Youth unemployment has been a huge challenge for Ethiopia. The nation's Job Creation Commission estimates a 14 million jobs shortfall by 2025, which has prompted a national plan to build a vibrant private sector through support to Medium, Small, Micro Enterprises (MSMEs).
STEMpower has entered a partnership agreement with VISA, the world leader in digital payments, to support the Ethiopian jobs creation initiative by supporting young innovators to establish and grow their technically-oriented SMEs.
The STEMpower-VISA partnership will benefit 3,600 youth in three years, by fostering an entrepreneurial mindset and equipping participants with the skills that bridge the gap between being a STEM innovator and a successful entrepreneur.
At the partnership announcement, local banks Bank of Abyssinia and Berhan Bank pledged to support the successful implementation of the program, by facilitating credit lines for the innovators and by availing digital and online banking.
For its part, STEMpower will use its vast array of Ethiopian STEM Centers and Fab Labs as sites for training, incubation, and acceleration services -- while tracking Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) of the job-creating innovators.
National Science and Engineering Fair 2020
STEMpower, in collaboration with Ethiopia's Ministry of Education (MoE), held the 5th annual Ethiopian National Science and Engineering Fair, on November 10, 2020, in Addis Ababa. In harmony with World Science Day, commemorated worldwide every November 10, the focus was “Science for Society Dealing with the Global Pandemic”.
The event was jointly officiated by Ethiopian MoE Minister Dr Geremew Huluka and by Israeli Ambassador-to-Ethiopia Raphael Morav.
Throughout the event, nearly 100 students across Ethiopia showcased their innovations, mostly via virtual methods designed for the event. Meanwhile, an informative panel discussion was held, partly virtually, on the topic “STEM Education and Innovation in Ethiopia and Africa”. Panelists included officials from the MoE and the MoSHE (Ministry of Science and Higher Education), as well as scientists and experts.
The awards ceremony followed, featuring the winning student-developed innovations, including an automatic face-mask vending machine, a gold-mining trommel device, an automatic pill dispenser & reminder machine, and a locust trap.
12 student winners (7 boys and 5 girls) won prizes for their innovations, as well as invitations to join STEMpower's Fabrication Labs, which provide (at no cost to the student) the resources, tools, and entrepreneurship training in order to create marketable products. The event was live-streamed throughout Africa, Europe, and the United States.
We would like to acknowledge the Israel Embassy to Ethiopia and the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia for sponsoring the 2020 National Science and Engineering Fair.
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