The U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa launched the first in a series of 12 hackathons under its Ethiopia Hacks! program as part of its annual Global Entrepreneurship Week celebration.
Ethiopia Hacks! is conducted in partnership with the Google Developers Group (GDG- Addis) and the Centre for Accelerated Women’s Economic Empowerment (CAWEE). Each hackathon will challenge young tech developers to identify prototype solutions to challenges in Ethiopia.
The theme of the first hackathon, held at the American Center in Addis Ababa, is entrepreneurship and participants will explore how technology can be used to support innovation and job creation.
By supporting and developing an eco-system that promote entrepreneurship, innovation, and technology, the U.S. Embassy is investing the capacity of Ethiopians to shape their future. U.S. Ambassador Michael Raynor noted, “…as Ethiopia embarks on the hard work of building its brighter future, there will be challenges. But as this competition shows, challenges exist to be solved, and the challenges Ethiopia faces will be solved first and foremost by Ethiopians.”
In total, the Ethiopia Hacks! program will invest in the capacity of 600 tech-savvy youth, who will the opportunity to participate and generate solutions for their communities. Funding is provided jointly by the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
The U.S. government is committed to promoting entrepreneurship in Ethiopia as a means to stimulate local economic growth, open new markets for U.S. companies, and increase global prosperity. The annual Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW), taking place November 12-18, 2018, is designed to celebrate self-starting innovators and connect entrepreneurs to potential collaborators, mentors, and investors. Since its inception in 2008, GEW has fostered the spirit of entrepreneurship globally each November with millions of participants at thousands of events in nearly 170 countries.