It is good to see that efforts are being made to assist some of the 3rd
world countries in this manner...As one who has spoken at several of these
countries, I have had dialogues with government officials as to how they
would even begin to tackle their challenges given their lack of resources
and need for funds in many other areas.....
The cooperation of the major companies in those countries become a key
factor to the success of the projects in the countries. The reason is that
the majority of the utilities are government owned, electricity, telephone
services, and even the major banks..to that end, if these services are
greatly affected, general commerce can really suffer....
For some countries, this could literally result in civil war...or some kind
It is for these reasons that I applaud the work of Infodev in providing
these opportunities. As I continue to speak around the African continent
and raise awareness, I will mention this program and recommend to the
government leaders that they submit their applications.
Thanks again InfoDev.....
Christopher L. Byrne, Director wrote:
> Forwarded by the International Development Network
> Message-ID: <[log in to unmask]>
> Date: Thu, 21 May 1998 18:00:51 -0400
> From: mailto:[log in to unmask]
> Subject: infoDev Offers Year 2000 Grants to Poorest Countries
> To: mailto:[log in to unmask]
> infoDev Offers Year 2000 Grants to Poorest Countries
> The World Bank's Information for Development program (infoDev)
> is inviting governments from around the world to apply for some $14
> million in grants to help them grapple with the Year 2000 (Y2K)
> This effort is the latest in the program's Y2K Initiative, which gained
> serious momentum last month when British Prime Minister Tony
> Blair announced an infusion of $16.7 million by the UK Department
> for International Development.
> The new grant program aims to tackle the so-called ?millennium
> bug,? which is expected to affect many computer-based systems all
> over the world at the turn of the century. While not technically
> challenging--problems revolve mostly around the use of double
> digits for dates--fixing the bug may be complex, time consuming,
> and expensive. Left unfixed, the problem could have serious social
> and economic repercussions, affecting financial systems, transport,
> energy and communications networks, as well as the delivery of
> health and government services.
> "This initiative creates a special window for Year 2000-related
> activities," says infoDev Program Manager Carlos Primo Braga.
> "We expect about 40 grants, valued at $100,000 each, to go
> toward helping countries design or improve National Y2K
> programs, and another 20 grants, at $500,000 apiece, to help
> countries with systems remediation and testing. Priority is being
> given to IDA countries."
> Braga describes the problem as a good news/bad news situation for
> developing countries. On the one hand, they don?t depend on
> computer systems and embedded chips as much as industrialized
> nations do, but they?re also less aware of the issues and have older
> systems to fix.
> infoDev recently awarded a contract to Consiel, a subsidiary of
> Finsiel S.p.A. of Italy, to develop a toolkit that will help
> governments to manage Y2K risks. Under infoDev?s Y2K
> Initiative, 20 international seminars are also being organized between
> now and September to help developing countries sort out the
> millennium computer issue.
> In a related story, leaders of the G-8 agreed in their summit?s final
> communiqué to take "further urgent action" to tackle the Y2K
> problem. The group said it will work closely with business and
> international organizations such as the World Bank, to alleviate
> disruption in telecommunications, capital markets, defense, and
> central bank systems.
> infoDev, established in 1995, is a cooperative program managed by
> the Bank?s Industry and Energy Department. In 1997, infoDev
> became part of the Development Grant Facility of the World Bank.
> Financed by governments, private companies, and multilateral
> institutions, the program provides grants to innovative information
> and communication technology projects in developing countries. It
> has already funded 30 projects, including the feasibility study of the
> African Virtual University, a toolkit for Internet connectivity in
> Africa, and networks focusing on health (SE Asia) and
> environmental (Mexico) themes.
> To find out more about the program and application guidelines, visit
> the infoDev website at http://www.worldbank.org/infodev.
Dedicated to the Global Awareness of PC Year2000 Challenges
S.E.I. Group Inc. - Providing Products and Services for the PC
Phone: 404-241-8966 Fax: 404-241-8984
E-mail: [log in to unmask] WebSite: http://www.sei2000.com