One year after Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed initiated a comprehensive reform process, DW, Germany’s international broadcaster, is expanding its activities in the country.
This week, DW Director General Peter Limbourg signed several agreements with partners Ahadu TV and Radio, Ethio FM and Afro FM during his visit to Ethiopia.
For decades, DW’s Amharic radio programs were broadcast only via shortwave and te signal was systematically obstructed by the government through jamming.
These days, popular DW offerings can be listened to via VHF on Ahadu Radio and Ethio FM.
DW and its Ethiopian partners also agreed on Facebook partnerships and TV transmissions. “It makes us proud to experience the high status that Deutsche Welle enjoys here,” Limbourg said. “We want to contribute to the transformation process with serious and balanced reporting.”
Since the new government issued the necessary accreditations, DW has been able to expand its network of local correspondents putting it in a position to report continuously on the regions affected by ethnic conflicts.
The agreements also include qualification measures organized by DW Academie. The aim is to build journalistic capacities and to impart professional standards. New partner broadcasters, as well as government agencies, showed interest in the Academie’s portfolio.
The DW delegation met with representatives of political parties, civil society and the private sector. At a meeting hosted by German Ambassador Brita Wagener, the representatives expressed their concern about the “state of limbo of the reform process,” misinformation and impunity. Yetnebersh Nigussie, a lawyer and human rights activist who won the Alternative Nobel Prize, said it was time for the government of Abiy Ahmed to implement the rule of law.