7 March 2018

Ethiopia: Innovation, Tech. Transfer for Sustainable Dev't

Ministry say that a strong national technological, innovation capability is essential to make the currently prevailing economic growth sustainable.

Director of Policy Research and Future Planning with Ministry of Science and Technology Desta Abera said that fast grown countries experiences show that successful economic and social development came from having both an export-based market economy and accumulation of technological capabilities, which indicates that Ethiopia must focus on Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) to support its export driven economy.

Ethiopia's implementation of innovation policy targets at establishing a clear and effective STI governance structure, building technological capacity in learning, adapting, and utilizing effective foreign technologies, as well as producing well-trained technicians, engineers and scientists.

As one of the critical policy and strategy issue, technology transfer activities currently carried out in the country are not in line with the envisaged technology demands of the development programs, the Director claims. He added that the level of qualified manpower capable of transferring foreign technology is low, and inadequate to facilitate the effective transfer of technology.

Moreover, he mentioned that manufacturing and service providing institutions, whose involvement ranges from conducting and supporting research and technology transfer activities to contributing and implementing the policy framework, have no clear value-adding linkages between them and their role in advancing the STI.

Universities, research institutes, TVET institutions and industries are core actors in the national innovation system. The strength as well as effectiveness of the established linkages among these institutions largely depends on their tendency and capability to be involved in activities dealing with technology transfer.

As far as technology learning is concerned, the current situation of the country confirms that universities are not taking the leading role and are lagging behind the industries, Desta said.

He suggests for the linkages that exist among these actors to focus on contributing on the productivity of manufacturing and service providing enterprises. "The shared effort should also focus on identifying appropriate technologies and their sources, understanding the technologies through learning-by-doing and adaptation as well as effective utilization."

Thus, joint cooperation and support system among the actors will be established with the aim to support and facilitate the search, selection, importation, adaptation and utilization of effective technology transfer, Desta added.

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