South Sudan Women’s Right Activist Wins Amnesty International Award

Riya William Yuyada is seen in a photo posted Aug. 21, 2021, on her Twitter (@theonlyriya1)

A South Sudan women’s rights activist has been named one of three winners of an award given by Amnesty International USA recognizing women who the group says “protect the dignity, liberties and lives of women and children in crisis regions.”

Riya William Yuyada, executive director of Crown the Women-South Sudan, was honored for her commitment to women’s safety, equality and empowerment in South Sudan.

Named for an Italian-born American human rights activist who spent years defending women unfairly persecuted by oppressive governments, the annual Ginetta Sagan Award comes with a grant of $20,000.

Norma Andrade, a human right defender in Mexico who works with mothers of slain daughters, and Naw K’nyaw Paw, who helps displaced women and girls in Thai refugee camps, were co-winners, Amnesty told VOA.

Yuyada told South Sudan in Focus that she accepted the award on behalf of women and girl activists in South Sudan.

“I feel excited, and I must say it is not just an award recognizing Riya for her outstanding work toward the fight for women’s rights, but also an award for all the South Sudan women who are working hard for better [conditions] and all the girls and women that I work with,” Yuyada told VOA.

Crown the Women-South Sudan has carried out mentorships in 10 schools in Juba to inspire girls to stay focused in school and to promote girls’ education.

The largest group of out-of-school children in South Sudan are girls, according to the UNICEF. Poverty, child marriage, and cultural and religious beliefs hinder girls’ education.

Yuyada’s group also links older South Sudanese women as mentors with younger women struggling to overcome challenges.

Yuyada plans to use some of the $20,000 award money to build a healing center for survivors of rape and other gender-based violence in South Sudan.

“My dream has always been to have a healing studio or healing center for survivors of sexual violence, especially survivors of rape,” she said. “So, I will acquire a piece of land with it and then see what follows next.”

Yuyada said the recognition from the award will pave the way for her to connect with the two other women who have won the Sagan award.

“We are three this year uniquely, so I believe this award is going to help me tap into the network of Sagan’s family … to amplify further issues on women and girls’ human rights here in South Sudan and [across] the continent,” Yuyada said.

https://www.voanews.com/a/south-sudan-women-right-activist-wins-amnesty-international-award/6269607.html

Ancient ritual tools unearthed in Pharaonic site in northern Egypt

By XINHUA

(210918) — KAFR EL-SHEIKH (EGYPT), Sept. 18, 2021 (Xinhua) — Undated photo shows a limestone lintel with hieroglyphic texts unearthed at a temple site in Kafr el-Sheikh province, Egypt.  (Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities/Handout via Xinhua)

Egyptian archaeologists unearthed ancient tools once used in religious rituals at a temple site in Kafr el-Sheikh province north of the capital Cairo, said the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities in a statement on Saturday.

The discovered objects include part of a limestone pillar in the form of goddess Hathor, a group of faience incense burners, a set of clay pots, a collection of statuettes, a purely golden Udjat eye, and remains of golden scales.

“It is one of the important discoveries because it includes the tools that were actually used in performing the daily religious rituals for goddess Hathor,” said Mostafa Waziri, head of the ministry’s Supreme Council of Antiquities.

They also unearthed ivory reliefs depicting daily life including women carrying offerings, as well as plants, birds, and animals, in addition to a large limestone lintel with hieroglyphic texts and part of a painting of a king performing rituals in the temple, according to Ayman Ashmawy, head of Ancient Egyptian Antiquities Sector at the ministry.

Ashmawy added that they found hieroglyphic inscriptions bearing names and titles of Ancient Egyptian kings dating back to over 2,500 years ago.

For his part, Hossam Ghoneim, director-general of Kafr el-Sheikh antiquities and head of the archeological mission, said that a large limestone well and a mud-brick bath were also discovered.

Merck Foundation CEO Champions “Fashion With Purpose” to Break Infertility Stigma

By News Desk

Merck Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany conducted an award ceremony to felicitate and celebrate the winners of ‘Merck Foundation More Than a Mother’ FASHION AWARDS 2020. The awards were announced in partnership with the African First Ladies, also the Ambassadors of Merck Foundation More Than a Mother.

Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation and President of Merck Foundation More Than a Mother expressed, “I am very happy and proud to meet our winners of the Merck Foundation More Than a Mother Fashion Awards 2020 and welcome them to our newly established ‘Fashion with Purpose’ community. I am impressed with their designs that deliver strong and influential messages to empower infertile women and say ‘No to Infertility Stigma’, via sensitizing our communities.”

During the Award Ceremony, Merck Foundation CEO advised the winners, the young African Designers on how their respective designs can be created and executed to open a dialogue and create the culture shift desired.

The Videoconference was also attended by past winners of Merck Foundation More Than a Mother Fashion Awards. It was also attended by Fashion designers & students and media representatives across Africa. 

“My vision is to develop a community of young African Fashion Designers in order to catalyze a movement, that reaches and extends far beyond just fashion, and creates a culture shift and be the voice of the voiceless in their communities.

Fashion industry has already got enough flakes for being superficial. Let’s change this perception and create a meaningful fashion trend aiming to educate our communities. I love fashion and I strongly believe that designers can make designs for Men and Women that they would be proud to wear to show their contribution toward their communities, villages, and cities across Africa,” added Senator Dr. Rasha Kelej.

As a part of the awards, Merck Foundation has provided the winners with a one-year access to an online educational training program called “MasterClass” which is an immersive online experience and self-paced learning course that can be accessed anywhere with the Internet and offers online courses in many areas such as: art of designing, fashion, photography, lifestyle, discovering your inner voice and many other areas of Media, Film making and storytelling etc. 

“I am very excited to be a part of the ‘Fashion with a Purpose’ community in Africa, led by Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej. She is a true fashion icon, who has a unique style. It was an absolute honour to meet her and be mentored by her. Thanks to Merck Foundation for involving us in such important campaign,” emphasized Joel Musasa, Merck Foundation More Than a Mother Fashion Awards 2020 winner from Namibia.

Egypt opens south tomb of King Djoser after restoration

By XINHUA

The oldest standing step pyramid in Egypt, designed by Imhotep for King Djoser, is located in Saqqara, an ancient burial ground 30 km south of modern-day Cairo.

Egyptian Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Khaled al-Anany on Monday opened the south tomb of King Djoser in Saqqara necropolis near the capital Cairo, the ministry said in a statement.

The south tomb is located at the southwestern corner of the King Djoser funeral complex dating to the Third Dynasty, Old Kingdom period, said Mostafa Waziri, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities.

“This magnificent complex is the oldest stone building of the ancient world and it was named the ‘Southern Tomb’ following its discovery by the English archaeologist Cecil Mallaby Firth in 1928,” he said.

“The tomb is composed of an upper level in the form of a rectangular stone building. Its walls are decorated with a series of stone sockets in the form of entrances and exits, crowned by a frieze of cobra heads that symbolize protection and power,” Waziri added.

Meanwhile, the lower level of the tomb represents an entrance towards a ramp leading to the burial chamber, which is located at the bottom of a great shaft with a depth of approximately 31 meters, including a huge sarcophagus made of pink granite and a well.

He added that the well and the sarcophagus are similar to those inside the Step Pyramid.

The restoration process started in 2006 and involved conservation and restoration work of the lower corridors, strengthening the walls and ceilings, complete the interior inscriptions in the tomb as reassembling the granite sarcophagus, according to Waziri.

The tomb opens to the public on Tuesday.

Merck Foundation CEO Champions “Fashion With Purpose” Community Who Are Their Fashion Award Winners to Break Infertility Stigma

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is jhgjhjjh.jpg

Mumbai, Maharashtra, India & Windhoek, Namibia– Business Wire India

• 21 Winners of Merck Foundation More Than a Mother Fashion Awards 2020 from Ghana, Namibia and Zambia were celebrated during the ceremony.

• 2 New fashion awards 2021 were announced by Merck Foundation in partnership with African First Ladies.

Merck Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany conducted an award ceremony to felicitate and celebrate the winners of ‘Merck Foundation More Than a Mother’ FASHION AWARDS 2020. The awards were announced in partnership with the African First Ladies, also the Ambassadors of Merck Foundation More Than a Mother.

Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation and President of Merck Foundation More Than a Mother expressed, “I am very happy and proud to meet our winners of the Merck Foundation More Than a Mother Fashion Awards 2020 and welcome them to our newly established ‘Fashion with Purpose’ community. I am impressed with their designs that deliver strong and influential messages to empower infertile women and say ‘No to Infertility Stigma’, via sensitizing our communities.”

During the Award Ceremony, Merck Foundation CEO advised the winners, the young African Designers on how their respective designs can be created and executed to open a dialogue and create the culture shift desired.

The Videoconference was also attended by past winners of Merck Foundation More Than a Mother Fashion Awards. It was also attended by Fashion designers & students and media representatives across Africa.

“My vision is to develop a community of young African Fashion Designers in order to catalyze a movement, that reaches and extends far beyond just fashion, and creates a culture shift and be the voice of the voiceless in their communities.

Fashion industry has already got enough flakes for being superficial. Let’s change this perception and create a meaningful fashion trend aiming to educate our communities. I love fashion and I strongly believe that designers can make designs for Men and Women that they would be proud to wear to show their contribution toward their communities, villages, and cities across Africa,” added Senator Dr. Rasha Kelej.

As a part of the awards, Merck Foundation has provided the winners with a one-year access to an online educational training program called “MasterClass” which is an immersive online experience and self-paced learning course that can be accessed anywhere with the Internet and offers online courses in many areas such as: art of designing, fashion, photography, lifestyle, discovering your inner voice and many other areas of Media, Film making and storytelling etc.

“I am very excited to be a part of the ‘Fashion with a Purpose’ community in Africa, led by Senator, Dr. Rasha Kelej. She is a true fashion icon, who has a unique style. It was an absolute honour to meet her and be mentored by her. Thanks to Merck Foundation for involving us in such important campaign,” emphasized Joel Musasa, Merck Foundation More Than a Mother Fashion Awards 2020 winner from Namibia.

During the Award Ceremony, Senator Dr. Rasha Kelej also announced Call for Applications for their annual competitions for the best design that carries messages to address sensitive social and health issues. The two awards launched for the year 2021, for African Fashion Designer community are:

1. Merck Foundation Fashion Awards “More Than a Mother” 2021: All African Fashion Students and Designers are invited to create and share designs to deliver strong and influential messages to raise awareness about Infertility Prevention, Breaking Infertility stigma, and/or Empowering Girls and Women through Education.

Submission deadline: 30th October 2021. Click here to view more details.

2. Merck Foundation “Make Your Own Mask” Fashion Awards 2021: All African Fashion Designers and Students are invited to create and share designs of masks and other clothing items that carry messages to encourage people to wear masks to show they care and at the same time make it creative and fun!

Submission deadline: 30th October 2021. Click here to view more details.

List of Award Winners of Merck Foundation More Than A Mother FASHION Awards 2020:

Winners from Ghana in partnership with H.E. REBECCA AKUFO-ADDO, The First Lady of Ghana and Ambassador of Merck Foundation More Than a Mother.

GHANA

1. Leticia Ashie Owusu

2. Gifty Amonu Essel

3. Kizito Ronald Jr

4. Placid Leke

5. Anuja Bharti

6. Paul Akrofie

7. Desmond Nhyira Amankonah

Winners from Namibia in partnership with H.E. MONICA GEINGOS, The First Lady of Namibia and Ambassador of Merck Foundation More Than a Mother.

NAMIBIA

1. Linrico Humphries

2. Stephany-Lee Schmidt (Libi)

3. Aina Shigwedha

4. Hope Gowera

5. Joel Musasa

6. Eugenia Benard

7. Paulton Luciano Witbooi

Winners from Zambia in partnership with H.E. ESTHER LUNGU, The First Former Lady of Zambia and Ambassador of Merck Foundation More Than a Mother.

ZAMBIA

1. Nelly Banda

2. Ruth Chimbala

3. Cecilia Njobvu

4. Linda Ngwira

5. Naomi Soko

6. Gibstar Makangila

7. Kasonde Makangila

About ‘Merck Foundation More Than a Mother’ campaign

“Merck Foundation More Than a Mother” is a strong movement that aims to empower infertile women through access to information, education and change of mind-sets. This powerful campaign supports governments in defining policies to enhance access to regulated, safe, effective and equitable fertility care solutions. It defines interventions to break the stigma around infertile women and raises awareness about infertility prevention, management and male infertility. In partnership with African First Ladies, Ministries of Health, Information, Education & Gender, academia, policymakers, International fertility societies, media and art, the initiative also provides training for fertility specialists and embryologists to build and advance fertility care capacity in Africa and developing countries.

With “Merck Foundation More Than a Mother”, we have initiated a cultural shift to de-stigmatize infertility at all levels: By improving awareness, training local experts in the fields of fertility care and media, building advocacy in cooperation with African First Ladies and women leaders and by supporting childless women in starting their own small businesses. It’s all about giving every woman the respect and the help she deserves to live a fulfilling life, with or without a child.

The Ambassadors of “Merck Foundation More Than a Mother” are:

H.E. NEO JANE MASISI,

The First Lady of Botswana

H.E. DENISE NYAKERU TSHISEKEDI, THE First Lady of Democratic Republic of Congo

H.E. ISAURA FERRÃO NYUSI, The First Lady of Mozambique

H.E. SIKA KABORE, The First Lady of Burkina Faso

H.E. FATOUMATTA BAH-BARROW, The First Lady of The Gambia

H.E. MONICA GEINGOS, The First Lady of Namibia

H.E. ANGELINE NDAYISHIMIYE,

The First Lady of Burundi

H.E. REBECCA AKUFO-ADDO, The First Lady of Ghana

H.E. AISHA BUHARI, The First Lady of Nigeria

H.E. BRIGITTE TOUADERA, The First Lady of Central African Republic

H.E. CLAR WEAH, The First Lady of Liberia

H.E FATIMA MAADA BIO, The First Lady of Sierra Leone

H.E. ANTOINETTE SASSOU-NGUESSO, The First Lady of Congo Brazzaville

H.E. MONICA CHAKWERA, The First Lady of Malawi

H.E. AUXILLIA MNANGAGWA, The First Lady of Zimbabwe

The Former First Lady of Burundi, H.E DENISE NKURUNZIZA, The Former First Lady of Chad, H.E. HINDA DÉBY ITNO, The Former First Lady of Malawi, H.E. PROFESSOR GERTRUDE MUTHARIKA, The Former First Lady of Niger, H.E AÏSSATA ISSOUFOU MAHAMADOU and The Former First Lady of Zambia, H.E. ESTHER LUNGU, The Former First Lady of Guinea Conakry, H.E. CONDÉ DJENE have worked successfully with Merck Foundation as Merck Foundation More Than a Mother Ambassadors to break the stigma of infertility and empower infertile women in their countries.

Merck Foundation launched new innovative initiatives to sensitize local communities about infertility prevention, male infertility with the aim to break the stigma of infertility and empowering infertile women as part of Merck Foundation More than a Mother COMMUNITY AWARENESS CAMPAIGN, such as;

• ‘Merck Foundation More than a Mother’ Africa Media Recognition Awards and Health Media Training

• ‘Merck Foundation More than a Mother’ Fashion Awards

• ‘Merck Foundation More than a Mother’ Film Awards

• ‘Merck Foundation More than a Mother’ Song Awards

• Local songs with local artists to address the cultural perception of infertility and how to change it

• Children storybook, localized for each country

Click on the link below to Download Merck Foundation App

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=de.merck.foundation&hl=en

Join the conversation on our social media platforms below and let your voice be heard

Facebook: Merck Foundation

Twitter: @Merckfoundation

YouTube: MerckFoundation

Instagram: Merck Foundation

Flickr: Merck Foundation

Website: www.merck-foundation.com


Ancient pharaonic boat taken to Egypt’s grand new museum

By AFP

Grand Egyptian Museum received the first ship of King Khufu, 48 hours after the start of the process of moving it from its display in the pyramid antiquities area to the Grand Egyptian Museum. (Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities/Twitter)

Egypt has transported Pharaoh Khufu’s intact solar boat dating back some 4,600 years to the country’s soon-to-be-unveiled grand museum, the antiquities ministry said on Saturday.

Solar boats were buried in pits next to royal burial chambers in the belief that they would transport the departed into the afterlife.

Cairo’s Great Pyramid also known as the Pyramid of Cheops is the largest of the three Giza pyramids and houses Khufu’s tomb.

“After crossing the streets of Giza on a smart vehicle, the first boat of King Khufu discovered in 1954 at the southern corner of the Great Pyramid has terminated its long journey to the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM),” a ministry statement said.

The boat was commissioned by Khufu, a Fourth Dynasty monarch who ruled during the Old Kingdom.

The ministry boasted that the 42-meter (138-foot) long and 20-tonne solar boat is “the biggest and oldest organic artifact made of wood, in the history of humanity”.

Its journey on a special remote-controlled vehicle imported from Belgium began late on Friday and took 10 hours, the official MENA news agency reported.

Egypt has touted the anticipated opening of the GEM at the Giza plateau, home to the famed pyramids, as an important archaeological landmark housing its most precious antiquities.

The vessel was transported intact on its 7.5-kilometer journey and is set to be one of the star exhibits when the new museum opens.

It had been on display near the Great Pyramid.

Egypt has pinned its hopes on a series of recent archaeological discoveries to revive its vital but ailing tourism sector which has suffered multiple shocks, from the 2011 uprising to today’s coronavirus pandemic.

In April, authorities moved the mummified remains of 22 pharaohs from Cairo’s iconic Egyptian Museum in a grandiose ceremony to the National Museum of Egyptian Civilisation in the city.

In a carefully choreographed televised event, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi greeted the coffins that included the mummies of Ramses II and Queen Hatshepsut.

Egypt unearths large pottery workshop of Greco-Roman era

By XINHUA

Undated photo provided by the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities shows artefacts discovered in a catacomb unearthed in Ismailia, Egypt. Egyptian archeological mission discovered a multi-storey catacomb dating back to the Greco-Roman era in Ismailia province. (Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities/Handout via Xinhua)

The Egyptian archeological mission on Tuesday discovered the remains of a large pottery workshop dating from the Greco-Roman era in Beheira Province north of the capital Cairo.

“The workshop that began in the third century BC and lasted until the first century AD contains ancient buildings, clay-mixing tools, rooms for the formation of pots, drying machines, and incinerators,” said Mostafa Waziri, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities of Egypt.

Ayman Ashmawy, head of Ancient Egyptian Antiquities Sector at the Ministry of Antiquities, said the discovered incinerators have updraft kilns built of red bricks and are surrounded by mud bricks to bear the pressure of burning.

The mission also unveiled a residential complex of houses made of mud bricks that contain daily used cooper-made pots, food warehouses, some bronze coins as well as some tombs and skeletons, according to Ashmawy.

Feature: Recycling creating income opportunities in Zambia

By XINHUA

As recycling becomes a global trend, a growing number of people in Zambia are creating income on products they are making from pre-used items.

Florence Chileshe makes handbags from plastic carrier bags in Lusaka, Zambia, on June 14, 2021. As recycling becomes a global trend, a growing number of people in Zambia are creating income on products they are making from pre-used items. (Photo by Lillian Banda/Xinhua)

While many are only beginning to appreciate the economic rewards of recycling, 40-year-old Florence Chileshe, a resident of Lusaka, the capital of Zambia, has benefited substantially from selling custom-made handbags, purses as well as pouches for phones using used plastic carrier bags.

Aside from a few local clients, Chileshe, a widow with four children, boasts of a large number of local and international customers many of whom purchase her products through a woman’s cooperative she belongs to.

“I earn more from handbags which cost between 200 and 500 Zambian Kwacha (approximately 9 and 22 U.S. dollars) apiece. This is something that I have been doing for over 10 years and it has enabled me to provide for all of my children’s needs,” she said.

Another Lusaka-based recycling enthusiast Jessy Zulu-Kamuyuwa, is among a growing number of individuals that are maximizing opportunities presented by an array of recyclable products.

Zulu-Kamuyuwa, aged 37, collects used wine bottles, old vehicle tires and towels fabrics from which she makes ornaments and seats among other things, something that she has been doing for close to two years now.

“I make flower pots using old bath towels. I also make coffee tables and lounge seats using old vehicle tires. And I use old wine bottles to make decor,” she explained.

She also revealed that she earns some substantial income from the said items whose prices vary but range from 100 to 1,000 Zambian Kwacha, with lounge chairs costing more than the rest of the items.

Apart from making and selling products made from pre-used items, Zulu-Kamuyuwa also actively participates in raising awareness about environmental sustainability activities in her community.

And 18-year-old Marthar Phiri of Kalingalinga compound in Lusaka who at the time of speaking to her had just learned how to make necklaces, earrings and wristbands using old hardcopy newspapers and magazines said recycling ventures can help to reduce unemployment levels among young people in Zambia.

Marthar Phiri shows necklaces she made from old hard copy newspapers and magazines in Lusaka, Zambia, on June 14, 2021. As recycling becomes a global trend, a growing number of people in Zambia are creating income on products they are making from pre-used items. (Photo by Lillian Banda/Xinhua)

Recycling is said to be a key component of modern waste reduction and is the third component of the “Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle” waste hierarchy.

It can prevent the waste of potentially useful materials and reduce the consumption of fresh raw materials, thereby reducing energy usage, air pollution from burning waste, and water contamination through landfills and improper waste disposal.

Experts note that recycling, if properly managed, can not only help to rid communities of waste materials but also provide alternative employment opportunities.

Tanzania to offer alternative education for school dropouts including pregnant girls- Official

By Reuters


Secondary school drop-outs in Tanzania will be offered the opportunity to resume studies in alternative colleges, the government said on Tuesday, part of a shift away from a disputed policy under which pregnant girls were expelled from school.

Such expulsions had increased under the tenure of maverick President John Magufuli, who died in March, according to rights groups who accused his government of discriminating against female students based on a policy that dated back to 1961.

“We are offering an alternative path to education to all children who missed their education for any reason, including those girls who got pregnant while in school, through our Folk Development Colleges (FDCs),” Leonard Akwilapo, a senior official at the Ministry of Education, told Reuters by phone.

New President Samia Suluhu Hassan, who was Magufuli’s deputy, has acted quickly to reverse some of his most controversial policies including his dismissal of the COVID-19 pandemic as a supposed hoax and conspiracy.

Last month, she stressed the importance of Tanzanians wearing face masks against the virus. Last week, the World Health Organisation said Tanzania was working to join the COVAX global vaccine-sharing facility, which Magufuli boycotted.

Tanzania is one of only four African nations that have not begun vaccinating their people against COVID-19.

Regarding the new schools policy, Akwilapo said the education ministry wants all 54 of its FDC colleges to be able by January next year to provide secondary education to former school dropouts keen to resume their studies.

He said the move was part of Tanzania’s implementation of a $500 million World Bank project launched last year that aims to broaden access to education.

Around 5,500 girls drop out of school per year in Tanzania due to pregnancy, according to the World Bank.

Asked when pregnant girls who were forced to drop out will be allowed to return to mainstream schools, Akwilapo said a decision will be announced after an analysis is completed. He did not say how long the analysis would take.

The World Bank said it had dedicated two-thirds of the project’s funds to better and safer learning environments for girls who face greater barriers to learning than boys in many developing countries.

Huawei eyes nurturing aspiring young Ethiopian tech talent

By XINHUA

VCG

Chinese tech giant Huawei is eyeing nurturing aspiring young Ethiopian technology talent, said Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Ji Hui at Huawei Northern Africa region, Wednesday.

Speaking exclusively to Xinhua, Ji said Huawei is nurturing Ethiopian tech talent that can add value to the east African country’s economy through innovative technology solutions.

Ji was speaking on the sidelines of the sixth Global Huawei ICT competition Ethiopia edition, which annually brings the brightest brains and most innovative ideas from across Ethiopia and the wider globe.

The winners among 170,000 student participants from more than 40 countries around the world will have the opportunity to represent their country in the 2022 Huawei ICT competition global finals.

The Huawei ICT young talent program is part of the Chinese tech giant’s global Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities.

“This is the third round of competition for Ethiopia. This is the first year we introduced the innovation track, previously we cared more about the knowledge competition, but this year we added more elements of innovation, basically what you can do to add value to the economy and to the ICT industry,” Ji told Xinhua. “We’ve previously sent more than 30 students from Ethiopia to China for two-week training programs, to help turn their technological ideas into realities.”

Ji praised the increasing presence of young Ethiopian women aspirants in Huawei’s annual ICT competition.

The CFO for Huawei Northern Africa region also disclosed the Chinese tech giant is committed to deepening its involvement in Ethiopia’s ICT sector, now that Ethiopia has started to liberalize its telecom sector.

“The Ethiopian government can help the economy to have more growth momentum besides traditional ways of boosting growth,” Ji said. “The Ethiopia Ministry of Finance recent granting of a new license to telecom operators will boost the number of private ICT firms in the east African country which has a large young population and is also a huge marketplace.”

On Saturday, Ethiopia awarded the country’s first telecom license to a Vodacom Group Consortium which had offered 850 million U.S. dollars license fee.

Ethiopia’s telecom industry is considered as a huge untapped market, as the east African country has the second highest number of population in Africa, only surpassed by Nigeria.

Ethiopia is also undertaking extensive telecom modernization services with the help of Chinese firms as part of the east African country’s aim of realizing digital inclusion and boosting the size of its digital economy, with the provision of reliable, high band-width and high-speed telecom services.