Fana Broadcasting Corporate, one of the state-owned media in the country, on Saturday reported that Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed paid a surprise visit to its office and studio.
The source unspecified the time when he visited but it appears that it was on Saturday – just a day after the conclusion of the ruling party’s central committee meeting.
Abiy is cited as saying that fake news has become a challenge to the media sector and to the country as well. “Fake news speed and the number of ways it reaches the audience has made the time more challenging.”
The Prime Minister seems to think, based on the report, that there is a narrative problem in Ethiopia – and that makes the damage that fake news causes a serious one.
Furthermore, he reportedly said that that is one of the reasons why his government prioritized reform in the media sector. And the reform measure has started taking measures that ensure shared narratives prevail.
“As is seen now, as institutions strengthen ‘destructive thoughts’ will start to lose a place,” he added.
Abiy Ahmed’s government has been facing a serious legitimacy crisis in the past few years after his government failed to ensure the security of Ethiopians and failed short of unifying the country. Worse, his government engaged in devastating wars – first in the Tigray region of Ethiopia and currently in the Amhara region.
When he emerged as a Prime Minister in 2018 following an internal struggle within the now defunct Ethiopian People Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) and following Abiy Ahmed’s acceptance speech in the parliament, hopes were high that he would unify the country and make constitutional reform – which never happened.
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