Category: "ICT"

Ethiopia - 8% of Ethiopian immigrants in the U.S own tablet device like iPad & Kindle

February 24th, 2011

Ethiopia - 8% of Ethiopian immigrants in the U.S own tablet device like iPad & Kindle

According to a survey done by Rebtel, nearly Five Million Immigrants and First Generation Americans Own A Tablet Device with Majority of Non-Owners Favoring iPad over Kindle and Android Tablets. The survey says 8% of Ethiopians in the US own some type of tablet device with 31% planning to buy the device in the near future. Near future could mean March 2, as Apple is expected to unveil its second generation iPad.

Out of the 8% who own a table device, 56% have iPad and 22% own Kindle.

See the survey result here

The study was conducted in November 2010 with a sample group of respondents comprised of Rebtel users divided into 11 different ethnic groups; Cuba, Ethiopia, France, Ghana, India, Israel, Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria, Philippines and UK. Each ethnic group received their own identical survey and all the respondents are currently located in the US.

Ethiopia : Confusion reigns at Ethio Telecom

January 2nd, 2011

Ethiopia : Confusion reigns at Ethio Telecom

By Hayal Alemayehu

Source: Reporter

Employees of the now phased-out Ethiopian Telecommunications Corporation (ETC) are confused over the appointment of the N-5 category which decides the stake of most of ETC’s workers at the newly structured Ethio Telecom. Posted at the corporation’s head office last Saturday morning, the first phase of the N-5 appointment incorporated about 3333 employees of the former ETC. The parastatal has in excess of 12,000 employees most of which are destined not to make it to newly structured Ethio Telecom.

Following the notice posted at the head office, some of the employees of the corporation told The Reporter that most of ETC’s staffers were “confused” with the appointment which include employees who have passed away and those already living overseas.

While the criteria for the appointment at the new telecom considers educational background and experience, there are workers appointed at the N-5 category who have not even completed 12 grade in contrast to those who failed to make it to the list even though they are degree and diploma holders, according to ETC employees.

Although the N-5 category appointment has begin with the first phase that included over 3000 employees of ETC and will continue in the coming months, most employees were “frustrated” by the process as if the first phase appointment is the final one.

“We have only started the first phase appointment of the N-5 category,” Debretsion Gebremichael, Communication and Information Technology minister who oversee the new established Ethio Telecom, told The Reporter. “The appointment will continue in the coming months as I have said earlier and we cannot now tell how many will make it to Ethio Telecom.”

So far 700 to 800 staffers of ETC are appointed in the N-2, N-3 and N-4 categories while some 3333 are being appointed in the first phase of the N-5 class.

In the mean time, ETC’s labor union and the management of Ethio Teleocm have failed to reach an agreement over the appointment. Sources disclosed the labor has invited to file their complaints. Head of the ETC’s Labor Union, Addise Bore, has refused to comment on the matter saying that the labor has to wrap up administration issues with the management and the government before it provides information to the press. The Reporter’s attempt to obtain comment from the new management was not successful as well.

Ethiopia Fights Poverty with Information Technology

December 30th, 2010

Ethiopia Fights Poverty with Information Technology

Source: World Bank

ADDIS ABABA, December 2010
-- Information and communication technology (ICT) has the power to connect communities, share information and support economic development. Over the past few years, Ethiopia has taken encouraging steps in expanding the use of ICT and with the help of a World Bank-funded project, more communities will have access to its development benefits.

Ethiopia’s ICT field has room for improvement. Over the past few years, the government of Ethiopia made developing and promoting the ICT sector a priority and established the Ethiopian Information Communication Technology Development Agency (EICTDA). But Ethiopia still lags behind, ranking 147 out of 154 countries in the 2009 International Telecommunication Unions’ ICT Development Index.

Funded with US$16 million from the World Bank’s International Development Association, the Information Communication Technology Assisted Development project (ICTAD) has supported the government’s efforts in developing the ICT sector and focuses on bringing ICT services to both rural and urban communities.

Since its launch in 2005, the ICTAD project has established several training and ICT centers across Ethiopia, contributed to new laws around the ICT sector and helped adapt new policies, standards and directives that create an environment conducive to ICT sector development. At the community level, the project aims to increase access to markets and development information and improve the delivery of public services.

Expanding ICT access to rural communities

Remote areas have a great demand for better access to information. In order to meet this need, ICTAD established 65 community ICT centers throughout the country. These centers help diminish the rural-urban economic disparities by providing better access to market information and facilitate service delivery in health, education and other areas. In addition, the ICT centers provide basic computer trainings and other ICT services. So far, over 3,283 people have been trained in these centers.

Among the regular users of one of the ICT centers is 20-year-old Muna Hassen who says that the first time she ever touched a computer was at this center. Muna is taking the ICT training to gain the necessary knowledge that will enable her to open her own training center and internet café.

Another satisfied customer of the center is Sadam Mohamed, a 21-year-old who is also taking one of the ICT trainings offered at the center. “I chose this centre because of the quality of the trainings it offers and its low price,” said Sadam. Most private ICT center charge over 450 birr (US$27) per class but this center only charges 130 birr (US$7).”

ICTAD has also established eight community radio stations in rural communities to help reinforce the coherence of communities and strengthen initiatives to find local solutions to development issues. Across the different regions, these community radio stations help foster community participation and create an appetite for transparency, accountability and good governance.

In Kaliti, a suburb of Addis Ababa, ICTAD funded a fully-equipped and networked Computer Refurbishment and Training Center. The center refurbishes donated used computers and sells them to schools, health centers and communities at affordable prices. The average saving per computer is US$500. The center has the capacity to refurbish up to 15,000 computers per year. In addition, the center trains more than 50 ICT technicians every year with skills that will enable them to go out in the workforce and gain employment or start their own business.

Boosting private sector development

The project established four business incubation centers in different regions. These centers help start-ups and entrepreneurs in ICT-related businesses to transform their potentially valuable ideas into marketable products, applications, and services. These centers have helped 43 private ICT start-ups to launch businesses.

ICTAD provided training to small and medium size enterprises (SME) to improve the skill of private sector or self-employed citizens and government employees in computer maintenance and the basics of computing and database management. As part of the capacity building effort, ICTAD supplied ICT equipment and materials and trained teachers of several institutions. This program trained 645 SME operators, including 288 women.

Protecting the environment from computer waste

An increase in computers also means an increase in potentially harmful computer waste. Improperly disposed of computer parts are harmful to the environment and people because they contain toxins such as lead and mercury. These chemicals can seep into the water system and contaminate drinking water, resulting in adverse effects on the central nervous system of human beings, animals, and plants. Working closely with the Ethiopian Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), ICTAD helped in formulating laws and regulations to control the handling of toxic electronic waste. Before ICTAD, there was no process in place to collect and process electronic equipment in Ethiopia after life cycle.

Even with these encouraging results, still, work remains to be done in the field of ICT development in Ethiopia. In its new five-year development plan, the government of Ethiopia aims to further expand information and communication technology throughout the nation. The Work Bank also plans to continue assisting the government in its ICT efforts.

Ethiopia's state-owned telecom giant re-brands itself as Ethio Telecom

December 2nd, 2010

Ethiopia's state-owned telecom giant re-brands itself as Ethio Telecom - Ethiopia’s state-owned telecommunication monopoly has re-branded itself as Ethio Telecom, and signed a management agreement with France Telecom. The Ethiopian government will pay France Telecom €30 million in management fees for the coming two years.

The introduction of telecommunications services in Ethiopia dates back to 1894 and it would be the first time that the government will outsource the management to a foreign company. Ethiopian government refuses to liberalize the telecom and banking sectors despite calls from the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The government said, it decided to outsource the management, because the corporation was not able to meet the demands of the consumers. Ethiopia has one of the largest untapped markets for ICT in Africa, with a population of over 80 million.

France Telecom Takes Over Management of Ethiopia Telecom

November 30th, 2010

France Telecom Takes Over Management of Ethiopia Telecom

France Telecom, Europe's third largest telecommunication company, has taken over the management of Ethiopia's state-owned Telecommunication Corporation (ETC) last Friday according to a report by Addis Ababa based Reporter newspaper. The report said, France Telecom will manage the sole telecom provider in the country for a period of two years before returning the management to Ethiopians.

ETC will pay a management fee for France Telecom and there will not be profit sharing with the latter according to the signed agreement, the paper said.

Amare Amsalu, the current CEO of ETC, will soon leave office. According to the report, no layoffs are expected in the restructure of the company.