Strengthening free, independent and professional journalism in Ethiopa

Ethiopian / MIRH/17 JAN 2022

Collected by Fekadu Alemu

The study has been guided by the following steering documents:

  1. The Swedish Strategy for Development Cooperation with Ethiopia, 2016-2020 that aims to contribute to a better environment, limited climate impact and enhance resilience to climate change, as well as improved opportunities for citizens to make use of their rights. Sweden is to identify agents of change that can contribute to the positive development of society. These may include among also cultural organisations, religious communities and media. Sweden’s support should contribute to broader participation, increased access to information, transparency and accountability. Furthermore, Sweden is to help strengthen the development of democracy, increase respect for human rights and strengthen the rule of law in Ethiopia. Sweden’s activities are to focus on strengthening scope for participation and capacity for accountability, access to legal aid, freedom of expression and women’s and girls’ rights. Increased pluralism in and quality of domestic media as well as increased access to information and communication platforms are important.
  2. The “Human Rights, Democracy and the principles of the Rule of Law in Swedish Foreign Policy (2016)” mentions the importance to promote a democratic media landscape and to strengthen the right to access to information as well as increasing the safety of journalists.
  3. The “Swedish Government’s Policy for Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Aid” (2016) stresses the importance of free, independent media, demanding accountability. Protection of journalists, support to education as well as media literacy initiatives are prioritized. The Internet and new media is given great importance, development cooperation should therefore be guided by support to a free, open and secure Internet, where laws and institutions are designed to ensure the Rule of Law. However, the Policy also emphasises the need to meet increasing propaganda and disinformation campaigns.
  4. Finally, the study and the proposed entry points are aligned with the SDGs, particularly SDG 5,16 and 17.

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