Ethiopia – Freedom on the Net 2012

Press HouseEthiopia is the second most populous country in Africa, but poor infrastructure and a government monopoly over the telecommunications sector have notably hindered the growth of information and communication technologies (ICTs). Consequently, Ethiopia has one of the lowest rates of internet and mobile telephone penetration on the continent. Despite low access, the government maintains a strict system of controls and is the only country in Sub-Saharan Africa to implement nationwide internet filtering.

Ethiopian websites and blogs that are typically blocked but that suddenly became available in early 2009 included CyberEthiopia, Ethiopian Review, Ethiopian Media Forum, Quatero, and Ethiomedia. Several observers suggested that the loosening came in response to the2008 U.S. State Department human rights report on Ethiopia released in February 2009,41 which accused the government of restricting internet access by blocking politically oriented websites.42 CyberEthiopia, a prodemocracy website, commented in March 2009 that the erratic nature of internet filtering may be a deliberate tactic by the authorities to create confusion and buttress government claims that there is no systematic or pervasive filtering in the country.

Source: Freedom House Ethiopia 2012