Cyber Ethiopia

CyberEthiopia wins First Prize of the African Information Society Initiative (AISI), IICD media award

Grahamstown, South Africa (16 September 2005)  - CyberEthiopia was awarded the First Prize of the 2005 Africa Information Society Media Awards (AISI) introduced in 2003 to encourage more informed coverage of the Information Society and the Information Communication Technology for Development (ICT4D).

The awards are part of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA’s) Information Society Outreach and Communication Program.

The awards are aimed to recognize individuals and media institutions based in Africa for promoting activities that contributes to a better understanding of the Information Society in Africa. They were presented on Tuesday 13 September, 2005 at a joint ceremony of the ECA and the Highway Africa Awards for innovative use of New Media, held in Grahamstown, South Africa.

Kitaw Yayehyirad, Founder and Director General and Beruh Yayehyirad, Director IT Division were present at the ceremony representing CyberEthiopia. Speaking at the awards ceremony, Thierry Amoussougbo, ECA Regional Advisor said the main focus of the awards is to strengthen initiatives in the Information Society as it unfolds in Africa and to link Information Society issues with development.

“The other aspect why this theme is very important is because we are now going into the second phase of the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), which will be held in Tunis in November”, added Amoussougba.

The AISI awards attracted 96 entries from Africa – the majority coming from West Africa.

The AISI awards are sponsored by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ), the International Institute for Communication and Development (IICD, the Open Society Initiative for Western Africa (OSIWA) and the International Development Research Council (IDRC).

The complete list of AISI Media Award winners includes entries for print, radio, TV, web sites, reporting on research and innovation, ICT Policy and ICTs and rural communities.

The judges were Dr Olivier Nana Nzepa, Professor-Consultant from the Institute Supérieur de Management Public in Cameroon; Dr Rolland Standbridge, Director Masters of Global Journalism programme at Orebro University; Chris Kabwato Director Highway Africa News Agency; Emrakeb Assefa staff writer Highway Africa News Agency and Deputy Editor in Chief for the Horn of Africa OASIS; Gilletta Mea Dilecta Gbanhoun an Information Systems engineer from Benin; Etienne Tasse a journalist and trainer in the use of ICTs and Yinka Adeyemi a communication media specialist.

It is to be recalled that CyberEthiopia won another award for excellence at the International Information and Communcations Technology (ICT) Exhibition and Forum, in Addis Abeba, Ethiopia. It was also noted that CyberEthiopia has been listed among noteworthy ICT success stories in Africa to be presented at the WSIS in November 2005.

This award is best owed to CyberEthiopia’s Team (Kitaw Yayehyirad, Beruh, Alex Maffi, Dawit Bekele, Yohannes Guebre-Egziabher) who have devoted their time, money and knowledge to make CyberEthiopia an Ethiopian reference in the African Information Society. The Team remains fully conscious that it is only the beginning of along road ahead. Special credit also goes to the Ethiopian News Headlines (ENH), Warka Forums’ participants, the many thousands of daily visitors, and various article contributors.

The Team will do its utmost to work hard towards the attainment of excellence in contributing in building an effective information society for Ethiopians and Africans as a whole.

Related links:

Warka ዋርካ
the Pioneering Ethiopian Discussion
Forum in Amharic

The then-TPLF-dominated regime in Ethiopia was the first in sub-Saharan Africa to actively engage in political censorship of the Internet .

Since May 2006, the most popular Ethiopian web sites (including CyberEthiopia) and several blogs have been blocked across the nation. The apparent objective was to prevent the dissemination of information that is critical of the regime.

Following the political protests which have swept the nation since November 2015, the regime has routinely shutdown the Internet and restricted access to Social Media (including Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Viber) and indicated its keenness to control Social Media.

On 22nd June 2018, the new Prime Minister Dr Abye Ahmed's government reported that it had unblocked 264 websites including after 12 years of blockage as attested by the OONI’s thorough verifications of our website’s unblocking .

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