ADDIS ABABA, June 12 (Xinhua) -- Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on Wednesday urged Ethiopians to harness the potential of innovation in science and technology so as to drive the country's overall development ambitions.
Ahmed made the remarks during the National Science, Technology and Innovation Award and Recognition event, which was held on Wednesday with an aim to promote the culture of innovation in science and technology in the East African country.
The Ethiopian premier, while presenting the recognition award to this year's winners, stressed the importance of domestic innovations in science and technology to support the government's efforts towards the betterment of Ethiopians.
Ahmed also emphasized the vital role of innovation "in time of critical need as innovators are positioned to solve societal issues."
Noting that "the ultimate achievement of knowledge is to bring society together through the application of positive innovation and technology," Ahmed also encouraged award recipients "to work cohesively towards developing Ethiopia for generations to come."
The award came a day after the Innovation Africa Digital Summit, which brought together some 500 African experts and policymakers in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa from June 10 to 11.
Ethiopian Minister of Innovation and Technology, Getahun Mekuria, during the high-level summit, stressed that the Ethiopian government "wants to make the digital means to create jobs to our citizens and wealth to our country."
African Center for Statistics Director at the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), Oliver Chinganya, also emphasized the role of ICT as a key factor to drive the economic and social development of Africa.
Chinganya also stressed that the digital economy is becoming "one of the main drivers of growth in several African countries," accounting for more than 5 percent of the GDP.
The ECA official noted that with less than 30 percent Africans currently having access to mobile broadband, the continent is "suffering from low mobile broadband."