Ethiopia still working on trying raise awareness to the y2k problem : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread


Awareness On Y2K The Monitor (Addis Ababa) May 25, 1999 By Seble Bekele

Addis Ababa - The lack of awareness that people acquire about Y2K or the millennium bug has resulted in the belief among many that the bug poses an insignificant problem. And this is one basic factor that makes the situation a serious threat.

The Y2K problem arose because many older computers record dates using only the last two digits of the year. If left uncorrected, such systems could confuse the year 2000 with the year 1900, generating errors or system crashes.

Fixing this anticipated break-down of computer systems throughout the world during that year has thus become a number one priority to many nations. Today many third world countries are lagging behind and responding very slowly to the international efforts concerted to mitigate the problem.

Ethiopia is no exception in this regard. The millennium tension is much less here and of course this has much to do with the level of awareness.

One component of the national Y2K action plan, which was produced by the Ethiopian Year 2000 National Technical Committee, is organising and conducting training and awareness programmes aimed at raising the awareness of society and government sectors. The committee has recently dedicated a page on the Ethiopian Telecommunication Corporation's web-site,

The main purpose of developing the web page is to facilitate the follow-up of the status of the National Year 2000 Readiness Programme and create more awareness on the issue. "The international community is concerned about our readiness to Y2K; embassies, non-governmental and international organisations request us the status of the nation to the Y2K readiness.

"Therefore the web page is going to be our major outlet of information on the status of the performance of the national Y2K committee," Ato Eshetu Alemu, deputy director of the National Computer and Information Center at the Ethiopian Science and Technology Commission said. The committee and Ethiopian Science and Technology Commission are rendering advisory services to various institutions-governmental and non-governmental organisations as well as private companies-on the millennium bug.

He said this will help a lot in addressing the issue and in raising the awareness of the institutions. "There are Y2K teams that have been put in place in various institutions.

We give advice to these teams on how to give awareness programmes in their respective institutions and sectors," Ato Eshetu said.

-- Arlin H. Adams (, May 25, 1999


This is a joke story, right? Putting up a website to raise awareness of Y2K is Ethiopia's idea of a solution?

Go visit Ethiopia this year while there's still something to see...

-- Doug (, May 25, 1999.

Wow! This story astounds me. When you think of the poorest countries in the world, Ethiopia has to be real close to the top of the list. I just did a web search. They have no industry, no financial structure, no reason to visit other than some ruins and wild life; NO STRUCTURE AT ALL.

If their one computer does fail, what will happen? The bird feeder in the national park won't work? Of course not, if they had a bird feeder, the people would eat it. Hey, I could be way off base, but, isn't Ethiopia already Y2K compliant? Their wildlife and ruins are. So are their starving people. Maybe this is the ideal place to move for the next year. You can live well on $1.28 per month. Another 25 cents a month and you can have a staff of five.

Thinking of you.


-- John Layman (, May 25, 1999.


sarcasm aside, the Ethiopians face a continuing problem with unstable governements, which have in the past shown a propensity for siezing the property of political opponents. While they don't have any industry to speak of, they inevitably have businesses just like every other country - but no business is going to be public about what they do or do not have vis a vis computer assets, for fear of losing them.

so do they have a lot of computers? no, of course not, which means that the few they do have are probably all that more irreplacable.


-- Arlin H. Adams (, May 25, 1999.


Thanks for all the good information posts. I think we need as many of these as possible. Together these articles present a solid picture.

-- Mike Lang (, May 25, 1999.

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