College of Business and Economics (CBE) in collaboration with Industry Linkage & Entrepreneurship Development Directorate of Haramaya University conducted the 1st National Conference on Unemployment, Entrepreneurship Development and Innovation in Ethiopia from 13-14 March 2020 at Resource Center.

Mr. Henock Semaw, Dean of CBE, said that “The University is working on the issues of enhancing Unemployment, Entrepreneurship Development and Innovation in Ethiopia in general and specifically in the Easter part of the country.”

In his opening speech, Prof. Jeylan Wolyie, President Office Delegate and Vice-president for Administrative and Student Affairs, said that “The theme of conference is vital and timely.” The general objective of the Conference was creating a dialogue platform for academia, policy makers, NGOs, Industries and other stakeholders to deliberate on policies for unemployment reduction and entrepreneurship development. In the two-day conference more than 110 university representatives, researchers, governmental and NGO’s and Industrialists participated. A delegate from the Jobs Creation Commission under the Prime Minister’s Office, Mrs. Alemtsehay Legesse, Director for Innovative Jobs and Projects, shared her office’s programs and projects and deliberated on the collaboration areas with the academics.

Dr. Mitiku Eshetu, University Industry Linkage and Entrepreneurship Development Directorate Director, made presentation on “Unemployment in Eastern Ethiopia: Fact sheet” and emphasized that there is high unemployment rate in Eastern Ethiopia and this Directorate is working to create awareness on entrepreneurship through which unemployed individuals can create their own business. Moreover, he discussed that the University has a Technology Business Incubation Center where individuals/teams who have innovative business ideas submit, compete and then those who win the competition could be admitted for development of their business ideas into business venture. About eight speakers presented papers focusing on the national contexts pertaining to the practical challenges and prospects of unemployment and entrepreneurship. All presenters emphasized that the partnership between stakeholders is a cornerstone in enhancing solutions to the problems of unemployment, entrepreneurship development and innovation in our country.

Following the presentations, the participants had discussions on the core issues presented and suggested viable solutions toward curbing the intact challenges. Prof. Jeylan Wolyie in his remark emphasized on “the University’s commitment to do its level best to put into effect the ideas deliberated on the conference and to work towards strategically addressing the issues raised through building on the collaborations it has developed so far”.