Leaner’s Submission: Social Media Channels Used by Government in Ethiopia

12/11/2013

“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


Learner’s Submission: Social Media Channels in Ethiopia

18/10/2013

“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


Learner’s Submission: “Social Media Channels Used by Bangladesh Government So Far”

30/05/2013

“Nowadays ‘social media’ is a very common term in Bangladesh. Social media is the most popular platform of Bangladeshi tech culture for this third millennium. This culture refers to mobile and web-based technology applications used for the generation and discussion of information in textual, pictorial, audio or video formats. Social media technologies take on many different forms including magazines, internet forums, weblogs, social blogs, wikis, social networks, podcasts, pictures, video, social bookmarking, etc. Social media includes blogs, picture-sharing, wall-postings, email, instant messaging, music-sharing, video sharing, etc. It also includes all forms of current and future tools used for digital interactions between people. Social media channels allow people to interact online in a social manner, whether for personal and professional reasons, or for many other purposes.

This context describes the current usage, impacts, benefits and importance of social media channels adopted by the Government of Bangladesh so far.

In Bangladesh current social media tools or social networking sites such as google, yahoo, hotmail, facebook, mySpace, linkedin, blogs and blog publication platforms such as wordpress, discussion forums, micro-blogs such as twitter and yammer, wikis such as wikipedia and wikispaces, video and audio such as youtube, scribd and slideshare, real-time chat and live blogging tools. Social media is becoming an increasingly popular set of channels for Bangladesh to use in their communication and engagement as because they provide an effective means of engaging with audience across different demographics as they are using social media and they are perceived as simple to set up and use. A great deal of data primary or secondary information and analyses can be used to arrive at empirical findings. Facebook and Linked in is the key to establishing an identity and networking across interest groups twitter for interaction, pinterest for image displays, youtube for video versions, etc. Bangladesh may have more than its fair share of adverse publicity but  hardly engage in meaningful and positive image building for the many good things that shape the lives of so many. Social Media provides the opportunity for that good portrayal through the cost-efficient methods and many more.

To promote Bangladeshi business or products or services ‘Social Media Marketing’ method is the smartest way in this age of technology. But in our Bangladesh it’s true that social-media is not available to use for all. After that there is a large and active community is involving with Social Media. A statistics says around 500,000 of total number of people are involved with Internet and approx. 83% of them are using social media. In Bangladesh this social media strategy is not being practiced widely than the other developing countries so far. But we should start right now. We think we should think globally. Many government and non government organizations of Bangladesh have started to use social media for the advertisement and popularity. In fact many of our country’s largest government and non government companies are not using social media widely. But yes of course social media is a very strong tool to reach to the worldwide audience, customers and clients and even to critics within short time and short investment.” – S.M. Muklesur Rahman – Dhaka, Bangladesh


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