I read on The MONITOR of Addis Ababa (Teusday, February 3, 98 Vol. V,
No. 63;) that a project to digitize every work of art in Ethiopian history
was announced by Professor Henry Loius Gates Jr. of Harvard at a US
Embassy reception in Addis Ababa. According to the paper, this
collaborative project in which IES (Institute of Ethiopian Studies) and The
Dubois Institute which has a multi-million dollar agreement with Microsoft
are involved is yet to secure funds while another CD ROM project "Ency-
Africa" is due early next year.
It seem that the project will generate enourmous proceeds by providing
much needed content to Microsoft projects and I am wondering if some one
out there has details of the project.
aa/ How are IES and Ethiopia to benifit from the project apart from
posetive publicity (?) and record preservation?
bb/ Is it in deed a good idea to involve a mighty multi-national when it comes
to such invaluable national and continental heritgaes? Wouldn't it mean less
control, less tourist revenue once the products are electronically available,
buying back your own at untouchable prices latter on etc. etc.? (The $150 or
so price tag of a recently published color illustration of the same source
material comes to mind here)
cc/ On the technical front, is it not possible for IES to handle it in house?
Particularly so, now that the recently announced World Bank loan of $ 5 mill.
to Ethiopia which is earmarked for historical projects is awaiting proposals
although the emphasis will surely be on physical preservation? I guess, I heard
about related student works at (SISA) School of Information Science for
Africa which is a stone throw away from IES. Are they not upgradable to a
proposal level, at least? Does any body have details?
dd/ With out the details, CD ROM publishing and making it electronically
available on the web come to mind and I am also wondering, how much in terms
of funds and what unachievable technology we are talking about to digitize
works of art?
I hope this surely is of interest to AFRIK-ITers.
_/ ETHIO-INTERACTIVE _/
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