National Workshop on Universal Acceptance Awareness and Training in Ethiopian Higher Education Institution


The increasing use of the internet and digital technologies in Ethiopian higher education institutions (HEIs) presents both opportunities and challenges. One critical challenge is ensuring inclusivity and accessibility for all users, regardless of their language or script. This is where the concept of Universal Acceptance (UA) becomes essential.

UA is the principle that all digital content and technologies should be designed, developed, and implemented in a way that is compatible with all languages and scripts. This includes ensuring that websites, online applications, and other digital resources are accessible to users who use non-Latin scripts, such as the Ge'ez script used in Ethiopia.

In response to this need, this concept note proposes a National Universal Acceptance Awareness and Training Workshop for Ethiopian HEIs in collaboration with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). This concept note proposes a National Universal Acceptance Awareness and Training Workshop for Ethiopia, designed to:

§ Increase awareness among key stakeholders (government officials, ICT professionals, civil society, and the general public) about the importance of UA for inclusive and equitable internet access in Ethiopia.

§ Provide practical training on implementing UA technical standards, including character encoding, keyboard layouts, and font rendering.

§ Build capacity within Ethiopia to champion UA and contribute to global efforts.

Bahir Dar University is interested to organize a one-day national workshop for the memorizing Universal Acceptance (UA) Day, which will be held on March 2024 by creating awareness and giving training about UA to fill the gaps in understanding about ICANN and its management roles in DNS, IP and UA for Universities scholars, industry experts, students and government bodies. This program will be organized in partnership with ICANN and Bahir Dar University(BDU) on 22 March, 2024, designed to raise awareness of UA challenges in Ethiopia, help build capacity to address those challenges, and assist ccTLDs and other stakeholders and implementing robust IDN and UA-related systems and policies with hybrid mode: virtually and in person.


Objectives of the Workshop

The workshop aims to:

  • Raise awareness among Ethiopian HEIs about the importance of UA in promoting inclusivity and accessibility in digital learning environments.
  • Equip HEI faculty, staff, and IT professionals with the knowledge and skills to implement UA principles in their websites, online applications, and other digital resources.
  • Foster collaboration and knowledge sharing among HEIs on best practices for UA implementation.
  • Contribute to the development of a national UA strategy for Ethiopian higher education.


Expected Outcomes of the Workshop

The workshop is expected to:

  •  Increase awareness and understanding of UA among Ethiopian HEIs
  • Build capacity among HEIs to implement UA principles in their digital learning environments
  • Promote collaboration and knowledge sharing on UA among HEIs
  • Contribute to the development of a national UA strategy for Ethiopian higher education


        Target Audiences

The workshop will target faculty, staff, DNS companies and IT professionals from Ethiopian HEIs who are involved in the development, maintenance, and use of digital learning resources. This includes:

  • Web developers and designers
  • Learning management system administrators
  • Librarians and instructional technologists
  • Faculty members who develop and deliver online courses
  • Telecom companies

Besides, participants shall be invited from the related industries and private sectors.


Workshop Program

The program consists of Welcoming and Opening speech from ICANN and Bahir Dar University; Awareness creation about Universal Acceptance (UA), UASIG, ICANN and DNS; Training on UA programming, panel discussion, demonstration of programming sessions with examples, Email Addresses Internationalization (EAI) Configuration and the way forward discussion on UA Academic Curriculum integration, UA Adoption for Ethiopian local languages and how to Engage in UA Activities in the next by creating partnership with ICANN. In general the following topics shall be addressed in the workshop.

  • Introduction to UA and its benefits for Ethiopian HEIs
  • Technical aspects of UA implementation, including character encoding, fonts, and software compatibility
  • Best practices for developing UA-compliant websites, online applications, and other digital resources
  • Case studies of UA implementation in other countries and regions
  • Resources and tools for implementing UA in Ethiopian HEIs


Sessions Schedule

The detail session schedule for the one day workshop includes:

  • Opening remarks: from ICANN and Bahir Dar University officials 10 min each
  • Keynote speech: UA Technical Adaption Experience in the world and the case of Ethiopia
  • Panel discussion: Panel discussion from multiple stakeholders about the opportunities and challenges of adapting UA in Ethiopia
  • Technical Training: Training and practice on programming and email administration for UA
  • The Wayforward discussion: on Universal Acceptance Impact and Next Steps, UA Academic Curriculum integration, UA Adoption for Ethiopian local languages and how to Engage in UA Activities
  • Finally the program will be closed with certification and closing remarks

The workshop will be a combination of presentations, hands-on exercises, and group discussions. The workshop will be conducted in English with simultaneous interpretation into Amharic. There will be both physical and online participation opportunities for the audiences.


Workshop Link for virtual audiences ( to be updated later)



Contact person

Adugna Necho


Phone: +251912684653



About the UASG

The UASG is a community-led initiative that was formed in 2015 and funded by ICANN. It consists of representatives from more than 120 companies, governments, and community groups. The UASG works to raise awareness of the importance of UA globally, provide free resources to organizations to help them become UA-ready, and measure the progress of UA adoption. To learn more, visit



[b]ICANN’s mission is to help ensure a stable, secure, and unified global Internet. To reach another person on the Internet, you need to type an address – a name or a number – into your computer or other device. That address must be unique so computers know where to find each other. ICANN helps coordinate and support these unique identifiers across the world. ICANN was formed in 1998 as a nonprofit public benefit corporation with a community of participants from all over the world. To learn more about UA related work by ICANN, visit


About Bahir Dar University

Bahir Dar University is one of the pioneer public higher education institutions was established in 1999 following the Council of Ministers’ regulation no. 60/1999. Currently, BDU enrols over 38,000 students and has 2,507 and 5490 academic and administrative staff respectively. Working on four-pronged missions, namely research, teaching and learning, community engagements, and technology transfer, BDU aspires to become one of the leading research-intensive universities in Africa and the first choice in Ethiopia by 2030. In the way to realizing the aforementioned missions, the university is now running a total of 429 academic programs including 115 first degree and 198 second degree. In its efforts to enhance quality education and promote internationalization, BDU, among others, is working in close collaboration with 230 local, regional and international partners, admitting international students mainly from neighbouring countries, opening joint masters and doctoral programs, and getting international accreditation of its programs by specialized professional accrediting bodies such as ABET.

Only since 1978, the total number of BDU alumni has reached 158, 488. According to the reports of the university’s tracer studies, the graduates of BDU are highly sought-after by the labor market in Ethiopia. While thousands are working in notable national and international organizations, an example is that 11 presidents of public universities today, out of the total 51 in Ethiopia, are graduates of BDU. Moreover, the alumni engagement in the university’s endeavours is growing over years.

Furthermore, over the last ten years, BDU has established 13 fully-functioning research centers and two business incubation centers that are used to commercialize research outputs, community engagements, and business incubation processes. Especially, EDIC, BiTec, and the Seifu BiT Makerspace all focus on innovation and business incubation. Apart from this, the University has the best STEM center in the country where students practice and adapt/adopt new technologies and innovative works during their school times. Also, the university has a CDC working to enhance career development and employability skills.

  • Business Incubation and Techno-Entrepreneurship Center (BiTec) is a center that aims to enable students and staff to innovate, prototype and commercialize technologies, create jobs, and strengthen local economies by producing financially viable small firms. The business idea behind the center is to inspire, facilitate and support young entrepreneurs and to help them create their own businesses. The center mainly works on innovation, business incubation, technology transfer, techno-entrepreneurship, and start-up prototyping. BiTec has incubated several successful start-ups among which production of packaging paper from rice and wheat straw, production of skincare collagen protein from fish scale, production of glue from defatted soya bean, development of Openflex Microscope and portable oxygen concentrator are some of the startups that are incubated at the Makerspace and on the way to start their own enterprises.

Under BiTec, the Seifu BiT Makerspace is enhancing the culture of innovation and providing a space for business incubates prototyping and sample production. The Makerspace also aims to create an innovative environment for BiT students, staff and the regional community. It has the potential to be an innovation hub for the regional community to develop multiple projects. It serves for business incubation and start-up prototyping. At the center, people work on idea innovation, business incubation, and startup prototyping. After incubation and prototyping, the start-ups are tested for minimum viable product. Then, the incubators are trained and supported to produce the business plan to prompt them into small scale enterprises.

  • Career Development Center (CDC) aims to enhance employability and job searching skills of graduates. The center delivers both soft skill and technical training for graduates. The center organizes national gathering to share experiences and create networking. Specifically, the center delivers training on educational-profile preparation and job searching, effective communication skill and self-branding, problem-solving and critical thinking, and understanding gender at workplace.
  • Entrepreneurship Development and Incubation center (EDIC) offers entrepreneurship training focusing on youth entrepreneurial skills, competencies, traits and behaviours, business incubations that facilitate the spaces and supports to convert business ideas into start-up companies, business development support services which assist young innovators and MSMEs owners to scale up their businesses. EDIC is working with different entrepreneurial ecosystem actors to provide necessary support for youth job creation and PSD. The center mainly focuses on sectors with job creation potentials such as agro-processing, manufacturing, digital skills and tourism. Only in 2022, the center delivered entrepreneurship training for more than 450 youths and business mentorship for 50 women-lead small enterprises, supported 20 business ideas, and provided 2.5 million ETB for 12 innovators to begin their start-up companies. EDIC has a policy to engage 50% of women beneficiaries in all its programs.
  • Information communication technology for development (ICT4D) research center is one of the research centers in Bahir Dar institute of Technology, Bahir Dar University which is established in 2016. The aim of the center is to foster the development of the nation by conducting research and developing ICT related projects. The center incorporates five major research groups which are e-service, Intelligent systems, wireless and mobile communication, Natural language Processing as well as privacy and security. The research center also has a training coordinator that is responsible to facilitating various trainings that are delivered in collaboration with national and international companies. ICT4D research center has conducted successfully three international conferences named International Conference on ICT for development Africa. The papers accepted are published on Springer and IEEE. The center has also done many community services, conducted various seminars, offered trainings and performed consultancy services.

Universal Acceptance (UA) Day is an opportunity to rally local, regional, and global communities and organizations to spread Universal Acceptance (UA) awareness and to encourage UA adoption with key stakeholders. The event will consist of UA training and awareness held by Bay Bahir Dar University in collaboration with ICANN. For more: