Category: "ICT"

Ethiopia Telecom, SEACOM Sign Submarine Cable Expansion Project

March 19th, 2010

Ethiopia Telecom, SEACOM Sign Submarine Cable Expansion Project

Source: ENA

The Ethiopian Telecommunications Corporation (ETC) signed 47 million USD worth contract agreement with SEACOM, a global telecom company, on Thursday for procurement of ‘International fiber optics bandwidth connectivity’ through submarine fiber communication system via Djibouti.

The agreement enables the corporation to expand huge, speedy and dependable network capacity that can support reliable internet, voice, and data services across the nation.

The agreement covers expanding a submarine cable with a capacity of ‘3,100 mega bites per second’ (20 STM-1), out of which the ‘2,480 mega bite per second’ (16 STM-1) of the total capacity will be utilized for commercial purposes and the remaining capacity will be used for e-government development program.

ETC has been exerting utmost efforts toward expansion of Next Generation Network (NGN) Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the country since ICT plays a pivotal role in the all-rounded political, economic and cultural development of the nation.

Expansion of the NGN Information and Communication Technology will enable the Corporation provide efficient and modern telecom services to the society and accelerate the development of school-net, woreda-net, agri-net, distance education, e-medicine, dependable TV broadcasting, and other related services in Ethiopia.

SEACOM, a 17,000-km undersea fiber optic cable, is said to be a reliable, cost-efficient, and with high potential capacity in connecting the Eastern and Southern African countries to the rest of the world via India and Europe compared to other international companies.

African countries connected to SEACOM system included South Africa, Mozambique, Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, Djibouti, and Ethiopia.

Seacom In Deal To Supply Broadband Capacity To Ethiopia

March 19th, 2010

Seacom In Deal To Supply Broadband Capacity To Ethiopia


The Seacom undersea fiberoptic telecommunications cable has secured a contract from Ethiopian Telecommunications Corp. to supply international broadband capacity via a link through Dijibouti, the privately- funded company said Thursday.

Ethiopia's government is rolling out a $1.5 billion national initiative to improve the east African country's telecommunications infrastructure. Amongst other projects, its national fiberoptic network is set to be expanded significantly.

"The availability of high-quality broadband at lower prices will accelerate economic development and educational initiatives that will enhance lives and will also establish Ethiopia as an important commercial center for Africa and as a regional transit point for other service providers," said Amare Amsalu, chief executive of Ethiopian Telecommunications.

Seacom is a 17,000 kilometer submarine cable launched in July that aims to connect eastern and southern African countries to the rest of the world via India and Europe.

The company is almost 77% owned by African investors, including an arm of the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development, Venfin Ltd., Convergence Partners and Shanduka Group. The remainder is owned by Herakles Telecom LLC.


Life Without Internet in Ethiopia

March 9th, 2010

Life Without Internet in Ethiopia

By John Savageau

For the first time in over ten years, I spent the night without Internet access. Ten years of working in remote parts of Mongolia, Vietnam, Palestine, Indonesia, and other small and developing countries, and in March 2010 I finally hit the access wall. My hotel in Addis Ababa does not have Internet access. And not a single WiFi or wireless connection available nearby.

Maybe it is just not realistic to believe that in the year 2010 travelers or residents of a major city like Addis Ababa would enjoy the same sense of Internet entitlement we enjoy in other parts of the world. It is probably more realistic to think fresh water is a higher priority than Facebook. Probably a higher priority to think that basic nutrition is a higher priority to some people in the world than Twitter.

Having been plucked up from the opulence of Burbank, California, where Friday afternoon brought the amusement of watching about 50 SUVs and minivans queuing to pick up elementary and middle school children, as it is not reasonable to expect children to walk more than 100 yards from school to home, being denied email and net access for a night is shocking.

Does the Opulent World Owe the Developing World Anything?
There is an old phrase explaining that “nobody likes a victim.” When natural disasters occur, wars create a large number of refugees, or other events propel people to leave their homelands for safer places, the countries and people who are forced to absorb those refugees normally look at them with contempt. It is one thing to watch the impact of a typhoon or earthquake on a country via CNN, and maybe donate a few dollars to help bring food, but in most cases we want to watch a different story on the next day’s news, and we rarely welcome refugees with open arms into our community.

Easy to understand why. As a society and culture, wealthy countries have normally built their communities with hard work, and the residents enjoy the quality of life they’ve built. Visitors are welcome, but communities often find it difficult to absorb new people, particularly those with no money or have lost nearly everything they owned, into a community with a stable economy, school system, and social system.

We have some compassion for those who are in need, but much like driving past a major automobile accident on the freeway, we feel compelled to look, but then we drive past and soon forget the tragedy another human being is going through a few miles back on the road.

How We Reduce the Burden, and Strengthen our Global Community

For sure, Internet access may not purify or deliver water to those with a basic need. However education delivered to all levels of economic or social groups will potentially bring better intellectual capacity to those residents and leaders in poor and developing countries to plan for the future, with the ever-increasing capacity of taking care of their own problems. Educated people in most cases are simply better prepared to respond to disasters and problems when they occur.

Internet access is a very powerful tool in bringing basic and advanced education to any part of the world with a connection. When a student in Addis Ababa, or any other part of the country, has the same access to online lectures, course materials, and even formal education programs over the Internet, the national capacity for dealing with topics ranging from developing water strategies, to energy, to agriculture, to entertainment all become one small step easier to attain than if the developing country had to do it on their own.

But what about UN and other NGO Programs?

Like the community that does not want to be burdened with a long term, recurring commitment to absorbing refugees, global philanthropy has a time threshold. New disasters are happening daily. New wars are popping up around the world at the same rate as ever, and when your own disaster is falling behind the front page in priority, then it is the people of that location or country who eventually have to solve the problems on their own.

There are simply not enough resources, emotionally or economically to go around.

There is one common characteristic of communities which handle disaster better than others. They are well educated. California handles earthquakes and wildfires without bringing the state to a halt. France handles major flooding and other weather-related disasters, Okinawa finds Super-Typhoons a passing amusement, and Japan has tsunami response down to a science.

Sure, those countries have money, but even Japan and Germany started out with nearly no resources after the second war, and now are both economic powers. It is education, and the resolve of an educated society.

Back to the Internet

Delivering online resources to poor countries is becoming cheaper and more powerful every day. Wireless technologies are making fixed copper a legacy, and the cost of Netbooks and powerful workstations is dropping every day. Localization and language translation are becoming more powerful every day.

Don’t stop delivering clean water, but let’s carefully consider the long term impact of delivering a tool to the nations of the world, including the area I stayed in Addis Ababa, and give everybody access to the same intellectual development tools as our kids in Burbank.

Check out resources published by the World Bank, United Nations Development Program (UNDP), US Agency for International Development (USAID), and others to find how we might better support development of eLearning in the developing world, as well as development of basic infrastructure.

France Telecom to manage Ethiopia Telecom

February 16th, 2010

France Telecom to manage Ethiopia Telecom

Source: Capital

The Ethiopian Telecommunication Corporation (ETC) and France Telecom are expected to seal a deal for the latter to makeover Ethiopia’s lucrative state-owned sole telecom provider.

In the last fiscal year alone ETC pocketed a net profit of 2.4 billion birr amidst severe power cuts and the latest upgrading work is expected to generate record sales this year.
BSNL, a state-owned telecommunications company from India, and MTN Group, a South African multinational mobile telecommunications company operating in various African and Middle Eastern countries, were among the final three firms competing for the bid, according to sources. The final rundown, which the French company won, was between MTN Group and France’s biggest telecoms provider, the source added.

“We will sign the agreement with the firm that own the bid as soon as possible,” Amare Amsalu, ETC CEO, told Capital last Thursday, while refusing to confirm the name of the winning firm because the bid process had not been finalised.

ETC, which is nearing completion of massive expansion projects it has been undertaking with the Chinese ZTE company at a cost of 1.5 billion dollars, needs a transformation of how its main core processes are being operated, the CEO explained.

“There are various business models in the sector which we want to adopt by partnering with international experts that have reputable records,” Amare said, explaining why the tender was issued.

The corporation’s overall capacity is being massively boosted and needs a bigger market share to repay investment costs. The corporation generated over 5.7 billion birr in revenues last year, surpassing the previous year’s revenues by a record 71 percent.
The increase was credited to over 2.2 million new customers the company added. A number that is also expected to significantly increase this year.

The power shortages that hit every economic sector also bled ETC’s coffers, including the costs of electric power generators at major substations. It was in spite of these problems that records profits were earned.

The number of mobile subscribers stood at four million at the end of 2008/09 fiscal year that ended in June, but Amare said his company’s current capacity can accommodate up to 20 million subscribers.

“The current capacity we have can only accommodate the demand for a two, three year period, but we need further expansion to meet demand after that. We expect the sector to grow alongside the booming national economy,” Amare said.

The wining firm, France Telecom, is expected to win ETC new sales with innovative market offers, but how the management takeover will be implemented is yet unclear and Amare said negotiations are underway about how best to divide responsibilities.
France Telecom is said to offer more expensive terms than the Indian counterpart BSNL, but triumphed on other criteria.

France had earlier ties with Ethiopian telecommunications industry when it assisted introduction of the technology back in 1903.

Ethiopia - A Guide to install Amharic Windows Vista LIP by

February 8th, 2010

Ethiopia - A Guide to install Amharic Windows Vista LIP by

If you like your Windows Vista in Amharic (the official working language of Ethiopia) then you can download the latest Windows Vista Language Interface Pack (LIP) now and we have got the instructions as well.

nazret is pleased to announce that we have successfully tested the recent release of Amharic Language Interface Pack by Microsoft for Windows Vista. As you may have heard by now, Microsoft along with Addis Ababa University have developed the language interface for Ethiopia's official language and is now available for install.

We have created a step-by-step guide on how to install the pack and configure your Windows Vista to display menu and commands in Amharic. The language pack is available for Windows 7, but we don't have the download location and will let you know as soon as we know about it.

In less than 30 minutes, you can install the LIP and have your PC speak with you in Amharic ;) which has its own script.

Here is how to get started. Get the language pack from microsoft.

And follow our easy to follow -we hope installation guide (PDF)


የWindows Vista የቋንቋ ኢንተርፌስ ጥቅል (Language Interface Pack) በሰፊው የሚጠቀሙባቸውን አካባቢዎች በከፊል ተረጉሞ Windows Vistaን ያቀርባል። ከተቀመጠ በኋላ ዊዛርድ ላይ ያሉ ጽሁፎች ፣ የዳያሎግ ሳጥኖች ፣ ምናሌዎች ፣ እርዳታና ድጋፍ የሚያቀርቡ ርእሶችና የተለያዩ የተጠቃሚ ኢንተርፌስ አይነቶች በየቋንቋ ኢንተርፌስ ጥቅሉ (LIP) ቋንቋ ይታያሉ። ያልተተረጎመ ጽሁፍ በመሰረታዊው Windows Vista ቋንቋ ይቀመጣል። ለምሳሌ የስፓኒሽኛ የ Windows Vista እትም ገዝተው የካታላንን የቋንቋ ኢንተርፌስ ጥቅል ብታስገቡ አንዳንድ ጽሁፎች በስፓኒሽና ይቀራሉ። ተጠቃሚዎች በፈለጉት ቋንቋ የተጠቃሚ ኢንተርፌሱን ለማየት ተጨማሪ የቋንቋ ኢንተርፌስ ጥቅሎች ማስገባት ይችላሉ።

የሲስተም መስፈርቶች

* የሚሠራበት ኦፕሬቲንግ ሲስተም፡- Windows Vista

• Microsoft Windows Vista

• የተጠቃሚ ኢንተርፌስ በእዚህ ቋንቋ፡ እንግሊዘኛ

• 4.63 ሜባ ባዶ ቦታ ለማውረድ

• 15 ሜባ ባዶ ቦታ ለማስገቢያ

የሚሰራበት ምድረኮች: የቋንቋ ኢንተርፌስ ጥቅሎች (LIPs) የሚሰሩት በ32-bit የWindows Vista እትሞች ሲሆን በቀዳማዊ የWindows እትሞች ወይንም 64-bit የWindows Vista እትም ላይ አይሰራም።


1. በዚህ ድረ ገጽ ላይአውርድየሚለውን አዝራር በመጫን የመውረድ ተግባሩን ማስጀመር ይቻላል። ይህንም ካልፈለጉ ከዝርዝሩ ሌላ ቋንቋ መረጠው ይህን አዝራር ይጫኑሂድ.
2. ከሚከተሉት አንዱን አድርጉ፡
* አሁኑኑ ማስቀመጫዉ ለማስጀመርክፈትተጫን ወይንምይህን ፕሮግራም አሁን ካለብት ቦታ አንቀሳቅስ .
* የሚወርደውን ጥቅልን በኮምፒዩተርዎት ላይ በሌላ ጊዜ ለማስገባት ይህን ይጫኑ፡አስቀምጥወይንምይህን ፕሮግራም በዲስክ አስቀምጥ .


Some screen shots from Windows Vista Amharic