IT in .et

Page on IT Issues in Ethiopia

Cisco Volunteer Team Inspires and Encourages Students in Ethiopia - September 2005.

Cisco provides network technology to Ethiopia, offering voice, data and video conferencing. Cisco volunteers traveled to Ethiopia to teach citizens the benefit of using computers and technology. Link here.

Internet in Ethiopia - Revisited.  (April 2002) 

MediaETHIOPIA presents a detailed account of the state of Internet penetration in Ethiopia and explains challenges faced by Internet-based businesses. 

ETHIOPIC XML final report available (June 2002). http://digitalad


Ethiopia has its own unique script commonly called Ethiopics that is widely adopted throughout the country by almost all the languages. A unique script with more than 260 characters, 10 numerals and several punctuation marks, Ethiopics has always been a challenge to adopt to computerization and now to the internet.

An Ethiopics Interest Group that aims to define technical requirements and standards for Ethiopic extension to XLM was recently established by Ethiopian IT professionals and linguists. The Ethiopics Interest Group (formally called Ethiopics XML Specifications Working Group) was established as a response to the Blueberry Draft Proposal of the World Wide Web consortium (W3C) to extend XML allowing the use of Ethiopic (and Khmer, Myanmar, and Maldivian) script names in XML elements, attributes, and other places. It is currently possible to use Ethiopic script in the content of an XML document, but the markup must be either in Romanization or in another language such as English or French. This omission of Ethiopics was a result of XML having been standardized to support Unicode 2.0, which did not include Ethiopic script, was the then current version of Unicode.

The EthiopicsXML Specifications Working Group aims to:

  1. Support the draft BlueBerry requirement that is facing some resistance.
  2. Create or consolidate working groups and organizations with interest in Ethiopics and XML.
  3. Educate the public on the need for XML/EthiopicXML
  4. Encourage the development of XML grammar and vocabulary for a variety of applications
  5. Define technical objectives and requirements based on XML Blueberry Requirements working-draft-of-20June 2001.
  6. Bring topic for wider discussion once the specifications are developed.
  7. Submit the proposal for specification to W3C Working Group

A similar group was successful in drafting an encoding standard for Ethiopics for Unicode 3.0 in 1993.

The EthiopicsXML Specifications Working Groupís mailing list is located at: http://groups.y

The Blueberry draft document is published at:

Working Draft for Supporting Blueberry Revision of XML Recommendation (1.0) with Particular Emphasis on Ethiopics Script and Writing System will come out at end of the year.

Internet in Awassa, Dessie, Shashemene and Jimma - (6/2/2001 - MediaEthiopia Correspondent, AA)

After years of false starts ETC finally manages to expand Internet services to  the provincial areas of Shashemene, Jimma, Awassa, Bahir Dar, Dire Dawa, Nazareth, Dessie and Mekele. The project that installed POPs (Points of Presence) in these cities now adds an additional 5120 subscribers. Each POPs are connected to the central site with 64Kbps lines. In Addis, additional 5000 subscribers will be added soon with a total modem pool of 720. Each  POPs are connected to the central system using a new data network backbone.  ETC itself is the first user to use this Digital Data Network (DDN) which was completed in May 2001. 

Meanwhile the largest IT conference in Ethiopia's history is set to open on June 18, 2001. Details.

The joint British Council - ECA conference on IT in Ethiopia draws a crowd but questions on implementations still unanswered. More info on the conference is available at:  Details.

Read a sample paper on ICT issues in Ethiopia.  


Report on Promises and Challenges of Internet in Ethiopia - The Most comprehensive report on Internet Status in Ethiopia to date. 

Ethiopia prepares to upgrade Internet infrastructure through UNDP funds. Upgrade consists of increasing the bandwidth for the national gateway, setting POPs in 8 cities across the country and establishing up to 8 cyber cafes in Addis. The city saw its first private Internet cafes mainly concentrated at the Bole area open only few months ago. Many more are on the pipeline as Addis residents learn to mix their espressos with adventures on the Net.

Documents from the African Internet and Telecom Summit in Banjul, Gambia.Topics Include wireless Internet access, mobile telephony,  E-Commerce, etc.

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