Ethiopia: The Digital Match Making Platform for Investments into Tourism and Conservation

The Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Authority (EWCA) has embraced private sector investments in protected areas. Through the GIZ BFP III program, a Digital Match-Making Platform is being developed.


The digital match-making plat-form aims to provide information to potential investors who are interested in conservation-related investment opportunities in Ethiopian protected areas. Using the platform as a business engine, it aims to connect private partners with the desired business interests and services of EWCA and the protected areas.

The Digital Agriculture Readiness Index for Africa DAgRI

A situation analysis of the digital agriculture sector across AU member states was conducted using data from various official sources (such as FAO, World Bank, ITU, GSMA) to prepare a Situation Analysis Report, issued in November 2021. The report includes an annex of detailed Country Data Sheets as part of the process to develop the DAS. This analysis was used to derive a National Digital Agriculture Readiness Index (DAgRI). The DAgRI combines a set of selected existing indicators that describe the enabling environment relevant for the digitalization of agriculture covering areas such as digital infrastructure, access to technologies, digital skills, business environments with a special emphasis on rural areas and populations. existence and type of drone regulations, e-payment services, and national agricultural data portals. Figure 2 summarises the DAgRI for all AU member states in a map.

The DAgRI represents the general readiness of a national agriculture sector for digitalization but does not consider the importance of a country’s agricultural sector for the national economy, the assumption is that agriculture needs transformation, whether it is the economic backbone or not for the country’s economy. Based on the DAgRI value, countries can prioritize different measures from the comprehensive list of possible activities.

Dr. Ralph Elsaesser selected as team leader for the elaboration of the African Union Continental Digital Transformation Strategy for Agriculture.

There is a pressing need for overarching digital strategies to unlock the potential of digitisation in the agricultural sector. As stipulated in the 2018-19 CTA Report “The Digitalisation of African Agriculture Report”, Digitalisation for agriculture implies the use of digital technologies, innovations, and data to transform business models and practices across the agricultural value chain and address bottlenecks in, inter alia, productivity, postharvest handling, market access, finance, and supply chain management so as to achieve greater income for smallholder farmers, improve food and nutrition security, build climate resilience and expand inclusion of youth and women.

Digital technologies can help African farmers increase their profitability and reduce their environmental impact, however they are more effective when supported by public policy. A top-down approach here is dangerous, transformation needs to be intrinsic and transformation needs understanding and behavioural change. Enabling environments here are key to success. Benefiting from digital solutions efficiently in agriculture works the best when there is a reliable mobile network available. But a wider approach is necessary: the aim is not only that African farmers use digital solutions to improve their businesses, the medium-term goal must be that these solutions are built in Africa by Africans. Hackathons, boot camps, accelerators are key to success for the engaged and well-educated African Youth. Thus, the enabling environments comprise of improved Internet accessibility, access to electricity, improved service coverage and performance of the mobile service networks, making these services affordable to the people and education. At a higher level, governments can facilitate the necessary transformation process by regulation and law.

Executive Council Decision EX.CL/Dec.1075(XXXVI) in February 2020 requested AU departments to develop sectoral implementation strategies/plans under the AU Digital Transformation Strategy (DTS). Digital agriculture was identified as one of the critical sectors of the DTS. Policy recommendations and proposed actions have therefore been anchored in the DTS.

In light of this, the AUC Department of Agriculture, Rural Development, Blue Economy and Sustainable Environment (DARBE), together with the Department of Infrastructure and Energy, will develop a Digital Agriculture Strategy for Africa with the technical support of the European Union-funded PRIDA project.

Ralph Elsäßer wins the First Price for Innovation at the AfricaGIS 2007 conference.

At the AfricaGIS 2007 conference, Geo-Solutions wins the first prize for innovation with GIS-based planning and evaluation tools that help optimizing access to safe drinking water in Burkina Faso. The ESRI-based tools enable a standardised and fast calculation and distribution of this value at national, regional and municipal level and enable authorities to meet the requirements of the Paris Declaration. There, a transparent performance evaluation in the use of international aid funds is demanded. The tools allow for the calculation of 73 different indicators and their country-wide distribution.

Journée des Portes Ouvertes / Kinshasa 2010

At the Open Days for the Water Sector in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Dr. Ralph Elsäßer was invited to give a lecture on the topic of “National Water Information System RDC”. This vision aims to provide the country with its first central information portal on water. The subsequent panel discussion reflected the interest in the topic.

Ralph Elsäßer in German Television ‘Auslandsjournal’.

At the gravesite of Thomas Sankara in Ouagadougou/Burkina Faso, a camera team of the First German Television met a delegation of various national authorities of the Democratic Republic of Congo. In the interview with Mr Eugène Shamba and Mr Elsäßer, details of the life of the African legend come to life.

Workshop in Mbuji Mayi/Dem. Rep. Kongo

At a workshop on the collection and handling of water-related data, officials from Kasai Oriental Province were trained in the use of modern technology. Operation of GPS devices was taught in theory and practice. A catalogue of relevant data valid for the province was developed in a participatory manner, which serves as a basis for the development of the national water information system SINIEAU.The operation of GPS devices was taught in theory and practice.

Ralph Elsäßer hands over football jerseys.

Ralph Elsäßer hands over discarded football jerseys to the amateur football club ‘Equipe Excellence’ in Ouagadougou. The jersey sets were donated by Allemania Müllheim. Geo-Solutions sorgte für den Transport.