U.S. Embassy Supports Ethiopian Journalists in Elections Training

February 9, 2021, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: On February 8, 2021 the U.S. Embassy launched the
first of 25 week-long media trainings throughout Ethiopia. This comprehensive media capacity
project will train approximately 500-700 journalists across the country. The U.S. Embassy has
invested $450,000 (17,730,000 million birr) in this project.
The overall goal of these trainings to empower and educate journalists on their roles and
responsibilities throughout the election process, which includes educating voters on diverse
issues, and monitoring and reporting on electoral activities to increase the transparency and
accountability of all parties involved. At the launch, Amanda Jacobsen, Public Affairs Officer at
the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa, underscored to journalists, “Your role as media professionals
is critical in both uncovering and addressing the needs and challenges of citizens, as well as
questioning sources, diversifying the types of people you interview, and countering mis- and
disinformation as part of your daily responsibilities.”
Election-related topics to be covered include effective elections reporting; identifying mis- and
dis-information; and COVID-19 reporting techniques. The workshops will be facilitated by
experienced Ethiopian journalists and professors from leading Ethiopian schools of
journalism. An American media specialist developed the curriculum for the five-day sessions.
The initiative is implemented by the Johns Hopkins Center for Communications Programs, with
support from the U.S. Embassy in Ethiopia, and in partnership with the National Electoral Board
of Ethiopia (NEBE) and Addis Ababa University’s School of Journalism and Communications.
In addition, experienced American media specialists will provide hands-on, tailored training at
various Ethiopian newsrooms on investigative journalism techniques beginning in March 2021.
The United States has invested nearly $35 million to support Ethiopia’s efforts to organize,
administer, and conduct free and fair elections. U.S. assistance is helping build the capacity of
the NEBE, political parties, civil society, and independent media to contribute to a free, fair, and
peaceful electoral process, ensuring greater transparency and promoting meaningful participation
among all citizens—with a focus on women, youth, and other traditionally marginalized
groups. The United States is also supporting an international election observation effort.
For more information, please contact Dr. Simon Heliso Kuka, Country Representative, Johns
Hopkins Center for Communication Programs at simonh@jhuccpeth.org or +251 912 506
981, or Yohannes Gezahegn, Press and Media Coordinator at the U.S. Embassy,
at gezahegnYG@state.gov or +251 911 512 227.
For more information on the U.S. Embassy’s latest news, programs, and opportunities, please
visit https://et.usembassy.gov, @USEmbassyAddis, and www.facebook.com/us.emb.addisababa.