Takeaways from the Ethiopia media delegation exchange with the Kenya counterpart

Ethiopia media delegation led by the national broadcaster, Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation-EBC paid an official working visit to the Kenya Institute of Mass Communication (KIMC) from 11-16 July 2021 in Nairobi, Kenya. The delegation constituted six representatives of key media stakeholders that include representatives from the statutory regulator- the Ethiopian Media Authority, the self-regulatory body – Ethiopian Media Council, the Ethiopian Media Women Association, EBC and a UNESCO representative from UNESCO Addis Ababa Office.

The main objectives of the visit were to strengthen the Ethiopian middle level and in-service journalism training opportunities that UNESCO is supporting the Ethiopian media partners and draw lessons on media regulation and capacity development from Kenya.

In the five days visit, delegates exchanged experiences and hold discussions with the middle-level journalists training centre- KIMC, the communications regulator- Communication Authority of Kenya, the media regulatory- the Media Council of Kenya (MCK) and the national broadcaster- Kenya Broadcasting Corporation (KBC). In all of the institutes, the delegates were warmly welcomed and had fruitful discussions that include ways to further strengthen the collaboration between Ethiopian and Kenyan media partners.

The partners agreed to work together and share experiences in the future. KIMC will continue to share experts and technical support for EBC Training and Research Centre (TRC) while the Media Council of Kenya (MCK) shall provide mentorship support for its counterpart the Ethiopian Media council (EMC). KIMC has been the key partner in the development of three curricula for EBC TRC in 2020 and sharing experience in the transformation of EBC TRC to be a national training institute.

EBC and KBC also identified areas of collaboration including content sharing among them particularly on promoting cultural diversity in East Africa. The UNESCO iconic project of the General History of Africa (GHA), an eight-volume series of African History written by African Historians, could be exploited in the partnership opportunity where the promotion of African history can be an additional entry point.

The Ethiopian Media Authority (EMA) has also noted that it has drawn valuable lessons in the regulation of media particularly in building trust and transparency among the regulators, the media and the public at large with the close collaboration of the self-regulation systems including media professional associations.

Participants of the mission expressed their heartfelt gratitude for the generous and kind hospitality they received from the Kenyan media partners particularly the host-KIMC- and the facilitator of this exchange UNESCO – IPDC.

Upon return to Ethiopia, the team organized a discussion meeting at Ethiopian Media Authority with the request of the UNESCO Addis Director, Yumiko Yokozeki, on the key takeaways and a visit to the EBC and the TRC to showcase the potential of the TRC and its resources to serve as a key national institution. UNESCO Addis to facilitate further support with key media development partners including those from the EMSA members to strengthen the media development initiatives in Ethiopia.

Under the EMSA Coordination, UNESCO supported the development of three middle level and in-service journalism curriculum for Ethiopia through a multi-stakeholder process with the leadership of Makarere University from Uganda, KIMC from Kenya and a number of EMSA national partners from Ethiopia.