On December 5, 2019, the Capacity Development Support Facility (CDSF), in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture, the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and the Agricultural Growth Program (AGP) hosted an innovative event focused on digital learning in Agriculture.

Building on the momentum generated at an event held earlier in the year, which focused on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the Agricultural Extension System, this one-day symposium and trade fair further targeted the conversation around technologies that can directly support capacity development activities, such as training.

Ethiopia is in the midst of a digital transformation, which the government is leveraging to support broader development goals. “The Ministry of Agriculture has recognized the value and opportunity created by ICT solutions to support growth and development for the Ethiopian Agricultural sector. In particular, the extension system has highlighted the significance of ICT solutions by making it one of the pillars of the new extension strategy,” said Ato Abdulsemed Abdu in his opening remarks.

Bringing together key-decision makers and actors in the agricultural sector, the program included presentations from ICT companies about their products and services, case studies from organizations that had implemented some type of digital capacity building program, and a panel discussion with key experts about the future of digital learning in Ethiopian agriculture.

Over a hundred people from the government, donor organizations, and the public and private sectors attended the event. Following the symposium program, ICT vendors showcased their products and services in a Trade Fair. Attendees were able to speak one-on-one with the developers, implementers, and innovators in the ICT space while networking with fellow participants.

“These types of events are so important,” said Sarah Assefa from AgriProFocus. “There is so much interesting work going on in this space, we need to come together to share our ideas and see what others are doing.”