The 2019 African Innovation Week 2019 was held in Addis Ababa from October 28th – November 2nd.
Over 3,000 participants participated in the week-long event which held panel discussions on the areas of innovation, digitalization, E-commerce, women in innovation, entrepreneurship, tourism tech, trade and investment among others.
He 2019 African Innovation Week had 200 innovators who were trained on how to deliver pitches to investors and then presented their innovative solutions in several selected thematic areas. The participants were from various start up countries such as Nigeria, Togo, Uganda and Ethiopia.
UNDP contributed to the Africa Innovation Week by sponsoring innovation challenge competitions. UNDP sponsored the award for the top 5 innovators from Rwanda, Ethiopia and Togo where each one received USD $5,000. The 50 finalist innovators were awarded USD $1,000 each to encourage them to continue working on their ideas.
In partnership with the Ministry of Innovation and Technology, UNDP is investing and helping Ethiopia tackle the 21st dynamic development challenges with creative and innovative solutions. UNDP designed a project called Innovation for Development in order to scale up the use of creative and innovative solutions to solve development issues in different sectors in Ethiopia.
Speaking at the closing ceremony, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative, Mr. Cleophas Torori, encouraged the young innovators at the event to continue working hard on their projects. The Minister for Innovation and Technology, H.E Dr -Ing. Getahun Mekuria, suggested the event should continue as an annual event to showcase innovative ideas of the youth in Ethiopia and Africa.
The event is organized by IBA Ethiopia Center for Innovation in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Innovation & Technology of Ethiopia, the African Union, Oslo International Hub, Ethiopian Norwegian Chamber of Commerce, UNDP Ethiopia and other stakeholders.