“It is a common understanding that social media refers to internet services and mobile phone applications used for the production, spreading, and exchange of information in textual, pictorial, audio or video formats. Social Medias are tools used for digital interactions between people. Social media channels allow people to interact online in a ‘social’ manner, whether for personal and professional affairs or for official dealing.
The most common social media tools include, but are not limited to, social networking sites in Ethiopia includes Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter and Skype.
The Ethiopian Government has realized the power of social media though the infrastructure for information technology in the country is still in poor condition. Its widespread network and thousands of users has become an amazing stage to reach people and better understand what they do and how they think. It is clear that social media has the potential to open up conversations, distribute important information and (more recently) to empower government with the ability to even spy on its citizens and others. Therefore, social Medias are the key to create a new relationship between citizens and the state.
The Ethiopian Government uses social media mainly for two basic purposes. First, to open two-way communication between citizens and government to help drive conversation about relevant issues like corruption and terrorism and makes government more accessible. Second, to deliver a message that is crafted by the government to provide information or influence the perceptions of citizens on different issues like inflation and costly life.
Government of Ethiopia has different business agencies, thus, these agencies are using social media in a variety of ways: to deliver services, communicate information, coordinate resources in emergencies, and engage citizens and stakeholders in consultation processes and advertisement purpose.
Some government agencies in Ethiopia record information that provides evidence of key activities or decisions in a way that accurately preserves their context and significance, and store these records in a way that makes them easily accessible for people.
Why Social Media Channels are vital
Social Media Channels are central for the government specifically and the people in general since they are key instruments to access information and data from different sources including the government sectors. The people can provide and get timely services and feedback from government and other sources trough social media. Therefore, any party can provide and get access with minimal cost. In this globalized world social Medias play significant role for different innovations and new ideas.
Both big and small companies use social Medias to monitor and build sentiment around their profile, products and services. On top of this, many government agencies also use social Medias to monitor public opinion on key topics.
In nut shell, the Ethiopian government uses social medias to gather information from the public and give feedback on various issues including services provided by the government, infrastructures and other necessary information, and to expand the culture of knowledge sharing among staff of the civil services and private businesses but highly limited due to the poor IT infrastructure in the country. ” – Tadele Demissie – Amhara, Ethiopia