By: Our Staff Writer
Addis Ababa (Ethiopia Today) May 19, 2023— The Ministry of Innovation and Technology (MoIT) has been working to establish a national innovation fund to support start-ups.
This was noted while MoIT, in collaboration with the German International Cooperation Agency (GIZ), yesterday validated innovation fund management and science, technology, and innovation policy implementation framework documents.
On the occasion, MoIT Minister Belete Molla (PhD) said that the Ministry has the responsibility to prepare and implement national innovation and technology research and development policies, strategies, and programs.
It was learned that MoIT is expected to provide support for the promotion of domestic innovation skills through the establishment of internationally standardized laboratories, workshops, and information and communication technology parks to facilitate the establishment of an innovation fund.
MoIT has also been mandated to establish a system that enhances the participation and role of the private sector to create a conducive environment for the implementation of STI policy, grant awards and incentives, and contribute to the advancement of the sector. According to the minister, one of the key challenges for the private sector in innovation and technology development is a lack of diversified and coordinated innovation, research, and startup funding mechanisms.
Currently, MoIT has been working to establish national innovation funding schemes with the overarching governance and guidance of the national science, technology, and innovation council. The draft Startup Act and Innovation Fund Proclamation are in the process of discussion and refinement towards ratification by the government.
For her part, GIZ-Employment and Private Sector Development Center Cluster Coordinator Aregash Asfaw said that Germany supports innovative startups and private sector business developments. Ethiopia’s homegrown economic reform agenda and a ten-year development strategy recognize the role of the private sector in the country’s economy.
Some of the focus areas are public institutions to improve the framework condition for the private sector to create an enabling environment for the private sector that would enable it to create jobs and wealth for the country, she said, adding that “we support improving the framework condition of the private sector’s involvement in the country.”