ICT sector Development ICT sector Development

The Ethiopian Government has made the development of information and communications technology (ICT) one of its strategic priorities. The endorsed and currently enforced ICT policy is a demonstration of its commitment to the development of ICT both as an industry and as an enabler of socio-economic transformation. The policy stems from the recognition by the Government of ICT as the key driver and facilitator for transforming Ethiopia's predominantly subsistence-agriculture economy to an information and knowledge-based economy and society, effectively integrated into the global economy.

One of the guiding principles of the Ethiopian government ICT policy is the government shall actively collaborate with the private sector, civil society organizations and communities to promote and encourage the use of ICT towards transforming Ethiopia to a knowledge and information age. The policy also promotes the necessary coordination to establish cooperative practices and spirit amongst various stakeholders for a cost-effective development of ICT.

The government of Ethiopia is creating a favorable environment to enhance the exploitation of ICTs for accelerated socio-economic development by elaboration and institutionalization of the national ICT development framework and the creation of the former Ethiopian ICT Development Agency (EICTDA), and the now Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (MCIT) which is responsible to coordinate and supervise the planning and implementation of Communication and Information Technology development initiatives and ICT policies.

The national operator, Ethio Telecom provides fixed, mobile, Internet and value added services. In addition, it provides dialup Internet, CDMA 2000 wireless Internet, ADSL and wireless Internet using AIRONET, VSAT, and EVDO. It uses VSAT technology for the delivery of services to various government networks such as WoredaNet, SchoolNet, AgriNet and to non-government organizations. Furthermore, ethio telecom provides other Value Added Services (VAS) such as Domain Name registration and management for the .et country code top-level domain (ccTLD), the Domain Name System (DNS), Web hosting, and Internet Protocol Address service. The resale of airtime vouchers and Internet services through cyber cafés is allowed for the private sector.

Number of customers June 2009 EFY
Mobile telephone 58,080,626
Data and internet 16,505,225
Broadband (EVDO, WCDMA, LTE, ADSL) 6,902,902
Narrow band (1x, ADSL<256K) 276,294
GPRS 9,326,029
Fixed line telephone 1,169,625
Total customer 59,899,089

Table 1: Ethiopia's Communication Sector Statistics – until June 2009 EFY (Source: ethio telecom)

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