Preparations are underway to mark the Ethiopian millennium, which falls on 11 September 2007 in the Ethiopian calendar. The organisation is being overseen by the specially created Ethiopian millennium festival council, which met for the first time in mid-December to examine project proposals to the tune of 289.7 million birr (over 32 million dollars). Events are due to start three months prior to the turn of the millennium with the planting of indigenous trees across the country and will continue well into the New Year, local news sources report. The necessary funding will allegedly be raised through sponsorships, donors, raffle and lottery events among other things.
The preparations come against a backdrop of widespread poverty in Ethiopia, where over 80 per cent of its 77 million people live on less than two dollars a day and 40 per cent live on less than half a dollar a day. Ethiopia ranks 170 out of 177 countries in the United Nations