Public-Private Partnership Sows the Seeds of Digital Agriculture

Sep 2 , 2023

Nearly one million smallholder farmers across 150 woredas in six regional states foresee digital profiling and capacity-building services as the Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Institute (ATI) and Lersha, a digital agricultural platform signed a three-year agreement last week. Registration, agro-climate advisory and fertiliser recommendations will be given to farmers while enhancement of value chains in several grains including wheat and barley will be the main purpose of the agreement aside from augmenting ATI's farmer hotline service. ATI was established 13 years ago to transform the agricultural sector by working with the private sector and NGOs with funding from USAID and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Mandefro Nigussie (PhD), head of the Institute disclosed the willingness to engage with the private sector to improve service delivery and expand services while the founder of Lersha, Abraham Endrias indicated that there is a low adoption rate of technology in the country albeit expecting improvement after the agreement. Lersha joined the sector three years ago to provide aggregated farming information for both financial institutions and farmers by facilitating easy-to-handle technology. It has provided its services to over 100,000 farmers through 1,007 agents.


DDR Initiative Gets 16m Boost

A 16 million euro initiative to facilitate the disarmament, demobilisation, and reintegration (DDR) of nearly 370,000 ex-combatants was launched last week. Financed by the European Union (EU) the program will be implemented across eight regional states. It is overseen by the National Rehabilitation Commission (NRC), the agreement was signed at the Ministry of Finance's headquarters on King George St. Key figures including Semereta Sewasew, state minister for Finance; Teshome Toga, commissioner...


Central Bank Launches Youth Enterprise Forum

A financial education program targeting youth and Medium & Small Enterprises (MSMEs) was launched by the National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) last week. It aims to equip interested trainees with personal and professional knowledge through experts from banks and microfinance institutions who will provide comprehensive training. The training modules, developed in collaboration with The First Consult and BRIDGE, cover several angles of financial literacy, including deposits, digital financial servic...


ArifPay Takes a Leap with Massive Capital Boost

Shareholders of ArifPay Financial Technologies S.C. have taken a significant stride by resolving to raise the company's paid-up capital to 300 million Br. The decision doubles down from the current 140 million Br marking a substantial increase. ArifPay, was established by 142 shareholders and secured the distinction of being the first payment operator licensed by the National Bank in 2021. CEO Bernard Laurendeau emphasised the critical timing of this capital increase, aligning with the company...