Coronavirus: COVID-19 Updates

A roundup of stories from technology and startup scene in Ethiopia with a focus on COVID-19.


Volunteer Ethiopians in Technology Teams Up to Fight The Spread of COVID-19


A team of volunteers in Ethiopia and US are working on developing platforms and solutions to help on the fight against the spread of Corono Virus. Hundreds of volunteers joined the "Ethiopia COVID-19 Emergency Tech Volunteer Task Team" in few days. The team is getting a close support from ministry of Health, Prime Minister office and other goverment offices.


There are dozens of sub teams working on development of platforms and tools , surveillance-response, IVR Solutions for Ministry of Health, awareness content creation, alternative personal protection equipment alternatives and on production and distribution of COVID-19 testing kits.


Some of the development underway includes a Tracking platform as well us Bots ( Telegram, Facebook, Whastapp and Viber).


Dashen Banks Waives Commission Fees on ATM


Dashen has fully waived transaction fees on withdrawals from ATMs and has doubled the maximum withdrawal amount to 10,000 Br. Commission fees paid to extend the validity of LCs and fees for loan rescheduling have also been waived, the Bank announced. Dashen has also lifted 50pc off of commission fees for extending the validity of purchase orders.


This comes after many Mobile Money service providers across Africa partially and fully waive fee on Mobile Money transaction. The first person Noble Corona case was reported in Ethiopia was in March 13 and the official cases reached 6 now.


Eshi Express Started Contact Less Delivery


Eshi Express, A local courier startup, started a contact less delivery. Customers can put the package 2 meters away from themselves and the messenger will collect and deliver it to end destination.


Ride Hailing Companies in Ethiopia are Stepping Up There Efforts Against COVID-19


Zayride have been engaged in multiple initiatives that includes interviewing more than 70 doctors in collaboration with Arts TV and People to People in order to transform Zayride call center to COVID-19 hotline and preparing 50,0000 masks and sanitizer to it's drivers and customers. It also made a 20% discount on it's Tariff and is announced that it's providing a free ride to Medical Doctors.


Taxiye made a discount of 20% on Initial price and a 10% discount on per kilo meter tariff.


Ride, another ride hailing platform is also distributing 25,000 packages ( sanitizer, Masks and educational flier) for it's partner drivers and Lada taxi drivers.


Ethio Telecom Added Pre-Call Corona Virus Awareness Message & Launched a Fundraising Campaign


Ethio Telecom added a corona virus awareness messages as a caller tune in place of the normal ringtone. Ethio Telecom also started call blasting an awareness message using the number 444.


In another Initiative, Ethio Telecom launched a fundraising campaign to collect funds for COVID-19 as the part of National Initiative launched by Prime Minister. Ethio Telecom subscribers can now donate 1 - 1000 ETB using 444 short code. Those who want to contribute from outside of Ethiopia can use www.ethioremit.com and can donate starting from one dollar.


Kudu Venture Is Looking for Startups and Entrepreneurs With Innovating Ideas to Combat COVID-19


Kudu Ventures is now accepting applications from Ethiopian founders with ideas or startups that work on preventing the spread of COVID-19 and effective efforts to contain it. We are not looking for health-tech solutions only, but innovations that can be helpful to people during social distancing/quarantining & work/learn from home periods.


ICT Expo is Postponed


ICT Expo, a premier annual technology event, that was set to happen in May this year is now postponed due to the pandemic. Organizers said they will announce the new date in the future.



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