.

As they spoke at the forum, they showcased some 30 inventions, which won applause and admire of the participants at the UN Conference Center in Addis Ababa.

The three young Ethiopian innovators, namely Nur Jemal, Anwar Wudu, and Fikir Legesse, who are from Kombolcha, Wollo, in the Amhara Regional State of the country, told Xinhua that they aspire to make Ethiopia known for its technological innovations.

The “Kombolcha Trio” has invented robots for various purposes, censors of different types, solar water pump, FM broadcaster, mobile application, and a helmet with a fan, among others.

The self-taught Ethiopian innovators said that they started it at early ages by looking around to identify challenges facing the local community, and look for the solutions, for which they browse internet to learn what have already been carried out in the rest of the world.

They said they have taught themselves on the internet, to have created the gadgets with resources at minimum costs.

“We have had different inventions, for example water pump, FM broadcaster, and others. We are going to participate, first, in the competition here in the country in November, and then in the robotics competition to be held in the United States next April, and we will go there representing our country,” said Nur Jemal, a grade 9 student, while speaking to Xinhua.

Ethiopia, one of the fastest economies of the world, has been implementing its five-year growth and transformation plan (GTP), heading to achieve a middle income status by 2025, with due attention to industrialization and manufacturing sector.

And the country has been taking various measures and implementing strategic programs in industrial and manufacturing development endeavor, attaching great importance to science and technology.

With a view of encouraging and promoting scientific and technological innovations in the country, the Ministry of Science and Technology organizes the annual competition to recognize and award outstanding achievements and contributions in the area.

Stating that young innovators need more space and resources to innovate and harness their potential to provide local solutions to the challenges facing the world, the United Nations has hailed the creativity and energy of the young innovators.

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Speaking at the forum, Ahunna Eziakonwa-Onochie, UNDP Resident Representative in Ethiopia, said the UN development system recognizes innovation as a gateway for engaging the youth and harnessing their potential.

She noted that the UN is working in earnest to unleash the potential of the youth to take the lead at local, national, and global levels as change-makers.

Eleni Gabre-Madhin is a CEO and founder of BlueMoon, which is Ethiopia’s first youth agribusiness incubator and seed investing platform, with which the three self-taught young innovators are now working on some projects.

Stating that there are thousands of such innovators in Ethiopia, Gabre-Madhin told Xinhua that support is necessary to help them realize their full potential and contribute to Ethiopia’s future.

Source: Xinhua
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