Ethiopia to Leverage Digital Innovation in the Fight Against COVID-19 through Ministry of Innovation and Technology and Mastercard Foundation Partnership

“Trying to find accurate information on COVID-19 on social media is very difficult. You can never be sure of the accuracy of what you are reading,” Yohana says. “It is important that projects like this will create portals that provide reliable facts and real-time data on the pandemic. This will help people like me trust the information and make the right decisions, assisting our country’s fight against COVID-19,” she added.
13 October 2020
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Addis Ababa, Ethiopia — Today, the Ministry of Innovation and Technology, and the Mastercard Foundation announced the launch of a project that will support the development of ‘Citizens COVID-19 Response Data Driven Health Informatics Portal’.

This platform will serve as a single unified portal to integrate and publish information on government interventions on COVID-19 at the national and regional level, and facilitate information flow to citizens on all government COVID-19 responses.

The project will also help to set up a rapid response centre to citizens’ questions and concerns using an inbound and outbound call centre with toll free lines integrated with the information portal. The newly launched project will  supplement the Government’s effort to respond to the multifaceted impact of COVID-19, based on an integrated set of rapid digital solutions to critical national problems.

H.E Dr. Ahmedin Mohammed, State Minister for Ministry of Innovation and Technology said, “The project will provide citizens access to information on government actions relating to COVID-19 through an integrated web portal. This will mean enhanced transparency and citizens engagement during the pandemic through publication of data on infection rates, recovery and mortality numbers. There will also be data on aid pledged and received.”

The State Minister added,” Coupled with other various initiatives underway in the country, we expect to see improvement in public awareness of COVID-19 prevention measures because of this project. We also believe citizens engagement via calls and SMT alerts will increase. Ultimately, such projects encourage the advancement of our digitalization agenda as more Ethiopians progressively adopt digital technology in their everyday lives.”

The State Minister expressed his appreciation of the Mastercard Foundation's continued support to the Ministry that began with the development of Ethiopia's first Digital Transformation Strategy in 2019. The newly-launched project will leverage digital innovation for the COVID-19 response and citizen engagement and has received a commitment of approximately $887,000 from the Mastercard Foundation COVID-19 Recovery and Resilience Program.

Speaking on behalf of the Mastercard Foundation, Country Head, Ethiopia, Alemayehu Konde Koira  said, “Individual choices are key to any COVID-19 management strategy. But people need accurate information if they are going to make informed choices. The Foundation is committed to delivering relevant and accurate information to stop the spread of this disease and keen to support the effective use of technology in pandemic response efforts. ”

Yohana Fekadu, a 27-year-old resident of Addis Ababa, regularly visits the covid19.et (COVID-19) portal for the latest information on the pandemic. Yohana says that she and her friends usually get information on COVID-19 from social media.

“Trying to find accurate information on COVID-19 on social media is very difficult. You can never be sure of the accuracy of what you are reading,” Yohana says. “It is important that projects like this will create portals that provide reliable facts and real-time data on the pandemic. This will help people like me trust the information and make the right decisions, assisting our country’s fight against COVID-19,” she added.

Once set up, the COVID-19 Response Data Driven Health Informatics Portal & Rapid Response Centre initiative will be run by the Ministry of Innovation and Technology and its partners, includingthe Ministry of Health, Ethiopian Public Health Institution (EPHI), Ethio Telecom, and other government and non-government organizations. 

 

About the Mastercard Foundation

The Mastercard Foundation works with visionary organizations to enable young people in Africa and in Indigenous communities in Canada to access dignified and fulfilling work. It is one of the largest, private foundations in the world with a mission to advance learning and promote financial inclusion to create an inclusive and equitable world. The Foundation was created by Mastercard in 2006 as an independent organization with its own Board of Directors and management. For more information on the Foundation, please visit: www.mastercardfdn.org

For media interviews and inquiries, please contact:

Ministry of Innovation and Technology

Abere Shiferaw
Operations Manager, Digital Transformation Program
Telephone: +251 911 623997
Email: Abere.Shiferaw@mint.gov.et

Mastercard Foundation

Helen White
Strategy Lead, Program Communications
Telephone: +27 761665372
Email: hwhite@mastercardfdn.org

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