April 14,UNDP has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Ministry of Innovation
and Technology to enlist the support of Ethiopian innovators and tech sector in coming
up with innovative and home-grown solutions to fight COVID-19.
A challenge grant will be jointly launched to identify local innovators capable to co-
design, experiment and implement technology-driven solutions to monitor the outbreak,
and advance preventive measures including awareness-raising, disease surveillance
and citizen action, among others. UNDP plans to make an initial contribution of half a
million US dollars and, depending on the success of the challenge grant, will potentially
double the contribution.
The partnership is part of a broader programmatic offer by UNDP to tackle COVID19,
which also includes analysis on socio-economic impacts; support to the Government of
Ethiopia in ensuring business continuity focusing on critical government functions in the
wake of the pandemic; and addressing the negative impact of the pandemic on micro,
small and medium-sized enterprises and employment (in both the formal and informal
sectors). UNDP will work with the rest of the UN family and other development partners
on these issues.
The MoU was signed virtually by H.E Sisay Tola, State Minister of Ministry of Innovation
and Technology and Turhan Saleh, UNDP Resident Representative for Ethiopia. State
Minister Sisay Tola said, “The support will focus on coordination and harmonization of
individual, government and stakeholders efforts in research, technology and innovation
to prevent COVID-19 and reduce its impact in the country. ” Resident Representative
Turhan Saleh noted on this occasion that ‘….this is a great opportunity for the tech and
innovator community in Ethiopia – mostly young women and men – to show what smart
ideas and applications, delivered quickly, can make a big difference in the fight against
COVID-19. Others e.g. in South Korea have done it. So can we.’
As part of the agreement and working closely with UNDP Ethiopia’s Accelerator Lab
team, MiNT will launch the Grand Challenge soon to select the best innovators from
amongst the local tech community able to design and implement local solutions and to
scale up the response against COVID-19.
Ministry of Innovation and Technology plays a vital role in the coordination and
implementation of innovative technologies in the country in collaboration with financial
institutions, higher education, research institutions and industries. So far the Ministry
has supported information exchange platforms on COVID-19 and provided equipment to
facilitate connectivity for staff working from home.
UNDP’s COVID-19 response focuses on helping countries to do three thingsin an
integrated way:toprepare, respond and recoverin the face of this pandemic, with three
immediateprioritieson the table: strengtheninghealth systems,
enhancinginclusivecrisis management, and assessing and responding to the socio-
economic impacts of COVID-19. In all this, UNDP’s focus remains, as always, on the
most vulnerable people and those who may get left behind.
The Ministry and UNDP hereby call upon innovators and individuals interested to
participate in the Grand Challenge competition to get prepared in advance. Details of
the competition will be announced in the next few days.
Wednesday, 15 April 2020 19:47
UNDP, MiNT and the Tech Community in Ethiopia Collaborate to Curb COVID-19Written by Administrator
Published in የሰሞኑ አጀንዳ