March 31

The InfoDev Y2k project (World Bank) has just
received a cash boost of 10 million pounds.

(You may remember that we posted the original RFP here)

Coming so shortly after the closure of the RFP (March
27) this would indicate a moving of the goalposts.

The DEVMODL project, which was launched to support
the concept, has had very little feedback.

"Good Idea" has been about the extent of the input.
Nobody is prepared to do anything.

Although this additional funding shows that some of the
Western nations take Y2k seriously, I am not sure that
any positive action will be forthcoming.

Cynic that I am, I now expect to see the Snake Oil
salesmen creeping out of the woodwork with all manner
of "Silver Bullets" and other trivia.

I have said it before and will say it again.

Without Political Will at all levels, Y2k
remediation efforts are bound for failure.

As an African, I am horrified at the lack of initiative
shown by my colleagues on the rest of the Dark
Continent.  Once again we stand around with our begging
bowls waiting for a handout, but do nothing ourselves.

Individual citizens are "waiting for Government to do
something".  History shows this is usually a long wait.

Professional bodies are more concerned with collecting
subscription fees and having lunch than actually doing

Commerce and Industry are acting on the assumption that
if they do nothing, the problem will go away.

Y2k is not about money.  It is about the will to
address real business problems in the harsh light of

African problems will be solved when, and if, Africans
take charge of their own destiny.  It is one thing to
posture and make pretty political speeches or heap
blame on some long-gone whipping boy for ones'

It is another thing to address difficult problems with
determination and grit.  We need committment, not

Get real, Africa.

AREA: Article
TITLE: Britain Claims Lead in International Race To Find Antidote

AREA: UK Government
TITLE: Department for International Develpment
Britain Claims Lead In International Race To Find
Antidote To Millennium Bug

London (IDN) -- Britain is the first major contributor
to an international fund to help developing countries
deal with the millennium bug, and has challenged other
EU and G8 countries to match the contribution.

The pledge, a GBP 10 million grant to the World Bank
Trust Fund for Information Development (INFODEV) from
DFID, was announced by the Prime Minister yesterday.

Poor countries will be affected by the millennium bug,
but their governments' awareness of the problem is
patchy.  A recent World Bank survey showed that only 37
out of 128 borrowing countries were aware of it.  The
fund will pay for experts to help the developing world

identify the scale of the problem the bug will cause;

decide their priorities for action;

and protect those systems which are key to the economy
and public order.

Apart from problems with their own computer systems,
poor countries will suffer from failures of compliance
in global systems such as telecommunications and
transport.  There is also a risk that organisations
that have `clean' computers will turn off links with
developing countries to prevent contamination.  As the
millennium gets closer, the shortage of experts and
hardware to deal with the bug is likely to get worse.

The World Bank is producing a toolkit to help
governments to review their systems.  It also proposes
to catalogue all the help available from IT companies
and run a series of seminars throughout the developing
world to raise awareness of the bug.

Clare Short said yesterday that "The millennium should
bring new hope, not more suffering.  Globalisation has
tied the fates of nations closer together, so
international co-operation to beat the bug is both
right and necessary."
Chris Anderson          email:                       [log in to unmask]
Y2K Cinderella Project          [log in to unmask]             Striving for Year 2000 Compliance