IBM Develops Plan To Enhance Ethiopia's Trade And Streamline Governance

   IBM Develops Plan To Enhance Ethiopia's Trade And Streamline Governance

IBM's first Corporate Service Corps pro bono problem solving team in Ethiopia

PR Newswire

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, Sept. 9, 2013

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, Sept. 9, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --IBM (NYSE: IBM) experts
have recommended strategies for strengthening Ethiopia's livestock industry --
the primary source of income for the majority of citizens there -- and making
government more efficient.


Making the recommendations was a 12-person IBM team hailing from 8 countries
that spent 30 days in Ethiopia working with three government ministries as
part of an IBM Corporate Service Corps engagement. This initiative sends IBM's
top talent to provide pro bono problem solving services to non-governmental,
government and small business groups in the developing world on issues that
intersect business, technology and society.

For the conclusion of the engagement, IBM developed a model to improve market
access and profits for Ethiopia's already-robust livestock industry within and
outside the country. Presenting their findings to the Ministry of Trade,
IBM's team recommended that the industry more fully participate in the
Ethiopia Commodity Exchange, giving more farmers access to kiosks that provide
accurate and timely pricing information, trends, weather forecasts, and
practical agricultural advice.

The IBM team believes that this industry could be even more competitive by
standardizing and sharpening the collection and analysis of data related to
livestock. Such measures would also make livestock trade more transparent and
secure. The team suggested a communications and marketing plan to more clearly
articulate the benefits of such a framework to stakeholders.

To put these plans into effect, the IBM team suggested that better technology
and training be provided to employees at the Agriculture Transformation
Agency. To that end, IBM worked with the Ministry of Agriculture to suggest
stronger linkages with the country's Information Communication Technology
Management Center (ICTMC). At the same time, more aggressive training and
recruitment programs would be required so that the ICTMC can better deliver
technology services to the agencies that it supports.

In the same vein, the IBM team encouraged the government to define standard
operating procedures and security policies for all agencies and data centers
when it comes to technology that can help officials govern more effectively,
efficiently and securely. Modern technologies such as cloud computing and
virtualization can make vital information more readily available and
protected. Over the long term, an energy efficient computer disaster recovery
center outside of Addis Ababa could be useful, the IBM team said. Ethiopia's
National Data Center can also streamline and standardize the way it procures
and manages support from commercial vendors.

"IBM's Corporate Service Corps program has given us access to IBM's vast
experience," said Dr. Abiyot Bayou, Director of e-Governance for Ethiopia's
ICT Ministry. "IBM's team immersed itself in critical areas in which support
was needed. I was impressed with the quality of the job they have delivered
in this short period of time. I hope we will have a chance to host other IBM
teams in the future."

The projects were coordinated with the Ethiopian Ministry for ICT and the
Digital Opportunity Trust.

"IBM is pleased to support the Ethiopian Government's five-year Growth and
Transformation Plan around enhancing livelihoods and to generate opportunities
for private sector engagement in sustainable economic development," said the
IBM Middle East and Africa Public Sector Leader, Dr. Cameron Brooks.

IBM's Corporate Service Corps deploys IBM employees from around the world with
expertise in technology, scientific research, marketing, finance, human
resources, law, and economic development. Issues they address range from
economic development, energy and transportation, to education and health

By year's end, approximately 2,400 IBM employees based in 52 countries will
have been dispatched on more than 187 Corporate Service Corps engagements, and
undertaken 850 team assignments in 34 countries since the founding of the
program five years ago, in 2008. Over the last five years, the program has
sent more than 638 employees on 56 teams to more than 11 countries in Africa,
a growing market for IBM. This was the program's first engagement in

Follow IBM's Corporate Service Corps by visiting, or on the
CitizenIBM blog at and on Twitter, at @citizenIBM.

For more information about IBM citizenship, please visit

Media Contact(s):


Ari Fishkind
IBM External Relations


Vera Rosauer
IBM External Relations


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