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Announcement of the 3D Printing Conference and Exhibition
The University of Gondar (UoG)
In partnership with the African Centre for Technology Studies(ACTS), the Ethiopian Biotechnology Institute (EBI) and the Science, Technology and Information Centre (STIC) of the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST) and other partners is pleased to announce
The 1st Digital Manufacturing International Conference and Exhibition in Ethiopia
Theme: The 3D Printing Revolution and Ethiopia’s ‘unfinished agenda’ on Manufacturing
27-28 April 2017
University of Gondar
Ethiopia has made great strides in the development of its manufacturing sector. The IMF describes the Ethiopian manufacturing sector as ‘booming’ and lauds it as a sector that is ‘performing particularly well’. The growth of the sector registered in the 2010-2011 fiscal year was an impressive 18.6%. The sector’s contribution to GDP was 21.7% in 2014 and 15.2% in 2015. These figures are encouraging and indicate that Ethiopia is on the right track in trying to reverse the general trend of decline and stagnation of the sector in Africa - the phenomenon economists call ‘premature de-industrialisation’.
While these are encouraging achievements, the job in Ethiopia is far from ‘finished’. The government’s own assessment as published in its second Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP II) acknowledges that ‘rapid industrialization and visible shift in the structure of the economy remains Ethiopia’s unfinished agenda’. It will indeed remain an ‘unfinished agenda’ not only for the reasons mentioned in the Plan but also due to the fast changing global manufacturing landscape. The digitisation and automation of manufacturing is radically changing the sector with incredible challenges to the economies of rising countries like Ethiopia. These changes also present opportunities for skipping some stages of economic development helping these economies to leapfrog into advanced sustainable manufacturing.
Among the emerging automation technologies that is radically changing global manufacturing is 3D printing - also known as additive/digital manufacturing. 3D Printing is a process for making a physical real world object from a virtual digital model. Items that have already been printed include human body parts, prosthetics, aircraft and automotive parts, medical devices and implants, guns, toys and the list is endless. In principle everything is 3D printable.
The fate of manufacturing in Ethiopia and the rest of the developing world is increasingly tied to emerging technologies, particularly 3D printing that The Economist called ‘the third industrial revolution’. In order to remain economically competitive, Ethiopia should accelerate the process of transitioning to high-value manufacturing by acquiring and developing capabilities in 3D printing technology. The Conference and Exhibition to be hosted by Gondar, the birth place of modern manufacturing in Ethiopia (à la Sebastopol), will examine the state of the technology and the technology readiness that Ethiopia needs to develop. Further details of the Conference and Exhibition will be provided soon.
Invited speakers (to be confirmed)
H.E Dr Eng Getahun Mekuria, State Minister of the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology (MoST)
Dr Desalegn Mengesha, President, University of Gondar
Ato Towelde Gebremedhin, CEO, Ethiopian Airlines
Prof Berhanu Abegaz, Executive Director, African Academy of Sciences
Dr Cosmas Ochieng, Executive Director, African Centre for Technology Studies (ACTS)
Prof Yohanes Teketel, Vice President, AASTU
Prof Bitange Ndemo, University of Nairobi, Kenya’s former Minister for Information and Communication
Prof Godfrey Onwubolu, President, Delta Additive Manufacturing Inc., Ontario, Canada
Mr Fesseha Yetagessu, Managing Director, STIC
Mr Roy Ombati, AB3D, Nairobi, Kenya
Mr Karl Heinze, AB3D, Nairobi, Kenya
Mr. Jean Bakole, UNIDO Representative and Country Director
Dr Solomon Tekle, University of Gondar
Dr Hailemichael T. Demissie, UoG