Name ID 1114

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Africa News Online
Extract Author: Nicodemus Odhiambo
Extract Date: 1999 Dec 16

Tanzania Ready For Millennium Bug

Copyright (c) 1999 Panafrican News Agency.

While most people will be celebrating noisily at new year eve parties, specialists in government agencies and in industry will be busy trying to avert a huge mess 31 December.

Among them is the newly established National Emergency Response Centre set up by the government to deal with the eventuality of the Y2K computer problem - popularly known in Information Technology as the 'Millennium bug.'

The deputy director of the National Y2K Central Co-ordination Office, Capt. Yacoub Mohamed, said the centre has been tasked with keeping a close eye on critical sectors. The critical sectors include energy, agriculture, transport, telecommunications, banking and finance, defence and commerce.

Members of the centre, who comprise technical staff, the Red Cross, the fire brigade and the police, are to be on full alert in case they have to be deployed to deal with emergencies during the turn of 2000.

The Millennium bug, often referred to as Y2K, arises because many older computers use only the last two digits of a year to record dates. Unless corrected, such systems could treat 2000 as 1900, generating errors or system crashes 1 January.

However, in the field of aviation, Tanzanian aerodromes are less likely to suffer adversely from the ramifications of the problem due to obsolete navigational equipment in the country's aerodromes, PANA has learnt.

'But this does mean they are entirely 'immune',' David Sawe, chair of the national Y2K advisory committee, said. 'They will suffer dependency risks if their service providers like those who provide them with electricity, telephone services or financial systems fail, because they are not compliant.'

As a result, the government under the ADM 2000 project, has been working round the clock to ensure that the Meteorology Department, the Directorate of Aerodromes and the Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority meet full compliance.

The Directorate of Aerodromes is sinking more bore-holes and is increasing the number of generators at the country's two international airports for fear of suffering at the hands of service providers who may not be compliant by 1 January.

'But we are hard up for cash,' Philbert Tibaijuka, Raphael Bokango and Vincent Mandegu - project managers of the respective agencies, said.

The project co-ordinator of ADM 2000, Buruhani Nyenzi, said some 1.5 million US dollars was needed to upgrade or overhaul the systems under threat of the Millennium bug.

In trying to ensure that the agencies suffer no formidable threat of Y2K, further contacts have been made with the Tanzania Telecommunication Company Limited, British Petroleum and the Dar es Salaam Water and Sewerage Authority in order to establish their progress in addressing Y2K compliance.

'It is extremely important that we know what the service providers are doing,' Nyenzi insisted.

The World Meteorology Organisation has, however, voluntarily promised to send in new equipment to replace the country's non-compliant ones, Tibaijuka said.

Other setbacks which project ADM 2000 has met included the lack of co- operation from manufacturers and suppliers who never disclosed the status of the equipment when purchased from them, Nyenzi said.

'Each agency is trying its level best to use the available meagre resources to do whatever they can to fix and procure some of the equipment,' he added.

The Tanzania Association of Tour Operators has said it is satisfied with what the government was doing to address Y2K.

The association's executive secretary, Mustapha Akunaayi, said that the government had assured tour operators in the country that the Y2K phenomena was being tackled with the urgency it required.

The association's concerns came as the International Air Transport Association warned some East African countries over Y2K compliance, saying the nations faced a boycott from its members from 31 December, if they did not submit data showing they were compliant.


Extract ID: 1459

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Africa News Online
Extract Author: Nicodemus Odhiambo
Extract Date: 1999 December 21

Tanzania To Celebrate Millennium Atop Mount Kilimanjaro

Copyright (c) 1999 Panafrican News Agency.

About 1,000 tourists plan to usher in their Millennium atop Mount Kilimanjaro, the Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism has confirmed.

Zakia Meghji said Monday the event will fetch the country some 1.5 million US Dollars (about 1.2 billion Tsh) in foreign currency.

Ten locals are also expected to go up the mountain during the 'Mount Kilimanjaro Top 2000 Expedition'.

The first batch of mountain climbers is to be flagged off next Monday and they will be awarded certificates as they descend 2 January, 2000. The excursions to Africa's highest mountain form part of the country's Millennium celebrations, whose climax will be marked in Dar Es Salaam.

Meghji said the mountain climbing fees had however been hiked by 100 percent to 100 US dollars in order to put off mass bookings due to contingency reasons and to ultimately guarantee the safety of the environment.

Security had been beefed up and rescue teams identified to ensure the safety of the Millennium celebrants, Meghji noted.

Another monumental event shall be the establishment of a Tanzania Millennium village next year in Dar Es Salaam, depicting the major historical, cultural, social and natural attractions available in the country, according to Meghji.

Other activities involve the planting of an estimated 20 million tree seedlings throughout the country, thus boosting by 20 percent the national target of planting 100 million trees by the end of 2000.

Tourism is Tanzania's second foreign exchange earner after agriculture. In 1997, it received 360,000 tourists, who generated 392.4 million US dollars.

In 1998, the World Tourism Organisation recorded that Tanzania ranked 11 among Africa's 20 top tourist destinations.

Most of the tourists come from Europe, the US, Japan, Korea and South Africa. The tourism sector employs 35,000 workers and it is growing at 11.4 percent while revenues are increasing at 23.3 percent annually.

Extract ID: 1463

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Africa News Online
Extract Date: 2000 January 3

Millennium Celebrants Die Scaling Kilimanjaro

Copyright (c) 2000 Panafrican News Agency

Two tourists died while scaling Mount Kilimanjaro in northern Tanzania during the Millennium celebrations.

Kilimanjaro National Park Chief Warden Lorivi-ole Moirana named the dead as Werner Hein, 55, from Germany, and Jennifer Steven, 54, from the US.

Hein died of a heart attack 31 December at the third cave point on the Rongai route while Steven died at the Uhuru peak at an altitude of 5,895 metre above sea level.

The two were part of a group of 1,154 revellers from the US, Germany, Britain, Japan, Australia, Switzerland, Brazil and South Africa who were destined to go up Africa's highest mountain to welcome the New Year.

At least 32 climbers had failed to reach the summit Sunday because they suffered injuries and had to be rescued by guides, Moirana said.

'Many of them were hit by heart problems, malaria and dehydration,' he added.

Tourists numbering 1,000 finished the climb and were accordingly awarded certificates.

Among them was Spanish Christina Abey, aged 11, and a South African, Goergette de Vos, aged 72.

Extract ID: 1471