Ethiopia Drafting Law to Regulate Internet, Radio and TV
Written by Meraf Leykun
Ethiopia is preparing a draft law to regulate Internet, radio and TV. The draft is being prepared by a steering committee constituting the Ethiopian Broadcasting Authority, Ethiopian Ministry of Communications & Information Technology and Information Network Security Agency. The Ethiopia Radio & Television Agency is also participating in the drafting process of the new law.
The draft bill is expected to be finalized and forwarded to the Council of Ministers before the end of the current Ethiopian Fiscal Year, according to Leul Gebru, deputy director general of Ethiopian Broadcast Authority.
The bill is required to regulate Internet, television and radio broadcasts, once the current analogue infrastructure is transformed to a digital system.
“The law is needed, in order to prepare for the management complexities that will follow digitization,” Leul said.
A federal agency will also be established to administer the broadcasting network and radio waves, with Ethiopian Broadcast Authority controlling the content transmitted on different channels, according to Leul.
Under the new bill, additional licenses are expected to be issued, including mobile TV broadcasting license, Bedlu Weldemariam, mass media registration & license director, at the Ethiopian Broadcast Authority, told Fortune.
The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) agreed in 2006, to change all broadcasting frequencies to digital by 2015, with extended period until 2018 for Ethiopia and most African countries.
The change to digital will not only require the import of digital televisions, but also 74 additional transmitters, necessary to transmit the extra channels, according to Leul.