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Ethiopia to implement US$200m digital project

By , ITWeb’s Zambian correspondent.
Ethiopia , 08 Mar 2021

Ethiopia’s Ministry of Innovation and Technology says it has finalised preparations to implement a Digital Ethiopia Foundation project valued at US$200-million.

Funded by the World Bank, the five-year project aims to boost the country’s competitiveness in the digital sector through increased inclusion and affordability of digital services and job creation.

The Ministry said it has already drafted the legal framework and stakeholders’ engagement plan to ensure smooth implementation and that all objectives are met.

It will create incentives for private operators to develop cell phone towers and provide mobile broadband coverage in areas not currently served, as well as to upgrade existing 2G services to 3G, 4G and 5G services.

It is also intended to increase efficiency of public service delivery and crowd-in private sector investments to improve regional and domestic fibre optic connectivity infrastructure, connectoing public institutions and priority target groups to broadband internet.

World Bank country director for Eritrea, Ethiopia, Sudan and South Sudan Ousmane Dione said the project t is part of Digital Ethiopia 2025 strategy, an essential component of the local economic reform programme, and the ten-year national development plan (2020-2030) adopted in 2019 which seeks to make Ethiopia a digital hub across the continent.

“The liberalisation of the telecom sector currently underway, which the World Bank has been supporting since 2019, is the initial phase of the country’s digital transformation. Once this transformation is effective, it will contribute to national development through sustainable and inclusive economic growth, better governance and more efficient service delivery,” said Dione.

Abyot Bayu, Digital Transformation Programme director at the Ministry of Innovation and Technology confirmed that the project will begin as soon as the World Bank releases the funds.

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