Ethiopia: Mass media and rights of people to access information

Ethiopian Radio Television Agency
Ethiopian Radio Television Agency

Mass media, institutions to implement rights of people to access information

Addis Ababa, May 6, 2010 (Addis Ababa) – Mass media and other government institutions agreed to work together to put in place legal framework enabling to implement the rights of the Ethiopian people to access information.
They agreed to work toward the same goal according to a resolution they passed at the closing of a day long workshop organized here on Thursday in connection with World Press Freedom Day marked under the theme freedom of information : the right to know.

Participants drawn from governmental and private mass media, higher learning institutions and pertinent bodies took part in the workshop.

According to the resolution, the participants agreed to work jointly in the efforts to incorporate timely information useful for the framework.

They also agreed political parties, mass media and civic associations should contribute their share towards the same goal taking into consideration significance of transparency to good governance.

Government Communication Affairs Office Minister, Bereket Simon on the occasion said the government believes that informed society contributes share in the overall national affairs.

Bereket said citizens will benefit equally from all opportunities in the country when they are well informed.

Celebration of the World Press Freedom Day is significant as it is related to basic change being registered in the ongoing democratic system

Ethiopia is a country in which the right to expression is guaranteed in its constitution during the past 19 years, he said, adding, it is also a country, which ensured the rights of citizens to know.

He said the country has put in place a proclamation for freedom of press and information and it is the fourth country in Africa to put in place the proclamation.

He said the office has carried out various activities enabling to implement the proclamation. Some the activities include, among others, training and deployment of public relations professionals.

The minister expressed readiness of the government, the office and various government offices to implement the proclamation.

Three relevant research papers were presented at the workshop jointly organized by the office and Horn of Africa Press Institute.