Cyber Ethiopia

About Us

Legal Status

CyberEthiopia.com is registered as a non-profit association in Geneva, Switzerland under the federal number CH-660-0788005-0 and is governed by its bylaws, subsidiary to articles 80, of the Swiss Civil Code.

The siege of the organization is in Geneva, Switzerland. It shall have a branch based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Mission

To promote the use of the internet for development, bolster democracy, transparency, and human rights in Ethiopia, through e-applications using the Ethiopian alphabet, programs and policies recommendations that uphold responsible freedom of speech and expression online.

ICT4 D Objectives (extract from our 2005 Action Plan)

The organization has the following objectives:

  • Serve as a reference on the World Wide Web for timely, relevant and accurate information related to Ethiopia and Ethiopians [Information]
  • Research, study technologies and develop applications that advances the usage of the millenary Ethiopian alphabet on the Internet and encourage activities related to the usage of the new technologies by Ethiopians at large [Technology]
  • Foster dialogue, collaboration and knowledge sharing among Ethiopians (both inside and outside the country), in particular by offering local content and appropriate e-forums in local Ethiopian languages in an open, free, and democratic spirit. [Communication]
  • Initiate “cyberculture” among Ethiopians with the aim of promoting the use of new Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) in numerous domains related the development of the country [ICT for Development]

The association shall undertake any activities directly or indirectly related to its objectives. It shall also engage in lucrative activities to cover administrative costs. The association is immune from any political, confessional or governmental affiliation.

Activities

In accordance with the objectives outlined above, the organization is engaged in the pursuit of the following activities:

  • Diffuse and circulate information relevant to Ethiopia and Ethiopians through the web site. This shall include news, press releases, various articles and commentaries, particular announcements as well as any other information that would be of interest to Ethiopians worldwide.
  • Develop applications and electronic services that promote the use of Ethiopic alphabet in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT).
  • Initiate and promote e-forums on various socio-economic, cultural and other issues of interest in line with defined rules of conduct and hence enhance information exchange between various civic and professional networks.
  • Serve as an advertisement medium for various commercial products and services.
  • Engage in online marketing (e-commerce) of various products and services for covering administrative costs.

Figures and Statistics

See  figures for April 2007

Services

Service Description
Warka Community
(Forum and Chat)
First, unique and independent web based forum allowing Ethiopians and friends of Ethiopia to discuss over the Internet, using the millenary Ethiopian alphabet (fidels). Created in June 2000, it has evolved a lot since its initial launch, becoming one of the most used discussion forum gathering Ethiopians from all corners of the World. primary objective is to foster dialogue, collaboration and knowledge sharing among Ethiopians (both inside and outside the country)
News Digest (Blog) Attempts to provide an independent perspective with timely, condensed, provocative and informative stories with high editorial standards. Our aim is to narrow the gap in the media caused by the inadequacy of coverage of the existing press and the overflow of information circulated on the Internet.
Web Directory With the greatest selection of Ethiopians links in a variety of categories, Our searchable collection of Ethiopian Web sites organized by subject aims to be the best starting point for research, entertainment, and business pursuits: the one stop gateway for information related to Ethiopia.
Postabet First and unique service allowing email exchanges in Ethiopian langages

Awards

Victim of Cybercensorship

Since May 2006, the top five most popular Ethiopian web sites (including CyberEthiopia) and several blogs have been blocked across the nation. The apparent objective is to prevent the dissemination of information that is critical of the regime but also to send an intimidating message to the Diaspora and attempt to muzzle it.

Despite the numerous calls from Global Media watchdogs, officials at the Ministry of Information only said they had no explanation or information about the sudden inaccessibility of the blogs and web sites including Cyberethiopia.com.

Also read “ Ethiopian Government accused of Cybercensorship ” .

Note on Local Content Development

The rise of Information and Communications Technologies (ICTs) in recent years has undoubtedly accelerated the pace of globalization. In an increasingly globalized world, countries such as Ethiopia have little or no margin of action as they try to position themselves into the so called Global village.

The global era and the advent of the Information Society demonstrate the need for Ethiopians not only to develop their information and communication infrastructure but also create an enabling environment for information and knowledge sharing with their own languages.

The endemic risk of being left behind and further marginalized can only be eliminated with the digital inclusion and full participation of Ethiopians at large in the Information Society, especially the young people and the future workforce.

Thus the need to underline the fact that Africans should adopt and adapt emerging technologies, make appropriate use of them as to stimulate development while paying particular attention to the preservation and affirmation of their heritage, their cultural and linguistic legacies.

Background for the Ethiopian case

Ethiopia has this particularity of having its own script used for written communication since 100 BC.

This presents additional challenges with respect to Ethiopians’ full participation in the information society, especially in terms of development and promotion of local content as most ICT products and standards do not fully support the Ethiopic character sets.

Attention should be drawn to the linguistic and cultural insight to bear on the design and deployment of emerging technologies, particularly for rural, non-elite communities in countries like Ethiopia.

CyberEthiopia.com is attempting to undertake pioneering initiatives that promote information and knowledge sharing applications and also stimulate the development of local content by presenting news, creating e-forums in local languages and other informative materials in a balanced and comprehensive manner.

CyberEthiopia.com: an online media

CyberEthiopia News Digest attempts to provide an independent perspective with timely, condensed, provocative and informative stories with high editorial standards. Our aim is to narrow the gap in the media caused by the inadequacy of coverage of the existing press and the overflow of information circulated on the Internet.

Today, most online sites cast coverage of events in a single sided view rather than presenting all perspectives to readers and allowing them to be critical, discuss them and make their own judgment.

By summarizing stories from the private and state-owned press in Ethiopia, the Internet News sources, the news Digest presents a condensed view of key events related to Ethiopia.

We are driven by the principle that journalism speaks for the individual and stand vigilant in the protection of free speech and human rights in Ethiopia.

By convening regular online editorial meetings using current technologies, the News Digest along with the Warka Forums gives Ethiopians a unifying forum from which to view and address today’s issues Amharic and/or English.

Our audience embraces mostly Ethiopians world wide, from a business executives to academicians, media professionals to students, who desire to be informed honestly and independently of events at home and abroad.

CyberEthiopia Internet News

CyberEthiopia Internet News Updates is an area where one can get news items pertaining to Ethiopia from hundreds news sources on the Internet. It allows Internet users to get timely information on latest issues and facilitates access to current news avoiding them the time-consuming task of searching news sites.

The automated programs crawl major news sites on the Internet and bring pointers (hyperlinks) to news related to Ethiopia to our news archiving database, a very good starting point for researchers, and media professionals to search for references into our news archives.

To date, no filtering is done as to leave the users decide what is relevant and trustworthy.

All news items are pointers to articles owned and copyrighted by their respective publishers. CyberEthiopia is not responsible for the information contained within those news articles

News from Local newspapers in Amharic

The headlines in Amharic from local Ethiopian newspapers under Warka News are extracts of news from the Ethiopian News Headlines through a partnership agreement between CyberEthiopia and ENH .

The Ethiopian News Headlines (ENH) collects daily news of Ethiopia and makes it accessible to the Ethiopian Diaspora for whom it would otherwise be unavailable.  The ENH has helped extend the reach of local papers since 1997 and partnered with CyberEthiopia in 2003 to provide the public with an Amharic discussion service for the news articles

The Team

CyberEthiopia’s Board of Directors consists of individuals with different academic backgrounds, experiences and professions (Information Technology Professionals, Media professionals, Marketing, Social Science etc)

We can be contacted through our contact form.

CyberEthiopia.com
BP 303 Geneva
Switzerland


Warka
Warka ዋርካ
the Pioneering Ethiopian Discussion
Forum in Amharic



Ethiopia is the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to actively engage in political censorship of the Internet .

Since May 2006, the then top five 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.




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