Supporting Ethiopia’s Media Reform

Aug 22, 2018

A consultation with stakeholders was organized by the Government Communication Affairs Office (GCAO) and UNDP to help set a clear direction for the media reform pillars and provide a base for the drafting Ethiopia’s national media policy.

The workshop attracted experts from the civil society, media house, legal professions, development partners and government offices as well as members of the committee recently set up by the prime minister to review the media legislation. 

Speaking at the opening of the Workshop on Media Landscape Assessment Review, GCAO Minister Ahmed Shide commended UNDP for the financial and technical support has made possible to have a high quality assessment of the current media landscape.

Reforming the media is a high priority agenda for the government to promote freedom of expression and independence of the media, he added, adding that it is one of the areas highlighted in Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s pledges to reform during his inaugural speech.  

UNDP Ethiopia Country Director Louise Chamberlain on her part said the government of Ethiopia’s openness to move forward with guaranteeing free speech and independent media has opened the opportunity to engage in an open dialogue and to host an inclusive and consultative process with key stakeholders.

She urged workshop participants to own the reform process and continue their concerted efforts for the full implementation of media reform in the coming years.

Anette Dahlström, Counselor on Human Rights and Democracy at the Embassy of Sweden, closed the workshop by stressing the importance of the reform process and sharing lessons the long tradition of media in Sweden that reached back to the 1766 law enacted on freedom of the press. She also highlighted the need for the media environment in Ethiopia to reflect more gender parity.

Media reform project is part of the broader UNDP flagship Government and Democratic Participation Programme (GDPP), which has received financial support from the governments of Sweden and Austria.

GDPP seeks to promote an all-inclusive and sustainable development agenda by strengthening public institutions, empowering citizens to voice their concern and promoting the platform for greater civic participation and dialogues.

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