Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed chairing a cabinet meeting (Photo File)

Council Ratifies Bill Classifying, Protecting Govt Information

ADDIS ABABA – A draft regulation to classify and secure sensitive information of the Ethiopian government has been ratified.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s cabinet dealt with four draft legislatures during its regular session on Wednesday. The Bill for Classification and Protection of government information was one of them,

In the absence of a secured electronic communication system in place, the PM Office says in a statement that existing channels used to transfer sensitive information pose risks to national security.

These risks, it says, cause loss, alteration, or release of sensitive information that should otherwise be withheld from general circulations, the PM Office says, explaining the need for regulation.

The regulation aims to enable authorities to safeguard and put classes on sensitive information. It also defines rights and duties for officials, institutions, and public servants in handling classified information.

The bill was proposed for the Council ministers during Wednesday’s meeting and unanimously approved. It will become effective upon the date of its publication in the Negarit Gazette.

The council also discussed a draft proclamation to provide a legal framework for regulation and security certifications of information technology products.

The bill seeks to prevent and control security risks IT products coming in or out of the country create.

It also aims to raise awareness about risks that IT products may pose to national security among the public while defining rights and duties as well as penalties involved for acts of violation.

In their meeting today, the ministers added their inputs to the draft proclamation and decided to refer the bill to the parliament for approval.

Meanwhile, the council also unanimously approved a draft Employment regulation of the Ethiopian Capital Market Authority (ECMA). The session also saw draft regulations proposed to set up Ethio-BioPharma Group and ShieldVax Enterprise ratified. The council unanimously voted for the establishment of the two as separate entities.

The regulations shall be effective upon the date of their publication in the Negarit Gazette, pre the PM Office.