A private business incubator in collaboration with government agencies is set to link 150 African innovators with potential investors, which is expected to result in creation of some 100,000 job opportunities.
During the African Innovation Week 2019 set to take place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from 28 October to November 2, 2019, the company aims to bring together African innovators and investors to discuss about the possibilities of making business ventures.
“We are expecting 150 innovators from Ethiopia and 50 more from other African countries. We will have a substantial prize, which will go to the top ten innovators. Out of the 150, we will also provide financial reward for the top 50s,” said Ashenafi Mulugeta, Managing Director of IBA Ethiopia, a private company engaged in incubation and acceleration of startups.
“Youth unemployment is one of the biggest challenges not only for Ethiopia but also for many African countries …African Innovation Week goes inline with creating job opportunities for our youth. Our initial estimate for this year is about 100,000 job opportunities. But this requires the right mix of policies put in place and also implementation guidelines to be pursued by the government as well as requires follow-up, mechanisms,” he said, encouraging African innovators to apply online and take part in the upcoming 2019 African Innovation Week.
As the innovation ecosystem in Africa is very weak at the moment, the company aims to promote innovators and link them with potential investors. African governments also need to do more to improve investment policies to benefit from their innovative minds, according to Mr. Ashenafi, who spoke to NewBusinessEthiopia.com.
The 2019 African Innovation Week is organized by I BA Ethiopia in collaboration with the Ministry of Technology of Ethiopia and the Norwegian Embassy in Ethiopia as well as the African Union Commission, among others.
It is indicated that the focus areas of this year innovation week includes, Smart & sustainable city, Digitalization public & private sectors, Data Analytics, Fintech & e-commerce, Agritech, Climate smart agriculture, Food tech, Renewable energy & waste management. Fish & marine resources tech, Transport &, logistics tech, Medtech & health care, Water technology & services, Construction technology and smart housing, Social innovation and job creation.