Geeska Afrika Online

Ethiopia: Booming ICT Networks Foster Multidimensional Growth

A range of activities whether undertaken indoor or outdoor, knowledge transfers and other related human tasks have been facilitated by ICT and other ongoing technology-born devices.

Apart from playing an unmatched role in disseminating information, easing communication challenges, keeping quality and expanding education, ICT has also become one of human job creation opportunities. This dynamic science-born new technology utility is not confined to specific purposes but it as well is used for enhancing multidimensional growth.

Recognizing its significant role in fostering economic development, Ethiopia has given ICT due attention as one of its strategic priorities for its all rounded and all entailing development.

ICT as well enjoys special attention in GTP II. Eyeing at pursuing the nation’s ICT demand, coping up with ever growing world economy, emerging competitive in the global arena and hastening technology transfer, the country has established Information Technology (IT) Parks. As it has a multidimensional benefit in bringing and fostering Ethiopia’s GTP II programme as well as in bringing up attitudinal and behavioural changes, the nation underlines its role.

Currently, the government has continued investing on and expanding communication infrastructures to meet the country’s growing demand for ICT by increasing access to the public sector network.

Indeed, the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (MCIT) spearheads the ICT development of the nation by developing policy instruments, designing various programmes, mobilizing resources, guiding implementations. Of course, the IT park development can assist in boosting the nation’s GTP II implementation.

The government has established the IT park with a view to establishing an important resource network for information technology.

The park is expected to harmonize universities and research institutes, boost university to industry relations and bolster cooperation on commercial activities. It as well is expected to leverage the transfer of new technologies. In addition, it creates conducive or attractive working environment for IT companies, professionals and entrepreneurs too.

According to sources, there are various models of IT Parks globally, ranging from self-sufficient towns of technology that encompass residential neighbourhoods, shopping centres, restaurants, recreational facilities, technical universities or training and research centres, IT manufacturing and services and often business incubators to relatively small self-contained establishments. Hence, the Ethiopian IT Park has been established based on the aforementioned models.

In addition to facilitating the emergence of IT industries, an IT Park is established to promote connections including increased economic linkages between foreign and local industries.

To beef up park benefits, policy-makers have implemented target strategies from the outset such as encouraging joint ventures, as well as strengthening local human capital to increase the absorption capacity.

Of course, the underlying principles for the establishment of IT Park in Ethiopia reside in fostering the growth of the IT sector in the country by providing a conducive environment for business and developing IT supported indigenous business entrepreneurs and providing employment opportunities for citizens.

What is more, the 9th ICT Exhibition, Bazaar and Conference which is being carried out from June 2-6,2016 at Addis Ababa Exhibition Centre with the theme, “ICT: For Industry Led Economic Development,” has witnessed the government and the public’s recognition in attaining the country’s on-going programmes for sustainable development and poverty reduction. It is believed to be a hub in ensuring technological transfer, encouraging competition and affording platform for networking between various actors of the sector.

During five-day long Exhibition and Bazaar, various ICT products and services in connection with ICT technology development have been assessed. And more awareness creation activities in the sector have been carried out. In addition, it has been expected to create market linkages among universities, research institutions, private business communities parallel to displaying information technology products.

No doubt investment and promotion of ICT in the country will create a huge potential in hastening the country’s economic transformation and ensuring its GTP II. Besides, the involvement of the private sectors will lend power to the nation’s ICT development initiatives.

In sum, concerted efforts are expected to be deployed to make the nation beneficiary from the sector. Hence, unless driven by information technology, industry and economic development will lag behind the nation’s aspiration to a fast growth. Hence, intensifying efforts to make the already set up infrastructure developments and expanding services should be a prerequisite not only to the government but also to stakeholders too.



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