“First and foremost it is very important to define what is social media and Social media Channels? When we say social media, it is refers to the means of interactions among people in which they create, share, and/or exchange information and ideas in electronic medias like internet services and mobile phone applications used for the generation, dissemination, and discussion of information in textual, pictorial, audio or video formats. It includes all forms of current and future tools used for digital interactions between people. Social media channels are instruments that allow people to interact online in a ‘social’ manner, whether for Personal and professional reasons, or for official business. Current examples of social media tools include, but are not limited to, social networking sites such as Face book, MySpace and LinkedIn; blogs and blog publication and others.
In case of Ethiopia, a lot of social media channels are used. For example, Government media, like National TV, Radio and mobile are all easily accessible by almost all citizens of the country. Moreover, internet like, blogs, YouTube, Skype and others are also the most used media channels used by the government to inform citizens about the overall activities and current issues in the country.
Social media presents government with a number of opportunities to engage with citizens using familiar and widely available technologies. This two-way form of communication enables government to be more active in relationships with citizens, partners and stakeholders – increasing the frequency and speed of public engagement. Thus, Social media is powerful tool to drive cultural, political, economic and social engagement. Moreover, it is also a key communications tool for local authorities and highlights their commitments to openness and transparency. Furthermore, it Increase citizens’ access to government and increase government’s access to audiences and enable government to be more active in its relationships with citizens, partners and stakeholders
Therefore, it is important for a government to consider the active participation of all people if to bring and preach democracy. For this purpose, media play a great role in keeping citizens engaged by providing information, educating and mobilizing the public. Thus, it is important for the Government to choose the cost effective social media channels that are easily accessible to all citizens equally.” – Hiwotie Walelign Alemu – Amhara, Ethiopia