Africa Middle East TechConsumer spending on technology in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) is forecast to total $130.8 billion this year, a year-on-year increase of 4.1%.

According to the latest Worldwide Semiannual Connected Consumer Spending Guide  from International Data Corporation (IDC), consumer purchases of traditional and emerging technologies will remain strong over the 2019–2023 forecast period, increasing at a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.5% to reach $149.4 billion in 2023.

86.3% of all consumer technology spending in 2019 will be on traditional technologies such as mobile phones, personal computing devices, and mobile telecom services. Mobile telecom services (voice and data) will account for 68.7% of this amount, followed by mobile phones which will account for 26.6%. Spending growth for traditional technologies will be relatively slow, with a CAGR of 2.4% for the 2019–2023 forecast period.

“Faster connectivity, combined with declining data service costs from telecom service providers and the need for end users to use telecom services for an increasing number of devices, will ensure that consumer spending on traditional technologies will continue to grow,” says Fouad Charakla, IDC’s senior research manager for client devices in the Middle East, Turkey, and Africa.

Emerging technologies, including AR/VR headsets, drones, on-demand services, robotic systems, smart home devices, and wearables, will deliver strong growth with a five-year CAGR of 10.2%. This growth will see emerging technologies account for 17.1% of overall consumer spending in 2023, up from 13.7% in 2019. Smart home devices and on-demand services will account for around 93% of consumer spending on emerging technologies by the end of the forecast period.

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Ethio Saudi BusinessThe Ethio-Saudi Business Forum has been held in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa today.

The Forum which aims to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) and promote business networking was attended by high level Ethiopian and Saudi officials as well as more than 150 business persons,

The Saudi Arabian Government and business delegation led by Minister of State for African Affairs Ahmed bin Abdul Aziz Qattan arrived in Addis Ababa on Sunday.

In his opening remarks, Dr Aklilu Hailemichael, Ethiopia’s State Minister of Foreign Affairs, said such kinds of events are necessary to further cement the age-long and historical ties between the peoples of the two countries.

Stating that Ethiopia has attached great attention to FDI, he said, close to 229 Saudi investors are currently engaged in investment in the nation, adding more works need to be done to increase the trade balance between the two countries, which currently stands in favor of Saudi.

The State Minister further invited more Saudi investors to investment in sectors which the Government has given priority, such as agriculture, agro-processing, tourism, mineral exploration and ICT.

Ahmed bin Abdul Aziz Qattan said Saudi Arabia is now ready more than ever before to further strengthen its historical, cultural and social relations with Ethiopia.

The reform being undertaken by Prime Minister Dr Abiy Ahmed would help attract more investors from Saudi Arabia, he added.

During the forum, the delegation was briefed about Ethiopia’s immense business and investment opportunities.

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Alibaba GroupChina’s internet giant Alibaba Group, signed a memorandum of understanding with Ethiopian officials to help Ethiopia launch its first eWTP (electronic world trade platform) Hub, the second in Africa After Rwanda.

At a ceremony held this morning and attended by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Dr. Getahun Mekuria, Minister of Innovation and Technology, Jack Ma, Founder of Jack Ma Foundation and Partner of Alibaba Group, Eric Jing, Alibaba Group Director and Financial Services Group Chairman & CEO, as well as Takele Uma, Addis Abeba deputy mayor, among others, representatives of Alibaba Group and Dr. Getahun signed the MoU at Ethiopia’s ICT Park, located in Goro road in Addis Abeba.

The establishment of eWTP hub in Ethiopia is primarily aimed at enabling Ethiopia to provide smart logistics and services, conduct cross-border trades targeting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) by helping them penetrate markets in China and other parts of the world, as well as serve as a center of excellence in training young entrepreneurs, among others.

Speaking shortly after the signing of the MoU, PM Abiy remarked that “Electronic trade platform is part of Ethiopia’s technological development [and is] “a step forward to making Ethiopia among the five economic giants of Africa within the coming decade. It also expands the horizon for small and medium enterprises.”

Getahun Mekuria on his part said that “this engagement will greatly contribute to trade facilitation and open markets to SMEs not only in Ethiopia but in the wider region.” It is “an important step in the development of a digital economy in Ethiopia.”

“It is an honor to partner with the government of Ethiopian to establish the Electronic World Trade platform Ethiopia Hub” said Eric Jing, adding “We will continue to support the creation of a more inclusive. Digitally –enabled global economy, where small businesses can participate in global trade. We look forward to working together with entrepreneurs and SMEs from Ethiopia and other African nations to seize the opportunities provided by the digital era”


Africa China PartnershipChina remains one of the strategic development partners for structural transformation in Africa, the African Union Commission (AUC) said.

A two-day conference on China and Africa is underway in Addis Ababa to enhance the development cooperation between the two sides.

In his opening speech, Special Adviser to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, Arkebe Oqubay said China is a ‘pragmatic and strategic development friend’ for African countries.

Noting that China is among the economies that grow fast, Arkebe said the country’s development experience is exemplary for Africa’s aspiration towards economic transformation.

Africa has been registering a 4.6 percent development over the last few years; however, Arkebe said the economy is suffering from lack of diversification. “It is the major bottleneck for having structural economic transformation in our continent.”

Arkebe urged the need for African countries to work on diversifying products to realize economic transformation.

Speaking to ENA Albert M. Muchanga, Commissioner for Trade and Industry at AUC said “great lesson can be learned from China that can lead into economic transformation in Africa.”

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Ethio GermanThe Ethio-German business forum has opened in Addis Ababa drawing more than 100 business people from the two countries. The Business Forum was aimed at strengthening business-to-business relations and creating a platform to consult on knowledge and technology transfer possibilities between the two countries, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Speaking at the opening of the forum, Minister of Innovation and Technology, Dr. Ing. Getahun Mekuria said Ethiopia and Germany need to further strengthen their relationship in investments that facilitate knowledge and technology transfer. Noting that over 69% of the Ethiopian population is under the age of 30 which can easily be trainable, the Minister called on companies in the German state of Baden-Wuerttemberg to invest in sectors that have vast potential to create jobs, and utilize technology for productivity too. Highlighting Baden-Wuerttemberg’s reputation as the leader of creative work in Europe, Dr. Nicole Hoffmeister-Kraut, Economic Affairs Minister of the German state of Baden-Wuerttemberg, underscored the mutual benefits of working closely with Ethiopia. In a statement before leaving Germany, Dr. Hoffmeister-Kraut who came to Ethiopia leading a 35-member delegation of companies and chamber organisations, said she “saw Ethiopia on a good path to becoming a hub for the economic development of East Africa in the future.” At the occasion, Ambassador Dewano Kedir, Permanent Secretary of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, also pointed out the factors that make Ethiopia the best choice for investment, trade and tourism from other countries.