Designed in Ethiopia

Design in Ethiopia | A national electronics and hardware design competition

In partnership with the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology of Ethiopia, Shenzhen Open Innovation Labs (SZOIL), and iCog Labs Software Consultancy.


The first step in winning the future is to encourage innovation in Ethiopia. None of us can know where the spark of the technology of tomorrow will happen, where new jobs will arise from, which country will be the leader in innovation of the next era. Thirty years ago, nobody could tell that something like the Internet would lead to an economic revolution.

We are limited in our understanding of the link between individual creativity, technology-based entrepreneurship, and economic prosperity. To what extent are innovation and entrepreneurship act as driver forces of economic prosperity? Can imagination and creativity be sparked in ways that lead to innovation and entrepreneurship? Who are the benefactors of technological innovation and entrepreneurial activity? What accounts for the dramatic regional variation in rates and types of entrepreneurship and innovation? Are new firms and new industries the best providers of sustainable jobs? These are some of the important questions for policymakers, investors, educators, and scholars. The science of Emerging Technologies and the Open Innovation Model can answer these questions.


In general, the country’s vision is “to see Ethiopia become a country where a democratic rule, good governance, and social justice reigns upon the involvement and free-will of its peoples, and once extricating itself from poverty and transform to a middle-income economy as of 2020-2023.”

In particular, this project’s vision is:
To make Ethiopia a regional Center for Innovation, Design, and Prototyping of Electronics in East Africa by the year 2020.


To enhance technology development and build feasible hardware production environment by creating a platform for innovation, design, prototyping, and adaptation of effective technology based on local resource.


  • Empowering the youth of Ethiopia to design and manufacture electronic goods in Ethiopia
  • Introducing products of innovative electronic gadgets designed and made in Ethiopia to the local market (Made by Ethiopians for Ethiopians)
  • Introducing the concept of rapid prototyping
  • Creating expedience market environment for innovative technology
  • Getting experience for technology creation and development
  • Enhancing the skill of entrepreneurs in innovation area
  • Adopting the Shenzhen Open Innovation Model to the existing Ethiopian Economy and Industrialization progress


  • Online and offline registration for anyone with a hardware design or detailed hardware project idea
  • 200 teams will strive for the final round after the first screening phase
  • International experts will train the top 50 contestants the practical skills of rapid prototyping
  • Opportunities to mass manufacture the top10 best projects in Shenzhen