The U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa is sponsoring a nationwide innovation competition, “Solve IT!” for Ethiopian youth. “Solve IT!” promotes STEM, entrepreneurship and encourages a new generation of young Ethiopians to solve problems in their communities using technology, software and hardware. The competition is implemented by the U.S. Embassy in collaboration with partners iCog Labs and Humanity plus.
Solve IT! will involve nine city hubs in seven regional states and two city administrations: Addis Ababa, Dire Dawa, Jimma, Bahir Dar, Mekelle, Gambela, Semera, Hawassa and Jigjiga are the selected cities.
Ethiopians, between the ages of 18 and 28, will work for nine months to develop products that they believe will tackle key problems faced by their communities through developing mobile phone applications to hardware solutions. Training will be given in nine cities, including product development, technical support, marketing and business planning. Winners at the regional level will advance to the National Round, a week-long competition with elimination rounds and presentations before a jury of industry experts.