Ethiopia to Leverage Digital Innovation in the Fight Against COVID-19 through Ministry of Innovation and Technology and Mastercard Foundation Partnership.
The aunched project will supplement the Government’s efforts 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 the access to information on government actions relating to COVID-19 through an integrated web portal.
This will lead to 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 were 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 further expressed appreciation for 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 on digital innovation for the COVID-19 response and citizens engagement and has received a commitment of approximately $887,000 so far 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 covid.19 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), Ethiopia 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.