Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Review of Ethiopia

UNCTAD Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Reviews (STIP Reviews) are an analytical and policy learning process for a country’s science, technology and innovation (STI) stakeholders to reach a clearer understanding of the key strengths and weaknesses of their innovation systems and identify strategic priorities for its development. The result of this process is documented in the STIP Review document and considered at the United Nations Commission on Science and Technology for Development.

The analysis is based on the Framework for Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Reviews (UNCTAD, 2019). STIP Reviews aim to assist countries to align STI policies with their development strategies while promoting sustainable development and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); build stronger national capacities in STI; assess the National Innovation System and priority sectors and industries; provide recommendations to improve technological capabilities; and encourage innovation.

The reviews make a systematic effort to involve a broad range of stakeholders to build national consensus.

The STIP Review of Ethiopia was prepared at the request of the Government to assist the Ministry of Innovation and Technology in preparing a new STI policy.

Objectives of this report:

  1. To appraise the extent to which rapid economic growth in Ethiopia has contributed to local technological learning and upgrading, and created the necessary conditions for the development of a viable National Innovation System (NIS).

  2. To develop a national STI policy framework that the country needs to implement the SDGs and the national development vision, particularly the export-oriented and manufacturing sector-based industrialization strategy.

At the request of the Government, the STIP Review provides a deep-dive analysis of two sectors that could serve as case studies for understanding the relationship between the national STI policy framework and technical learning and innovation at the sectoral level: apparel and textile for resource-based labour-intensive exports and pharmaceuticals for knowledge-intensive import substitution.

The STIP Review is based on fact-finding missions to Ethiopia, which included interviews with representatives of the Government, the private sector and specialized public institutions, conducted in December 2018 and March 2019, and current relevant data. The missions received the full support of the Ministry of Innovation and Technology and members of the Interministerial Committee established to assist with the STIP Review process, as well as other stakeholders.