Ethiopia to stage regional Banking and ICT conference

A major continent-wide conference on banking and ICT will be held in the Ethiopian Capital Addis Ababa on 2 August, as the horn of African country emerges as one of the fastest growing economies in the world.

The Ethiopian Banking & ICT Summit 2013, which will highlight technical and business opportunities in the country’s growing ICT sector under the theme “Harnessing Africa’s Digital Future”, has been organised by Cyber Security Africa, a UK-based IT security solutions provider with offices in Kenya

The one-day event will bring together business players from both public and private sectors, including government officials, international organisations and local business leaders, Sammy Kioko, Cyber Security Africa Alliance Manager, said.

It will feature expert speakers from local, regional and international markets. Ethiopia has emerged as one of the continent’s most exciting new markets in the world, being the fastest growing non-energy-based economy on the continent at an average annual rate of 11 percent in recent years.

This optimism is supported by IMF’s projection of Ethiopia as the third fastest growing economy from 2011 through 2015, trailing only China and India. With continued market reforms, global integration, and pro-business reforms, Ethiopia is positioned for many more years of rapid growth.

“Africa's second most populous nation is emerging as an important investment destination,” said Kioko.  “Almost non-existent before 2006, activity has picked up in recent months on the back of government efforts to open the country's economy.”

Investment in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in Ethiopia is considered to be one of the highest in the world, taking into consideration the prevailing poverty levels. Currently, Ethiopia's "committed" investment in ICT accounts for 10 percent of overall GDP, and the government has invested over $14 billion in this sector for over the last decade.

Kioko says such huge investments require banks to understand the opportunities, risks and Security challenges in ICT services and products as they are the biggest consumers of technology. “Likewise, ICT practitioners need to know how they can work with bankers to protect their infrastructure.”

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