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AFRIK-IT  June 1999

AFRIK-IT June 1999

Subject:

Zil Zil

From:

Jeff Cochrane <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

[log in to unmask]

Date:

Wed, 9 Jun 1999 13:29:45 -5

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (72 lines)

Greetings Afrik-ITes!

Addis Ababans are complaining about the heat -- it must be close to
25 C here.  (I just say that for my good friends in Abidjan...)

With a colleague we are studying ways to improve the process of
registering and licensing businesses throughout Ethiopia.  Our travels
will take us to registration offices in Bahir Dar, Nazret, Shashamene,
Awasa, and of course Addis Ababa, we hope a reasonably
representative sample.  Based on discussions the past several days,
the principal objectives seem to be to make the process speedier for
business people and to enable the Ministry in Addis to compile and
share statistics more efficiently on business developments in the
country.

How to share data among offices where telephones operate manually
(operators place calls) and are hundreds of kilometers from the nearest
major city?  A wireless solution?  A sneakernet?

What to do in the capital where Internet access is widespread and
some 10 registration offices handle the largest volume?  A centralized
database with online, real time data entry and access to up to the
minute reports?  Simple spreadsheets maintained separately in each
office and compiled annually onto CDs?

Can email be effectively accessed over phone lines from major towns?
One person tells me that new accounts are difficult to come by at
Ethiopian Telecoms, but we'll investigate further.  We do not yet know
about leased lines within Addis or between Addis and major towns,
but will be asking questions.

Will computers solve every problem?  Delays might arise because
some other department (e.g. the Ministry of Health) must certify
competence (e.g. of pharmacists).  Reporting might be delayed
because of a shortage of staff to do simple data entry.  Procedural
delays have been greatly reduced, but cumbersome processes might
require further reform to take advantage of what computer automation
has to offer.  Senior officials must be willing to implement such reforms.

Fortunately, staff of the Ministry of Trade and Industry already have a
fairly clear idea of what is required.  Our job is to help with clarification
of specifics.  We will likely advise that USAID and the  Ministry
contract with an Ethiopian firm for application development, and will
provide assistance to the Ministry in crafting an appropriate statement
of work.

Next stops on this trip will include Kenya, Rwanda, and Uganda,
picking up a few pieces that were dropped a bit prematurely a few
months ago.  Always pleased to chat with friends and colleagues
along the way.

You know, I've discovered you can never have enough tibs.  On the
weekend we're hoping to stop by Lalibela to see how they prepare
them there.  Given the Italian connection in Ethiopia, I was thinking
that tibs inserted into little squares of pasta and baked with cheese
and tomato sauce... hmm, maybe not...  8*)

Cheers!
Jeff @ Addis Ababa


-----
SETA Corporation Senior Analyst
USAID/M/IRM/CIS: Program Technology Transfer
USAID/AFR/SD/ANRE: AfricaLink
[log in to unmask]
http://www.info.usaid.gov/alnk
1325 G Street NW Suite 400
Washington, DC 20005 USA
Tel +1 (202) 219-0463
Fax +1 (202) 219-0518

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