PM’s Cabinet Passes Ethiopia’s First Mass Media Policy

ADDIS ABABA –  Council of Ministers has adopted a new mass media policy in a bid to boost the effectiveness of Ethiopian Broadcast Authority (EBA).

During its 88th regular session held on Saturday, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s cabinet discussed on two draft documents – a new mass media policy and excise tax bill.

The broadcast authority has been unable to enhance and flourish the media sector and ensure citizen’s access to information due to the absence of a proper policy in the sector, the PM office said in a statement.

The statement did not go into details about the policy.

But it said the document is designed to address the overall societal needs of the nation compatible with existing culture, values, attitudes, basic human and democratic rights.

The document is also expected to address key challenges of the sector and technological predicament, said the Prime Minister office in the statement issued after the meeting.

After extensive deliberation on the draft document and incorporated feedback obtained from the cabinet, the office said council decided for the policy to come into effect.

The other agenda that the council discussed on Saturday was the amendment of excise tax proclamation no. 1186/2020. The amendment has made a change on sub-article 1 of article 43 of Transitional Provisions.

The article reads the “proclamation, which provides about licensing, persons engaged in the manufacture of excisable goods and provision of services may continue to do so for 6 months from the date of issuance of this Proclamation without having the license”.

The proposed change says the services will end on August 9, 2021.

Following the discussion, the council decided to replace article 43(1) and referred it to the House of Peoples’ Representatives for further discussion and approval.

Council of Ministers in a meeting [Photo File]