Hopes of tomorrow


Ethiopian Technological Ingenuity Features In 5th National Cities Week






The 5th National Cities Week which was held in Bahir Dar a few weeks ago proved to be a moment during when so many interesting experiences were exchanged among the participant towns and cities. Among other things promising creative works from youths organized under small and micro enterprises were showcased with which visitors were surprised.

A helicopter

One of the amazing creative works showcased at the exhibition was a helicopter which was assembled by the resident of Awasa Town, Yared Estifanos. The chopper which was assembled to have the shape of a traditional agelgil was rare thing one could witness. Displayed at the gate of the vast green field where the event took place, the assembled helicopter attracted so many visitors who spent moments with a surprise look. The little Yared always wondered how his creation could fly in the sky. But from yared told the visitors that ever since he realized about the relationship between flying and gravity, he could not sleep until realizing his dream of assembling a local helicopter. “Whenever I see something different, I usually ask questions such to how, and why that happened. He convinced himself that one can assemble an airplane if he/she knows about gravity well.

According to Yared, it took him him two years, and cost him around 200 thousand birr to complete the helicopter. From the price point of viewq Yared explained that his helicopter will be 90 per cent lower compared to the cost of the helicopters we see flying in the sky. Yared attributed his success in his creative work to his uncle who owned a garage, where he used to spend time after returning from school to learn some technical and maintenance works. “It is that experience which motivated me to continue working technical fields after completing my schooling,” said Yared.

Yared used to tell university graduates, particularly in natural science areas, that there is nothing impossible. So far, it was only him who has been doing things on his own; but he expressed hopes that the exhibition would open him opportunities for support and recognition of his invention from concerned bodies. He especially, emphasized on the need to give due attention on the part of the government for creative minds.

Having no experience of fling in an airplane in his entire life expect, Yared said that he gathered the information he needed for his invention from the internet. He learned about the motors and wings from his reading. He also expressed his delight over the feedback he got both from the visitors and the exhibitors.

The simulation software

Let us say that some one wishes to know how the beautiful Bahir Dar looks like while being in Addis. Or one would want to see the different parts of the historical city of Axum, without being there physically, but how? “Well, there is no problem!” says Denekew Berihun, Manager of Daf Tech Computer Engineering. Setting his table and computer he demonstrated the 3D Simulation Software. The software is developed in the form of game; but its objective is to introduce the city of Bahir Dar to visitors only using a computer simulation software.

Denekew who named the software ‘fitnetin lefitret’, one would be interested to see places outside of his/her reach through the computer simulation while at the same time entertaining him/herself with the game. According to Denekew, the software is also used to help people get acquainted with places they have never been to, the extent that they can easily recognize when they physically get to the places. According to Denekew, the software, which is the first of its kind in the country, updates when there is change in the actual places.

“The other major importance of this software is its power to attract youth and children and by so doing making them appreciate the culture and traditions of their own,” said Denekew. The software is accompanied traditional back ground song. For who emerges winner in the game with new software is rewarded with pictures of Axum, Lalibela and other historical sites.

The software, that is made to operate in both Amharic and English languages has also a document that provides information about potential areas of investment, and whom to contact and the likes. Denekew said that the software can be developed to operate in various languages.

Astonished by his invention visitors encouraged Denekew to expand his inventions. “Acknowledging cerative works boosts our confidence and motivates us to work hard,” he said appreciating those who gave him feedback. Denekew also emphasized the need to encourage such creative works by government bodies.

The electric train

Although questions are still hanging as to when transportation problem of the capital in particular, and the nation in general is solved, residents of Addis Ababa are at least comforted by the all out effort being made by the government to alleviate the problem by way of introducing light rail way. Inspired by the ongoing efforts, Sisay Weldu, from Adwa Town was capable of attracting visitors with his invention.

Being a Graduate in Machine and Manufacturing with advancing diploma, Sisay with the support from a friend came up with an electric train.. The electric train consumes 220 AC volt which is converted into over 400 DC to run the engine. “Compared to fuel consuming trains, this one is better for the environment,” Sisay said adding, ” this electric train will play a significant role in saving the foreign currency the country has to pay for importing oil.” Besides, Sisay indicated that the electricity generated to run the train can also be used to give light to the streets. Before planning big to see it being realized in cities, Sisay hopes to see the train giving service in short distances, such as in factories, schools and amusements places to children . According to Sisay, in order to scale up his invention on the electric train and make the project feasible, he needs financial support. “ I have the theories and I can upgrade my knowledge through reading; and if I get financial support, I can make my invention practical,” Sisay said. He further said that the youth must develop a sense of confidence and understand that everything is possible.

A water welding machine

Electric power is and will continue to be one of the major sources of power with which industries and factories of various kind, and lots of many other activities of humans will be carried out. Put in a simple language, power is a part of human life.

Ayele Agazi, a teacher at Alamata Technical and Vocational Training Institute in Tigray State, was able to win the attention of the visitors at the 5th Cities Week when he displayed a welding machine working with water and little amount of electric power. Describing the difference between the commonly used welding machine and his invention, Ayele said that the former was expensive with over10 ,000 birr cost , and involved a complicated process such as using a long wire, coil, sheet metals, and varnish. However, the one he has invented gives the required function with very minimum cost of 800-900 birr and involves less complicated process to run it.

He said the price of the machine he invented is relatively cheap because it is made from cheap and discarded materials. “ I used an onion chopping board as insulator, metals, 14 liters of water and non-iodized salt to produce the water welding machine. If for example, the steel to be welded is thick, a plastic bottle cup full of non-iodine salt is added to the water to increase conductivity,” he added.

On top of that, as Ayele said, power loss is one of the disadvantages of the commonly used welding machine- the more the round of the coil increases, the more power it requires. But, the machine he invented uses half of the power consumed by the common welding machine while providing the needed function. Moreover, unlike the commonly used welding machine his machine, is both portable and easy to repair. An hour is enough to produce this water welding machine., according to Ayele.”

The 10 machines he distributed for testing in Alamata, are proving to be effective, he added .

Ayele requested the close follow up and encouragement of both the state and the federal government for his inventions to be widely utilized in different parts of the country. He also advised others who engage in creative works to target majority of the people as potential users of the invention.

The sowing machine

For a country like Ethiopia, where more than 80 per cent of its people are engaged in agriculture changing the traditional way sowing deserves due attention. It is, however, crystal clear that farmers in the country have been doing the entire work of crop production in traditional way. Through such traditional and backward methods they have been feeding not only their family but also the nation Now there is a clear understanding by the government and other concerned bodies that it is high time for these farmers to be introduced with new and productive technologies. In relation to this one of the areas which has been given little attention was the sowing method . Broadcasting has been one of the solely used methods of sowing crops by almost all farmers of the country for centuries.

There is no doubt that agricultural production could have grown much better had farmers in the country adopted a better sowing technique. In this respect the use of a sowing machine is believed to help the farmer much. When the machine is used for sowing, it reduces the amount of labour, time and the wastage of seed.

In relation to this, Sied Adem, from Alamata, of Tigray showcased a promising invention of his. The machine Sied said invented sows seeds together with fertilizers in four rows at a time. Operated by a single individual the machine helps to sow a specific plot with one fourth of time needed to sow in the traditional broadcasting method.

According to Sied, the fact that the machine apart from saving time avoids wastage of seeds and fertilizer. Like other inventors who showcased their creative works Sied underscored the need for continuous financial and logistic supports from the concerned bodies for his invention to be able make a meaningful impact in the farming community.



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