This report presents some highlights of the application of
information technology (IT) in Ethiopia and attempts to show the overall
situation. However, it may be worth noting that, on the basis of the present
activities and the 10-year perspective plan, it is very likely that the
situation will change dramatically in the next two to five years.
Ethiopia has a total land area of 1,251,282 km2,
comprising a central highland mass surrounded by low land. It is the
seventh-largest country in Africa. The country extends from latitude 3°N to
18°N and longitude 33°E to 48°E, with approximately equal
east-west and north-south dimensions.
With a population of 46 million, Ethiopia is one of the most
populous of the least developed countries in Africa. The age distribution shows
that the country's population is predominantly young, with 46.6 per cent of the
population under 15 years of age and 69 per cent under 30 years of age.
Early Ethiopian civilization indicates a number of achievements in
the application of science and technology. The remnants of impressive
architectural works of pre-Christian and Christian times are evidence of the
progress made in civil engineering and architectural works.
A detailed historical overview of science and technology in
Ethiopia has been given in the document entitled "Assessment of the current
situation and problems of S&T in Ethiopia" presented to the conference on
the National Science and Technology Policy of Ethiopia.1
Mention should also be made that Ethiopia has its own script,
"Amharic," which is an official language of communication in government
organizations and schools. Innovative development of IT in the country takes
this fact into consideration.
In section 2 the historical development of IT is reviewed and data
on suppliers presented. Section 3 deals with the role of key institutions in the
promotion of IT in Ethiopia. Section 4 concentrates on the telecommunications
infrastructure. The application of IT in some of the major organizations in the
service sector is discussed in section 5. Finally, the current situation with
regard to education training in IT is presented in section