Ethiopia: Extending High Tech Industry Issues to Our Economic Future

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High-tech industries are essential for the economic development of countries. It employs millions of workers around the world. Significantly, the high-tech sector can heavily engage a large number of labor. Therefore, outside the private sector, the government has a responsibility to create conditions conducive to the expansion of investment in high-tech, including automobiles, steel and machined aluminum products, the think tank revealed. Ethiopia 2050.

The Ethiopia 2050 think-tank statement said new technologies in broader areas of advanced manufacturing offer an opportunity to leap over emerging economies like Ethiopia. For example, digital manufacturing requires much less capital expenditure than traditional manufacturing, especially when paired with government supports like tax credits or public and private partnerships.

According to the statement, the world’s preferred model for advanced manufacturing involves collaborations with universities, as they are more focused on cutting-edge technology than massive capital. This emerging era of manufacturing that is gaining traction around the world is a key part of the fourth generation industry. For countries like Ethiopia, advanced manufacturing opens up new possibilities in fintech, big data analytics, advanced robotics, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, precision medicine and agrotech, he said.

He further stressed that Ethiopia should take steps to benefit from the Fourth Industrial Revolution, especially in the advanced manufacturing sector. When it comes to launching a state-of-the-art manufacturing center for metals, a pervasive problem that has contributed to inefficiencies and delays in completing major infrastructure projects in Ethiopia has been the lack of spare parts . The prohibitive spending, as well as the delays in the importation of materials, had significant negative impacts in several sectors such as the manufacturing industry, freight and passenger transport infrastructure and agricultural equipment. We propose that with additive manufacturing, especially 3D printing technology, now is the time for Ethiopia to solve the spare parts problem by building an infrastructure for 3D printing.

As for the report, it will save foreign currency, time and also encourage innovation in metal fabrication in Ethiopia. A consortium of governments, especially the military and industries, could take the lead. It will be a for-profit entity charging for the services rendered. Recycled metal can be used, which significantly reduces costs. There are several examples in Africa where such technology is being effectively exploited. Although its current status is unknown, Ethiopian Airline’s plan, announced in 2016, to collaborate with a South African aerospace company to establish a digital manufacturing center in Addis is a possibility worth mentioning. Ethiopia, which is currently investing aggressively in textile manufacturing infrastructure, also faces the risk of automation that could significantly jeopardize opportunities as this industry could come back to Europe or the United States.

The statement says this ecosystem will train undergraduate and graduate students in additive manufacturing and also create an enabling environment for business. Twinning with international collaborators as well as with local industry will enrich the opportunities offered to students, faculty, private sector and government. In promoting the pharmaceutical industry for leadership in the African market, Ethiopia has positioned itself as a destination for the pharmaceutical industry for quite some time.

The demographic dividend has been cited as one of the compelling reasons with access to the important African market. The government had also identified pharmaceutical manufacturing as a priority sector and the Kilinto industrial park was identified as a hub. Therefore, with the initiatives proposed for central level academic, industrial and government ecosystems to form a globally competitive workforce, there are many opportunities in this area.

Regarding the expansion of eco-industrial parks, the statement noted that the concept of eco-industrial parks where there is well-planned cooperation between businesses and the local community with the aim of achieving sustainable growth and effectively sharing the resources is emerging as a popular model. . Such a model will naturally suit Ethiopia where there is a strong need to develop growth models. This integration with the local community should also be reflected at the national level in both vertical and horizontal integration.

According to the World Economic Forum, priority areas for creating an enabling environment for advanced manufacturing include:

Energy: Manufacturing requires access to reliable, efficient and profitable energy supplies. Many African countries have significantly expanded their energy production, transmission and distribution infrastructure with an emphasis on renewable energy sources such as geothermal and wind. Continued capacity improvements, made possible by a more aggressive and prioritized infrastructure development strategy, will be essential to meet the energy needs of a growing economy.

Trade: Manufacturing relies on global markets and therefore access to these markets is essential. Trade facilitation is also crucial; this will involve working with businesses to take advantage of new technological solutions to achieve policy goals, halt anti-corruption efforts and promote efficient customs processing while promoting access to inputs for manufacturing, business creation. jobs and product development in Africa for Africa. Enabling market access by reducing tariff and non-tariff barriers enables countries to benefit from both new innovative products, such as environmental technologies, which can solve local challenges, as well as access to key inputs that can develop the necessary markets.

Improve education and skills development. Advanced manufacturing jobs are highly skilled jobs. Global companies go where the talent is, and we need to make sure the place is Africa. This is going to require improved curricula built around STEM subjects, new recruits in the ranks of skilled educators, and new teaching techniques and innovations in the classroom, especially in the sciences. In addition to accelerating the recruitment of local talent, we also need to reconsider our student visa and immigration policies to attract the world’s smartest students and encourage them to stay. This is only possible if educational institutions are competitive and world class.

Public-private partnerships (PPP): Improving the business environment requires us to build real partnerships between the public and private sectors. This idea of ​​public-private partnerships is central to all the other priorities mentioned. We need to work with each other and not against each other to create a framework for strong and sustainable growth. It is a common thread that runs through countries that are successful in the global economy.

Inclusion and diversity: Diversity is a question of celebration, inclusion is a question of dancing! Whether economic, societal, cultural or gender, inclusion and diversity are areas where lucid policies can lead to sustainable economic growth, helping Africa to ensure balanced and sustainable development. It can also be a source of innovation.

Sustainability: the world needs solutions to tackle big challenges such as energy, climate change, water, food, nature and social issues. Africa’s population is expected to reach 2.4 billion by 2050, which will put pressure on resources. Circular business models will ensure optimal use of available resources and increased productivity throughout the value chain.

The advanced manufacturing plan described here is ambitious. But we have advantages that will help us be successful in this endeavor – advantages that many other nations do not and never will. The continent sits on more than $ 82 trillion in discovered natural resources, with the potential to contribute $ 30 billion annually to government revenues over the next 20 years. Africa also has other natural resources – such as minerals, rivers, forests and fisheries – in large quantities.

However, most regions do not have our wealth of natural resources. Most do not have our intellectual resources, a community of thought leaders and a truly open exchange of ideas, he said.

BY MEHARI BEYENE

THE ETHIOPIAN HERALD SEPTEMBER 3, 2021


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