First meeting of the ombudsman conducted
To strength its activities the Embassy of France to Ethiopia has granted 100,000 Euros to the Ethiopian Media Council. According to the press statement of the council the grant will help to establish the press ombudsman, organize trainings in different parts of the country, and strength its internal institutionalization that will be implemented until the end of 2021.
On Monday October 26, French Ambassador to Ethiopia and the African Union, Remi Marechaux and Amare Aregawi EMC Executive Committee Chairperson and General Manager of Reporter newspaper signed the agreement.
Also as the statement indicates, the grant will help to organize trainings in different parts of the country for over 200 journalists to professionally cover the upcoming national election, organize a series of debates on radio, TV and newspapers for key governance players to be interviewed alongside government representatives, parliamentarians, mayors, civil society, youth organizations, academia, and private sector representatives.
During the signing ceremony Ambassador Remi expressed his gratitude to support the council. “Having supported your council what needs to be done is upon your desire. We trust that the council will play a crucial part in the democratic process of the country,” he stated.
Amare Aregawi EMC Executive Committee Chairperson on his part said that the support will help the council to be more active which will impact the media in a positive way.
According to Amare, all members of the council will get proper utilization from the grant.
The fund will also help to strengthen internal institutional capacity of the EMC to ensure its stakeholders increased capacity in the context of COVID-19 and the upcoming national election, and consolidate the Media Council as an umbrella organization for the media – and thus as key governance actors and watch-dogs.
EMC’s members selected 18 ombudsman members from 13 different associations and organizations. On Saturday October 31, the first meeting was conducted for the Ombudsman members to meet and greet as well as understand the media environment, the media law, and be informed of their role with the clear intent of them to work as an independent body.
During the meeting panelists presented their papers followed by a question and answer session was conducted to clear up their roles.
Formed on January 12 2016, Ethiopian media council is a nationwide assembly formally recognized as an independent civil society organization. The council has 46 members from different media units.