Agreement Signed to Enhance Inclusion of Refugees, Host Communities in Gig Economy in Ethiopia

Partnership agreement signed between pertinent actors in Ethiopia to enhance the promotion, inclusion and protection of refugees and their host communities in the Gig economy. Ethiopia's Innovation and Technology Minister Belete Mola, International Labour Organization (ILO) country Director for Ethiopia, Djibouti, Somalia, Sudan and South Sudan, Alexio Musindo, Information Technology Park Corporation CEO, Henock Ahmed and Somali Regional State Innovation and Technology Bureau Head, Fatuma Mohamed signed the agreement. The objective is to support Ethiopia's Innovation and Technology Ministry in the development and adoption of a five year digital inclusion strategy that considers the integration of refugees a group that can contribute and benefit from the digital transformation taking place in the country. Speaking during the signing ceremony, Innovation and Technology Minister Belete Mola said the agreement signifies a profound commitment to a future where technology empowers, not excludes, and where refug ees and host communities can thrive together in the digital economy. ''We recognize the transformative power of technology, enshrined in our Digital Ethiopia 2025 Strategy. Yet, we also acknowledge the lingering digital divide that threatens to leave marginalized groups behind, including refugees and vulnerable youth.'' He pledged to continue working hand-in-hand with the ILO to further strengthening the integration of refugee concerns into our national digital inclusion strategies, leveraging the ILO's expertise in promoting decent work and social dialogue in the digital economy, ensuring fair and equitable opportunities for all, exploring new avenues for collaboration, such as supporting the development of digital skills for refugees and host communities in other parts of Ethiopia. ''We believe that by working together, we can build a digital future that is not only prosperous but also inclusive, equitable, and sustainable where technology empowers every individual, regardless of their background or ori gin, to reach their full potential in the Future.' International Labour Organization (ILO) country office Director for Ethiopia Alexio Musindo on his par said ILO supports the Ministry's five -year digital inclusion strategy to integrating refuges, leveraging the prospects initiative. 'As ILO we believe this agreement will enhance the potential of digital economy to generate jobs to foster economic inclusion. Through this partnership, the prospective of refugees will be incorporated into five-year national digital inclusion strategy.' He further said ILO will collaborates with the Information Technology Park Cooperation to offer internship and entry- level jobs for young graduates in the ICT sector and digital economy. ICT hub will also be established in Fafan Zone of Somali Region, providing connectivity, digital skills training, and co-working space to empower refugees and host communities, he added. The partnership agreements will also enhance access to jobs and improved living conditions for refuges and youth in the host communities. The agreement is also expected to promote digital skills development by bridging the digital divide and fostering digital literacy and inclusive digital economy in promoting participation of marginalized groups in the Gig Economy, the Director underscored. The Government of Netherlands will extend financial support for the Implementation of agreements, it was indicated. Source: Ethiopian News Agency