Broadcasting Service Proclamation No. 533/2007
It was necessary to revise the existing law on broadcasting service to take into account that broadcasting service plays a significant role in the political, economic and social development of the country by providing information, education and entertainment programs to the public. Moreover, broadcasting plays a major role in exercising the basic constitutional rights such as freedom of expression, access to information and the right to elect and be elected. It is then essential to ensure proper and fair utilisation of the limited radio wave wealth of the country. It seems also essential to clearly define the rights and obligations of persons who undertake broadcasting service.
The Ethiopian Broadcasting Authority (EBA) is established as an autonomous federal agency accountable to the Office of Prime Minister. It regulates and ensures the expansion of a high standard, prompt and reliable broadcasting service that can contribute to political, social and economic development.
EBA ensures that the broadcasting service contributes to the proper social, economic, political and cultural development of the country by controlling licences, frequency and technical standards.
Licences: EBA issues broadcasting service licenses following the regulation criteria. It fixes and collects license fees for broadcasting services.
Frequency: EBA determines the site and coverage area of a broadcasting station to avoid an overlap with any radio communication. It controls illegal transmissions and the use of the radio wave allocated.
Standards: EBA Prescribes technical standards for different categories of broadcasting services and issues certificates of compliance to importers of the instruments and supervise their operations;
Ethiopian Broadcasting Authoroty (EBA) also conducts studies on the development of the broadcasting services and decides on complaints arising in relation to broadcasting services.
Three categories of licences have been created: public, commercial and community broadcasting services.
Public broadcasting services shall for example, enhance the participation of the public through the presentation of government policies and strategies as well as activities related to development, democracy and good governance. It shall also present programs which reflect the unity of peoples based on equality;
Commercial broadcasting services shall for example, provide equal treatment to any community in its license area and include regional and national news in its programs.
Community broadcasting services shall for example, carry out its activities based on the needs of the community regarding development, education and good governance; promote and develop the language, culture and artistic value of the community...
- An increased accessibility to information, particularly in remote area, leading to a better integration of remote territories and their citizens.
- Better information on local and international issues, and a better awareness of National Plan and the performance of the government
- A variety of topics broadcasted, encouraging shows about local community interests and local issues.
Diversity of channels: On the top of the 48 public regional radio stations broadcasting nationally, 28 Community radios and 19 Private radios broadcast locally, including Sheger Radio that also benefit of the satellite to reach an international audience. Dimtse Woyane Tigray and Radio Fana are the only private radios at brocading nationally. 18 public Television stations are broadcasting in the regions. There is no private television opened yet, but more than 20 applications has been received. Three channels (Fana, Arkie and Walta Information) are to be opened in 2016.
Diversity of languages: More than 30 languages are used, including Arabic, English and French as well as all major local languages.
Content: Most radios performed their duty on agreement with the law, but a few breaches have been identified. For example, using an exaggerated amount of advertisement can be at the expense of the content.