Ethiocode - The Foundation for Indigenous ICT in Ethiopia

Daniel Yacob - Ge'ez Frontier Foundation

Intended Audience: Software Engineers, Font Designers, Remote Education Indigenous Knowledge Systems
Session Level: Beginner

Ethiopia's standards body, The Quality and Standards Authority of Ethiopia, has legalized the nation's first character set standard. The highly anticipated standard, ES 781:2002, sets the foundation that future computer, software, and electronic communication standards of Ethiopia will be built upon.

With "Ethiocode" now at hand Ethiopia is braced to take on much awaited standards for localization and native language support. While working towards international acceptance of the character set, this next phase of work is already underway.

The standard introduces some 128 characters targeted for the "Extended Ethiopic" domain of the Unicode Roadmap. New to the rest of the world, a number of the "extended" elements have been in active use 1400 years and may present some new software challenges. The paper and presentation will discuss these new characters, standards activity in Ethiopia and their implications over the next few years.

The subject would be of interest to the ICT capacity building, indigenous knowledge systems, remote education, localization and font developer communities.