Category: "ICT"

Ethiopia - Acer wins $ 3.5 m deal with Ethiopia

May 22nd, 2007

Acer wins $ 3.5 m deal with Ethiopia
Tuesday, May 22 2007

Acer Computer announced the completion of a deal to supply the Ethiopian Ministry of Education (MOE) with high-end Acer desktops.

The deal involves the supply of 5,500 units of Intel-based desktops, and with an estimated value of AED 12.6 m (USD 3.5 m) it is purpotedly the biggest such PC deal in East Africa.

“This deal is a significant milestone for Acer, and clearly demonstrates the strength and presence of Acer as a brand in the region,” said Sanjay Kachroo, Product Marketing Manager, Desktops and Servers Acer Computer.

From meeting the demand for high-end PC’S, to after sales and technical support, Acer has clearly positioned itself as a long-term vendor of choice for the region’s education sector

As part of the deal, Acer will also provide technical support to more than 16 universities across the country who have benefited from Acer’s deal with the Ethiopian MOE.

“The education sector across the region is looking increasingly at the IT industry for support. It’s not just about supply and demand anymore, it’s about promoting the development and growth of the country’s education sector,” added Kachroo.

The IT sector is growing rapidly in Africa, and Ethiopia in particular is one of the stronger markets. Acer places great importance on the country, and the IT vendor has a focus team looking after its interests in the Ethiopian IT market.

Acer says it has a strong presence in the education sector of the region, and the vendor has a dedicated team working out a strategy for this challenging region. “From meeting the demand for high-end PC’S, to after sales and technical support, Acer has clearly positioned itself as a long-term vendor of choice for the region’s education sector,” said Naveen Sethi, Country Sales Manager, English Africa, Acer Computer.


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Ethiopia blocks opposition Web sites - watchdog

May 1st, 2007

Ethiopia blocks opposition Web sites - watchdog
01 May 2007 13:06:11 GMT
Source: Reuters

By Andrew Heavens

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia May 1 (Reuters)
- An Internet watchdog on Tuesday accused Ethiopia of blocking scores of anti-government Web sites and millions of Weblogs in one of sub-Saharan Africa's biggest cases of cyber-censorship.

Web monitor, the OpenNet Initiative, said the Horn of Africa country was stopping citizens from viewing opposition-linked Web sites, and blogs hosted by Blogger, an online journal community owned by Internet search engine Google Inc.

Ethiopia dismissed the report as "a baseless allegation".

"We may have technical problems from time to time," Information Ministry spokesman Zemedkun Tekle. "But we have not done anything like that and we have no intention of doing anything like that."

The OpenNet Initiative -- a partnership between Harvard Law School, and universities of Toronto and Cambridge and Oxford -- said it had gathered proof of interference.

"We have run diagnostic tests using volunteers in Ethiopia which indicate that they are blocking IP addresses," OpenNet research director Robert Faris said, referring to the unique numeric addresses of Web sites.

"The evidence is overwhelming that that is what they are doing. ... Most of the sites that we found blocked were related to freedom of expression, human rights and political opposition," he said by telephone from the United States.

The allegations could be embarrassing for the Ethiopian government, which is a major ally of the United States in Africa and has been criticised for a post-election crackdown on opposition that killed nearly 200 people in 2005.

"I think it's a decision that makes the Ethiopian government look extremely hostile to free speech and to open political discourse," said Ethan Zuckerman, research fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society in the United States.

The Ethiopian blockages are part of a growing global trend, Faris said.

"As recently as five years ago, China, Iran and Saudi Arabia were the only countries that were filtering the Internet. Now we have found two dozen," he added.

The full list of countries will be published later this year in a book entitled "Access Denied: the Practice and Policy of Global Internet Filtering."

OpenNet found some filtering of pornographic and political Web sites in Islamic north African countries including Tunisia.

Some pornographic and anti-Islamic sites were also blocked in Sudan, although the Web sites of many human rights groups critical of the situation in Darfur remained visible.

But it found no evidence to back up reports of online censorship in Eritrea and Zimbabwe. Ethiopia was the only widespread campaign identified in sub-Saharan Africa, the OpenNet report said.

Ethiopia has one of the world's lowest Internet access rates -- only two out of every thousand Ethiopians were logging on in 2003, according to the United Nations Development Programme's latest Human Development Report.

But it also has one of Africa's healthiest blogging scenes, fuelled by a handful of anonymous writers in the capital Addis Ababa and the large communities of politically active Ethiopians in the United States and Europe.

OpenNet said many of Ethiopia's blogs were caught in a blanket blockage of Google's Blogger service, home to millions of blogs worldwide, most having nothing to do with politics.


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China, Ethiopia in 200-million-dollar telecom deal

April 29th, 2007

ZTE wins US$200 mln order from Ethiopia

Shanghai Daily

An Ethiopian man walks past a closed Chinese restaurant in the capital Addis Ababa 26 April 2007, in respect to their slained fellow citizens.(AFP)

ZTE Corp won a US$200 million contract to supply gear to Ethiopian Telecommunications Corp to diversify into overseas markets.

Profile of ETC

  • Ethiopia has 874,336 landline subscribers
  • 31,834 Internet Subscribers
  • 1,100,000 Mobile Subscribers
  • Total exchange capacity 1,040,907 April 2007
  • Tele Density Including Mobile 2.4 %

Source: ETC Latest Available data

The three-year agreement includes mobile-phone network equipment using code division multiple access, or CDMA, technology, ZTE, the mainland's biggest listed telephone equipment maker, said today in a statement to Shenzhen's stock exchange, Bloomberg reported.

ZTE said the sales of wireless network equipment, the company's biggest business, rose 23 percent from a year earlier in the first quarter due to increased revenue from outside China. The Shenzhen-based company has invested in developing nations to boost sales.

"Africa is one place ZTE has a real competitive advantage over American and European companies because ZTE's products work well and cost less,'' Randy Zhou, an analyst at Bank of China International in Shanghai, said today by phone. He rates ZTE's shares "underperform."

Shares of ZTE rose 0.7 percent in Shenzhen to 47 yuan( US$6) as of 10:24am local time. The stock has gained 20 percent this year, compared with a 61 percent gain by the Shenzhen stock exchange's index of yuan-denominated A shares.

China agreed to invest US$1.5 billion in Ethiopia's telecommunications networks, the east African nation's Prime Minister Meles Zenawi said in February. The Chinese government also agreed to loan Ethiopia US$500 million and an additional US$1.5 billion in short-term trade credits, Zenawi said.

Chinese President Hu Jintao pledged US$3 billion in loans to African nations over three years during a summit in Beijing in November last year.

ZTE's equipment costs 20 percent to 30 percent less than gear from rivals such as Ericsson AB and Alcatel-Lucent, Bank of China's Zhou said. Ernest Ndukwe, head of Nigeria's telephone regulator, said in December that Chinese equipment from ZTE and Huawei Technologies Co cost 40 percent less than Ericsson and Alcatel-Lucent's gear.


Ethiopia, China sign US$158m telecom expansion deal
Updated: 2007-04-29 06:31

-- The state-owned Ethiopian Telecommunication Corporation (ETC) and ZTE, a Chinese telecom company, on Saturday signed a 1.39 billion birr (US$158 million) agreement on three telecom service expansion projects.

The agreement includes the first phase of fiber transmission backbone, expansion of mobile phone service for the Ethiopian millennium as well as expansion of wireless telephone service.

According to the agreement, some 1.2 million mobile telephone lines will be provided to subscribers in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa and eight other towns in connection with the upcoming Ethiopian millennium celebration.

Moreover, the first phase of the wireless telephone expansion project with the capacity of 652,000 telephone lines will be also executed.

Upon completion, the projects will enable the corporation to provide standardized and quality telecom service to its customers.

The projects will increase the number of fixed and mobile telephone service subscribers to over 14 million.

ETC has designed and put in place a five-year strategic plan with a view to improving quality and coverage of telecom service across the country.


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Ethiopia Mobile Density lowest in Africa

April 9th, 2007

Ethiopia mobile density lowest, ETC among largest monopolies

By Groum Abate


Addis Ababa, Ethiopia -
Ethiopia’s mobile penetration rate stands as the lowest in Africa, at 1.4%, with ETC as one of the largest monopolies in the continent.
This was told at a gathering to introduce Nokia Siemens Networks.

The joint venture of Finnish handset maker Nokia and German conglomerate Siemens that started operations on April 1 worldwide.

Photo Credit MediaEthiopia

Nokia and Siemens are contributing their respective carrier networks businesses and corresponding assets into this 50-50 joint venture. Both parties have agreed to increase their respective net asset contributions to the new company, with Siemens to contribute 2.4 billion euros and Nokia to contribute 1.7 billion.

The venture also aims to cut annual costs by 1.5 billion euros, in part through slashing 10-15 percent of initial staff of 60,000 during the first four years of business.

With its global scale and size, Nokia Siemens Networks is expected to be in a great position to play an industry leading role by developing innovative, cost-efficient products and services. Nokia Siemens Networks will have one of the world's best research and development teams, who will advance the development of product platforms and services for next-generation fixed and mobile networks.

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Ethiopia to Increase Mobile Phones to 9.1 mil.

Special Section: ICT Related Articles from archives

As communicated previously, the board of Nokia Siemens Network will consist of seven members. Nokia President and CEO, Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo, will chair the board and Siemens CEO, Klaus Kleinfeld, will act as the vice-chair.

Nokia Siemens Networks, which will be the world's second-biggest mobile-networks company and the third-largest in fixed-line infrastructure, had been due to begin at the start of 2007 but was delayed by a corruption investigation at Siemens, according to foreign newspapers.
During the discussion forum, Project Management Unit Manager Tessema Geda with the Ethiopian Information and Communication Technology Development Agency (EICTDA), said that the five-year strategic plan prepared to implement the information and communication technology policy has entered into implementation phase.

The strategic plan also enables to speed up the country’s overall development and build the capacity to execute the information and communication technology policy devised for the first time in the country, he said.

He further added that the plan enables to pave the way for creating a consistent system of human resource development and budget allocation in line with the major targets of the agency.
The plan has created suitable conditions in which the private sector can contribute to the growth of information and communication technology in the country through training and capacity building, marketing and other sectors, he added.

In order to make use of information and communication technology, the agency has started standardizing Ethiopic computer keyboard layout and design for Amharic, Oromiffa, Tigrigna, Afarigna and Somali languages.
An information and communication training program has been put in place and is being implemented in educational institutions at all levels, Tessema noted.

Through the community information and communication technology development program, 20 projects were designed and are being implemented, thereby benefiting the physically handicapped, youth and women.


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Ethiopia to Increase Mobile Phones to 9.1 mil.

April 8th, 2007

ETC begins implementing five-year strategic plan with over 37 billion birr

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia April 07, 2007 (WIC)
- The Ethiopian Telecommunications Corporation (ETC) has reportedly begun implementing a five-year strategic plan that would be carried out with over 37 billion birr in order to expand fixed line, mobile and other telecom services.
Strategic Planning Deputy General Manger with the corporation, Worku Mulualem, told WIC that the telecom expansion works to be executed through the five-year strategic plan for the first time will be instrumental in rendering efficient and quality information communication technology services in the country.

They would have great contribution to particularly speed up the development activities underway in education and agricultural sectors, and enhance the economic growth of the country,he added.

The telecom expansion works will also enable the corporation to deliver services which meet international standards,Worku said,adding that extensive activities helpful in improving the service delivery,working procedures and organizational structures are underway to back up the endeavor.

Upon completion,the telecom expansion works are expected to raise the number of fixed line subscribers from the current one million to 4.4 million and that of mobile phones from 1.5 million to 10 million,he elaborated.

Efforts would be made to increase the close to 150,000 clients of internet service to one million and push clients of broadband multimedia services to 500.

The corporation also envisages raising the 14,000kms long optical fiber line to 40,000kms, the deputy manager concluded.

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Here is what Ethiopia has promised in 2005. You can check all ICT related articles from archives here

By 2007, according to the plan, none of Ethiopia's 74 million people will live more than a few kilometres from a broadband access point. The nucleus of this network, 4,000km of optical fibre, has already been laid and will be fully commissioned later this year.

The Guardian
Posted on August 3 2005.

And this

"Ethiopia, one of the poorest nations on earth, will expand Internet coverage from a handful of users to the entire country in three years, the prime minister said Tuesday [April 5 2005]
But within six months that figure will be expanded to 500,000 lines"
You can read the entire text below
Universal Internet access to be launched in Ethiopia in 3 years