Category: "ICT"

Ethiopia - Software giant SAP to enter Ethiopian market

February 22nd, 2007

Software giant SAP to enter market

By Tedla Yeneakal


Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Sap AG, the world's largest enterprise software company officially announced that it is eying the Ethiopian market after its announcement on Tuesday this week to contribute 100 thousand Euros to be put towards school lunches for children. Serge Blockmans, general manager, SAP East Africa and Democratic Republic of Congo, told Capital in a telephone interview from the United States that they had seen a growing interest when company officials paid a visit to study the Ethiopian market.“We see a growing public interest and the social contribution SAP made this week is part of our first global responsibilities,” he said. “Practical experience of academic concepts enhances educational experiences and helps students put theory into modern business practice.

”According to a press release from SAP, it is investing in two education initiatives to support capacity building through the SAP University Alliances Program to provide the Mekelle Institute of Technology and Addis Ababa University with supporting materials and training as well as SAP’s global network of academic researchers on IT topics. Blockmans further said that the alliances program enables university faculty to employ SAP’s enterprise software within their own curricula for business stimulations, case studies and research projects. “Both universities will be connected to the University Competency Center in Magdeburg, Germany, which will provide hosting services, technical assistance, training courses for professors and curriculum development support.” the release from the company said.

More over, Blockmans told Capital that the school feeding support is made through the World Food Program’s Food for the Children initiative and SAP is funding daily free lunches for impoverished communities with the aim of inspiring them further in their education. SAP is one of the world’s leading providers of business software and operates in more than 120 countries engaged in high tech, retail, financial services, healthcare and the public sector with subsidiaries in more than 50 countries.


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Ethiopia - ETC assets under study

February 22nd, 2007

ETC assets under study

By Groum Abate


Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Assets of the Ethiopian Telecommun- ications Corporation (ETC) are being collated to gauge the value of the corporation, a move which is said will pave the way for privatization.

ETC’s net assets were estimated at 303 million dollars as of 30, June 2001. Since then the company has concluded major projects and acquisitions, which have substantially increased its market evaluation. Experts in the communication sector speculate that the corporation could be worth a couple of billion dollars at present.

The evaluation process undertaken by Ernest & Young is expected to clearly determine the corporation’s assets and prepare an accurate record.

The government of Ethiopia had invited potential Strategic Partners to acquire a 30% stake plus management control of ETC in 2002. This effort did not meet with success.
ETC operations consist of fixed lines, Ethiopia’s first and only cellular business, internet provision including broadband, and ancillary telecommunications service such as public data service, analogue and digital leased lines and telex services, all of which are currently fully owned by the government.

ETC offers a fairly wide product range but seems keen to expand its service portfolio further in coming years. It plans to outsource some services to private companies, such as billing and mobile top up cards, it is said.

ETC had approximately 351,600 fixed network customers as of June 2002. In addition to fixed telephony, ETC’s mobile customers have reached over 1.5 million at present.
Ethiopia has a tele-density of 0.36 lines per 100 population, which is one of the lowest in Africa. The need and unmet demand for telephony services is substantial. The government intends that ETC will continue to remain the sole provider of major telecommunications services for the foreseeable future. Prime Minister Meles Zenawi recently said in an interview with the Financial Times that the government would not fully privatize ETC.


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Ethiopia - Oracle provides 160 million USD worth software programs

February 19th, 2007

Oracle provides 160 million USD worth software programs

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
February 7, 2007 (ENA)
- The U.S.-based Oracle Software Company, has given software programs free of charge to students in Ethiopia.

During the company's popularization workshop here on Wednesday, the representative, Ahmed Kello said students can use the software programs worth 160 million US Dollars for purposes other than commercial.

The donation is meant for use by students of government regular schools and universities.

He said Ethiopia would be able to produce hundreds of thousands of skilled human power during the coming few years and this should help the civil service become more efficient.

US ambassador to Ethiopia, Donald Yamamoto on his part said having increasingly adapted to the use of information communication technology, Ethiopia would be able to succeed in its poverty alleviation and development strategy within a short period of time.

Ambassador Yamamoto said countries like Japan have managed to boost their economies owing to the advancement of their people in the use of information technology.

Institutions engaged in information technology took part in the workshop, where the company has also officially launched its country program in Ethiopia.

Headquartered in Redwood Shores, California, Oracle is the first software company to develop and deploy 100 per cent internet-enabled enterprise software.


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Ethiopia second least developed cell phone market in Africa

January 25th, 2007

Cell Phone Markets in Middle East and Africa

Ethiopia is the second least developed cell phone market in Africa

There was no change to the top ten most penetrated markets in the Middle East & Africa between June and September 2006, the United Arab Emirates continuing to lead from Bahrain, Israel and Kuwait at the top of the table.

Eritrea remains the least developed market on the continent, with Ethiopia second from bottom, and Rwanda third from bottom with a 3.1% rate of mobile ownership having been overtaken by eight other nations between September 2005 and September 2006.

Read More

The World in 2007 from The Economist also has a small piece about the Telecommunication sector in Ethiopia and Africa in general.

Should the government privatize the telecommunication sector?

Have your Say

Ethiopia Internet cafes start registering users

December 27th, 2006

Internet cafes start registering users

By Groum Abate
The Capital
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

The Ethiopian Telecommunication Agency is distributing forms for Internet cafes in the country to register internet users.

Cybercafe in Ethiopia Internet cafes start registering users

Sources told Capital that the agency in collaboration with the Federal Police is disbursing the letter to all cyber cafes in Addis Ababa and other major towns to easily identify illegal users.
These sources said that the form requests the internet user’s ID that consists of a full name and residential address.
These users would be registered and police officials would collect the form for identification.

The sources said that if an internet café is found giving service to unregistered customers, the owners would be jailed for violation of the regulation with severe punishment.

Some observers said that the scheme was devised after cyber cafes increasingly used their internet access for dialing purposes.
People now use the internet consistently. Access has been made available through the various internet café’s in Addis Ababa at affordable prices. Most users go online to check their emails, their favorite soccer team and to chat with acquaintances.

Also popular in the use of the internet as a way of communication is the use of voice over IP technology, which enables to make phone calls cheaply over the net. This technology has seen vast numbers of users as it offers cheap rates and is readily available. Compared to the expensive prices the Ethiopian Telecommunications Corporation (ETC) the only telephone services provider in Ethiopia, offers, this option is appealing to most.
These calls cost from 2 birr per minute onward.

Nowadays, with ETA cranking up its efforts to discourage such uses and making it illegal to provide such services, these cafes became rare some two years back. However, after the Agency eased control they have become widely popular again.

The number of Internet users is growing in major cities like Addis Ababa due to the increasing popularity of cyber cafés. There were about 100,000 Internet users by the end of 2004. Internet PoPs are also available in major towns like Mekele, Nazreth, Bahr Dar, Awassa, Jima, Dessie, Gondar, Nekempte and Dire Dawa. Nevertheless, the distribution of Internet users is still strongly skewed to the capital, with 94% of Internet users.

Ethiopia joined the world of the Internet as of January 1st 1997. Ethiopian Telecommunications Corporation being a transport and Service Provider (ISP) in the country has taken the initiative to introduce the service and presently, there are over 40,000 Internet users.
ETC is encouraging its existing and potential users to use the service through reduction of tariffs.

It is to be recalled that the government had previously taken measures to regulate cyber cafés with some operators having been shut down because of illegal activities including inexpensive international phone access popular with the public. It is estimated that these calls have cost ETC millions of birr in lost revenue


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