Mid-year Ranking of Ethiopia’s Top 20 news websites

Every year the Ethiopian Media Association International (EMAI) gives recognition award to the top Ethiopian news websites. These ranking come from independent reports and the Web Information Company – ALEXA.com, which is the leading method of ranking online media popularity around the world.

Below is a mid-year EMAI report that shows the ranking of Ethiopian media outlets as of June 18, 2010.  The mid-year ranking shows that the popular media Ethiopian Review is leading the pack once again and it is the #1 website during the first 6 months of 2010. The ranking also shows that the new online version of the newspaper Addis Neger has quickly become very popular among Ethiopians worldwide. It has qualified as a top 20 website in a very short amount of time.

Full Ranking:

  1. EthiopianReview.com
  2. Nazret.com
  3. Ethiomedia.com
  4. Ethioforum.org
  5. Jimmatimes.com
  6. Tadias.com
  7. Waltainfo.com
  8. Aigaforum.com
  9. Addisfortune.com
  10. Ecadforum.com
  11. ENA.Gov.Et
  12. Abugidainfo.com
  13. Abbaymedia.com
  14. EthiopiaZare.com
  15. CapitalEthiopia.com
  16. EthiopiaFirst.com
  17. AddisVoice.com
  18. Gadaa.com
  19. AddisNegeronline.com
  20. Opride.com

The information below gives more information about each of the top 20 Ethiopian websites. The first bracketed data shows the GLOBAL ranking of the websites compared with non-Ethiopian websites around the world. The Second bracketed information tells the affiliation of the websites that shows if they are “in general” pro-government or pro-opposition or independent.

  1. EthiopianReview.com [ 36,633]  (Opposition)
  2. Nazret.com [ 70,700]  (Independent)
  3. Ethiomedia.com [ 199, 835] (Oppposition)
  4. Ethioforum.org [ 364,468] (Opposition)
  5. Jimmatimes.com [ 451,223] (Independent)
  6. Tadias.com [ 467, 278]  (Independent)
  7. Waltainfo.com [ 476, 913] (Government)
  8. Aigaforum.com [ 484, 568] (Government)
  9. Addisfortune.com [ 550,622]   (Independent)
  10. Ecadforum.com [ 574, 645] (Opposition)
  11. ENA.Gov.Et  [ 575,660]  (Government)
  12. Abugidainfo.com [ 582,748] (Opposition)
  13. Abbaymedia.com [ 627,294] (Opposition)
  14. EthiopiaZare.com [ 796, 019] (Opposition)
  15. CapitalEthiopia.com [ 902,054] (Government)
  16. EthiopiaFirst.com [ 959, 387] (Independent)
  17. AddisVoice.com [ 1,220,056] (Opposition)
  18. Gadaa.com [ 1,249,571] (Opposition)
  19. AddisNegeronline.com [ 2,199,174] (Opposition)
  20. Opride.com [ 2,745, 900]  (Opposition)

Ethiopia’s Top 10 most Independent news websites of 2009

Every year the Ethiopian Media Association International (EMAI) recognizes the top 10 most independent and professional Ethiopian news websites in the world. EMAI believes media independence and balance is vital for the development of a democratic, tolerant and peaceful society. Due to this, impartiality in media is an important quality most people and the international community honors the most in the 21st century.

Last week, the Ethiopian Media Association International (EMAI) recognized the 25 most influential and popular Ethiopian media outlets in the world. For this year, Ethiopian Review and Nazret.com were the top 2 popular websites among the 25 top performers.

In selecting the top 10 independent news websites, EMAI monitors and analyzes if a media practices censorship on different and diverse economic, political, religious and social views or articles. The 10 Ethiopain news websites that practice “THE MOST BALANCE” in their reporting are honored by this annual EMAI award.

Below are the top 10 news websites ranked based on their independence and balance in reporting during 2009.

1. Nazret.com
2. Addis Fortune
3. Tadias.com
4. Jimma Times
5. Addis Neger (defunct)
6. EthiopiaFirst.com
7. Awramba Times
8. CapitalEthiopia.com
9. EthioPolitics.com
10. AddisAdmass.com

EMAI is the premier organization dedicated to assisting, awarding, monitoring and developing Ethiopian media outlets around the world.

Ethiopia’s Top 25 most popular media of 2009

Every year the Ethiopian Media Association International (EMAI) recognizes the 25 most influential and popular Ethiopian media outlets in the world. This year, the two top websites Ethiopian Review and Nazret.com squared off and left the field behind by becoming two of the most visited African websites. In the end, EthiopianReview.com took the lead and became the #1 Ethiopian website in the world.

EMAI congratulates the top 25 best Ethiopian news websites listed below. To qualify for the EMAI ranking, the news media must be Ethiopia-focused, without automatic/computerized feeds, it must be news-focused, attain high traffic and have some original reports of its own.

The following 25 media sources have received the 2009 EMAI awards for the most popular Ethiopian news websites of the year.


1. Ethiopian Review
2. Nazret.com

3. Ethiomedia.com
4. Ethiopian Reporter
5. ethioforum.org
6. Abbaymedia.com
7.  abugidainfo.com
8.  Tadias Magazine
9.  ecadforum.com
10.  Jimma Times
11.  Ethiopia Zare
12.  Addis Fortune
13. Walta Information Centre
14.  Ethiopiafirst.com
15. addisvoice.com
16. Ethiopian News Agency/ENA
17.  Aigaforum.com
18. Gadaa.com
19. Addis Admass News
20. EthioLion.Com
21.  Capital Ethiopia
22. Opride.com
23. Ssinformer.com
24. Ethioguardian.com
25. Horizonethiopia.com
(World ranking as of December 20,2009 is used from Alexa.com)

1. Ethiopian Review 54,547
2. Nazret.com 72,526
3. Ethiomedia  189,030
4. Ethiopian Reporter 305,366
5. ethioforum.org 324,890
6. Abbaymedia.com 353,244
7. abugidainfo.com  374,525
8. Tadias Magazine 479,741
9. ecadforum.com 494,730
10. Jimma Times 563,880

11. Ethiopia Zare 584,760
12. Addis Fortune  614,560
13. Walta Information Centre  629,315
14. Ethiopiafirst.com 650,354
15. addisvoice.com 690,756
16. Ethiopian News Agency – ENA 716,277
17. Aigaforum.com  723,695
18. Gadaa.com  798,380
19. Addis Admass News 875,357
20. EthioLion.Com 960,401
21. Capitalethiopia.com 1,348,855
22. Opride.com 1,690,046
23. Ssinformer.com  1,313,692
24. Ethioguardian.com 1,760,262
25. Horizonethiopia.com 2,458,266

80-year old father of Ethiopia opposition official gets life in prison

The 80-year old father of Ginbot 7 Movement Secretary General Andargachew Tsige is among the 33 individuals who received life in prison sentence yesterday in Ethiopia. Ato Tsige Habatemariam had a heart-bypass surgery recently and suffers from a number of other ailments.

As reported earlier, the kangaroo court handed out death sentence on Ato Melaku Tefera, Dr. Berhanu Nega, Ato Andargachew Tsigie, Ato Muluneh Eyuel, Ato Mesfin Aman. Ato Melaku Tefera, a member of the UDJ was in court for the verdict. The others are sentenced in absentia.

According to ENA, the following 33 of individuals who were charged with plotting to dismantle “the constitution and the constitutional order in clandestine operation,” received life in prison:

General Tefera Mammo
General Asaminew Tsige
Col. Demisew Anteneh
Major Mekonen Worku
Ato Abere Assefa
Col. Alemu Getnet
Col. Solomon Ashagire
Col. Getachew Birile
Capitain Temesgen Bayleyegn
Col Fantahun Muhaba
Major Mesekere Kassa
Capitain Misganaw Tessema
Ato Kifle Sinishaw
Ato Yeshiwas Mengesha
Ato Mengistu Abebe
Wz. Emawayish Alemu
Ato Goshyirad Tsegaw
Sgt. Amerar Bayabil
Sgt. Gobena Belay
Sgt. Yibelital Birhanu
Sgt. Yeshiwas Mitiku
Ato Wudneh Temesgen
Ato Getu Worku
Ato Tsige Habatemariam

Sentenced in absentia:

Col. Alehubel Amare, Deputy Commander of Agazi Special Forces
Ato Yaregal Yimam
Ato Daniel (?)
Ato Aweke Afework
Ato Ephrem Mandebo
Ato Daniel Assefa
Ato Chekol Getahun
Ato Fasil Yenealem
Ato Derje Habitewold

Sentenced to 10 years
Ato Adugna Alemayehu
Ato Adefris Asaminew

The kangaroo court also ordered properties of the following individuals to be confisicated:

Col. Alehubel Amara
Dr. Birahu Nega
Ato Getu Worku
Ato Yaregal Yimam
Ato Andargachew Tsige


Ethnic Ethiopians: A sure bet to defeat ethnic balkanization


By Mahlet
Ethnic Ethiopians have been grossly overlooked and undermined in Ethiopian political landscape in the last 18 years. The Ethiopian Constitution states that Ethiopia is a country of ‘nations and nationalities’. Hence, those who do not subscribe to this ‘nation and nationalities’ categorization are not recognized by the Constitution unless they subscribe to one of the ethnic groups.  As I do not wish to discuss this issue in abstract, I would like to describe who the ethnic-Ethiopians are first.
1. Who are Ethnic Ethiopians?

The credit goes to Ato Teshome M Borago who first flagged up the plight of ethnic Ethiopians on Jimma Times After reading Ato Teshome’s intriguing article and exchanging views with like minded Ethiopians on “Ethiopians-forum”, I am more convinced that ethnic Ethiopians need to articulate their cause to be heard in the wider political arena. Hence, I am writing this article to keep the discussion about ethnic Ethiopians alive with a view of appealing to others to break their silence.

Ato Teshome categorized mixed Ethiopians as a new ethnic group called ‘Ethnic Ethiopian’ and defined them as mixed Ethiopians who come from 2 or more ethnicities.

With all due respect to the writer and the rational behind his insistence of mixed heritage,
I would like to broaden the definition by including “everyone who wants to categorise himself as ethnic Ethiopian and find it difficult to categories his identity among the 80 plus ethnic groups.

In my view one should not necessarily come from two or more ethnicity or mixed heritage.  Any body who wants to categorise himself as ethnic Ethiopian is an Ethnic Ethiopian. He or she may come from a single ethnic parentage but for various reasons, the person may neither speak the language nor know the customs and culture of the parent’s ethnic heritage. As long as one believes that one is an ethnic Ethiopian that must be the end of it. Thus my approach is not only on parental heritage but also on individual choice and belief.

Of course, as pointed out by Ato Teshome, the obvious point to start seems with Ethiopians of mixed ethnicity since all mixed Ethiopians under the current regime have been forced to choose identity of either their father’s or mother’s side and reject the other side. They should have been allowed to embrace all their multi-ethnic heritage rather than forcing them to fit into the regime’s single-ethnic identification. In the west, for example, one can tick a choice of black, white, African, Asian, Hispanic, mixed race or “others” left with a blank space to allow an individual to describe himself rather than force him to fit into a pre-defined pigeonhole.
Having said that, I can see two compelling reasons for my approach. First, it would not exclude any Ethiopian i.e. those who come from a single ethnicity (if there is such thing in Ethiopia’s context strictly speaking!) and still consider themselves as ethnic Ethiopians. Second, there are large numbers of Ethiopians who consider their ethnicity as Ethiopian and they simply do not want or reject any part of their heritage to fit into the politically motivated categorization. It is for these reasons that I want to broaden the definition of Ato Teshome.  Of course, we can always discuss further and assess the merits and demerits this definition to improve it.

Acceptance of ethnic-Ethiopians does not come just because few of us write articles on the internet.  But developing the awareness further could assist ethnic-Ethiopians to stand up and be counted with their action and votes.

2. The case for ethnic Ethiopians to stand up and be counted!

The starting point has to be, if ethnic Ethiopians are forced to state their ethnicity in the EPRDF-led Ethiopia, they have to insist that they are ethnic-Ethiopians and they have to be accepted by EPRDF or all other ethnic parties as such.  In democracy, individuals as well as groups have rights for choice and their choice have to be respected.

Ethnic Ethiopians should accept and respect others who want to identify themselves as ethnic Oromos, Amharas, Guraghes, Tigres, etc. Like wise, the free choice of ethnic-Ethiopians has to be accepted and respected unconditionally. Ethnic Ethiopians have never been recognized as an entity. It is high time that they stand up to be counted as a
legitimate group that has equal stake in the Ethiopian political landscape. The Constitution should recognize and protect them as a separate and distinct entity from others who force them to be categorized in this or that ethnicity.

Ethnic Ethiopians are the silent majority. They are the most mariginalised ethnicity in Ethiopia. The law of the land and the regime denies even their very existence. Though arguably the majority, they have been deliberately made invisible when ethnic puritans partition and crave the country for themselves. They have no one to speak on behalf of them and to champion their cause. They have been silently suffering a lot under the current regime. To list but a few of the untold crimes against them:

a. They have been dispossessed of their heritage, humanity, basic right and forced to fit into the regime’s single-ethnicity identification. Their existence is denied by the regime. There is no law to protect them. Their fate and day to day existence falls at the mercy of ‘pure’ ethnic warlords. Unlike the regime’s bantustanisation, even the then South African apartheid regime used to recognise mixed races as an entity! Their plight is this bad. There is no single civic organisation or political party which is acknowledging the depth of their unique plight and addressing it.

b. They are unable to get even basic services from the regime if they do not confirm to single-ethnicity identification. A good example was given by one of the discussants on the Ethiopian forum. He said, a few years before, his friend went to the local Kebele to get an ID. He was asked his ethnicity and told them he is of mixed ethnicity. He was asked to choose one ethnicity if he wants to get an ID or leave the Kebele without an ID or keep on arguing and put himself in danger of being arrested.

The friend left the Kebele angrily with out an ID. But as he shortly realized that he can not live a normal life in present day Ethiopia with out an ID, he was forced to choose his mother’s Oromo identity and got an ID which says he is an Oromo. This put him in problem with his Amhara father for a while and the problem with the father was resolved after the son explained the reason behind his action.

On a slightly different approach, a second discussant on Ethiopian Forum stated that his relative told him a similar story. The relative is Gondere in one side and Selale (Oromo) on the other side but if one digs deeper it is even complicated. So the relative went to her Kebele and registered as an Amhara since Ethiopia was not on the menu.

Since the registrar at the Kebele knows her very well, he jokingly said your brother was here a bit earlier to say he is an Oromo. The smart lady replied to the registrar: “Yes, I know but we agreed because the time is very difficult so we have to bet on both sides”.

c. I also know from my experience that those of us who consistently said our ethnicity as Ethiopian shortly after the regime took power were not accepted by the regime and we were simply categorized as Amharas. Even worse, we have heard that on the first national census describing oneself as an Ethiopian was a crime punishable by six months! These are just a few of the untold sufferings ethnic Ethiopians going through.

3. Ethnic Ethiopians as an antithesis for ethnic balkanisation?

During one of Ato Meles’ infamous interview shortly after he took power in Addis, he identified and acknowledged explicitly two categories who would give an insurmountable challenge to his ethnicity policy. He identified these two groups as those who are born
from two or more ethnicities and those who are born and raised in larger Ethiopian cities that consider their ethnicity as Ethiopian. I can not agree more with Ato Meles. Let us explore below what Ato Meles meant in some detail.

a. While the regime’s policy wants us to look inward, ethnic Ethiopians can only look outward. While the regime is forcing us to live in ethnic enclaves, it is in the very interest of ethnic Ethiopians to dismantle the ethnic enclaves. While the regime’s policy wants us accept a certain killil as ours, ethnic Ethiopians can not have a single killil. Rather they claim the whole Ethiopia as theirs.  Ethnic Ethiopians are every where in Ethiopia and in all killils transcending the regime’s bantustanisation policy.

Can you imagine what will happen to the regime’s policy if we can force the regime to recognize and register ethnic Ethiopians as such! Yes, you guessed right. That certainly will be the end of the policy. It is this powerful and I do perfectly understand when Ato Meles said ethnic Ethiopians pose an insurmountable challenge to his policy.

b. I believe when we are in peaceful struggle, we need to carefully select agendas which go to the heart of the public’s concern to rally the public behind us. Fighting for our right to be registered and accepted as Ethnic Ethiopians could be one of these agendas which are necessary for a peaceful struggle. I reckon in this way we can galvanise the public at the grass root level. We are in millions and certainly we are absolute majorities in major cities where relatively speaking it is conducive to engage in peaceful struggle. In addition, it would not be that difficult to invoke the support of the international community and Human Rights organizations. Mind you, even apartheid South Africa used to recognize mixed races as such! Thus, the cause of ethnic Ethiopians could give additional impetus and agenda for the peaceful struggle by being a rallying issue.

c. Even the very architects of ethnic bantustanisation can not escape the fate of any other ethnic Ethiopian.  Let me explain the Ethiopian phenomenon using an example. I use a public figure who is at the top of the political structure in Ethiopia, Ato Meles Zenawi. I have no personal information but we all have been told that he came from Tigray and Eritrean family. We are also told his wife is from Gonder and possibly she is a mix of an Amhara and a Tigre blood.

Now his kids are Eritrean-Tigray- Amhara. Let us forget about Ato Meles for a moment who is also from a mixed heritage. Where are his children going to fit? Of course, the answer is Ethiopia. The only inclusive identity that could proudly reflect their entire heritage is ethnic Ethiopia.  Although this is how in reality Ethiopia and all the other society are evolved, the regime and some adherents of the Student Movement still want our society to fit into Stalin’s hypothetical and failed model.

Put simply, Ato Meles can not even clean the mess his backward-looking policy created right at the heart of his family. Leave alone the wider public, I suppose Ato Meles would find it difficult to rationally convince his own children about his single-ethnicity classification. This is the fragility of the regime’s policy which can be easily exposed and defeated by ethnic Ethiopians!

4. Conclusion:

There is no doubt that Ethnic-Ethiopians are large in number. They have to wake up, realise their potent potential and do something positive about it. I think it is high time that
ethnic Ethiopians articulate their case, assert and make themselves visible to all.

If they use their vote appropriately they can make a difference in Ethiopian political  landscape. No one should no more underestimate the potential of ethnic Ethiopians. That is why we call these Ethiopians to wake up and have a say in Ethiopian politics. Since they are the fabric that weaves the whole of Ethiopia, from top to the bottom, their political clout and influence cannot be ignored.

Ethiopian opposition parties and those in government should act
accordingly. Ethnic Ethiopians should also use their association with the multi national
parties to demand their parties  to champion their cause. By definition they cannot belong or vote for any ethnic group. They are what they call in the West the swing voters, who play the crucial vote. So far the multi-ethnic parties have taken them for granted but the coming election should be a good opportunity to bring their agenda on the table so that their issues could be re-addressed and marginalisation  be stopped.

I can not honestly see a future for ethnic-based politics in Ethiopia. The appeal of ethnicity-based politics has passed its peak and now it is in downturn. The May/05 historic election may be rightly taken as empirical evidence in
support of this contention.

In addition, if needs be, they can also come up with a Civic Movement to champion the concerns of ethnic Ethiopians. This way coupled with a civic movement for ethnic Ethiopians, a very potent force can be created which can only strengthen Ethiopiawinet.

In conclusion, Ethnic-Ethiopians are the fabric of Ethiopia unity. They are products of centuries old union and love. Forcing them to abandon their heritage is not only immoral but also backward looking which may find its root in feudal Ethiopia. Hence networking, focusing on creating awareness and lobbying for change of attitude particularly on the coming election could lead to creation of better and tolerant Ethiopia.

Jailed opposition leader brings rival parties together

Birtukan mideksaETHIOMEDIA — ADDIS ABABA – Two opposition groups who have been eyeing each other as sworn adversaries spent the evening of May 28 at a candle-light vigil together, and they say the unifying force is jailed opposition leader Birtukan Mideksa.

Unity for Democracy and Justice (UDJ) leaders and supporters were seated for a monthly candle light vigil when they found themselves welcoming suprise visitors: a delegation from their rival group headed by Hailu Shawel, former leader of the Coalition for Unity and Democracy (CUD).

Now president of All Ethiopia People’s Organization (AEUP), Engineer Hailu Shawel has not been on speaking terms with UDJ leaders ever since CUD’s disintegration following the leaders’ release from prison in 2007.

“We’ve been going on in our own seprate ways, but again tonight, the unifying force of love and peace Birtukan Mideksa has brought us together,” a joyous Engineer Gizachew Shiferaw, vice president of UDJ, told his guests to a deafening applause.

AEUP and UDJ evolved after the collapse of CUD-Kinijit but the split was a morally-crushing phenomenon for the Ethiopian people while it was a windfall Meles Zenawi’s party, which is very much reviled throughout the country.

“We need to brush aside all the hearsay and work together,” Engineer Hailu Shawel said. “We need to weed out the political riff-raff.”

On the occasion, Professor Mesfin Woldemariam, also a UDJ executive, presented a paper on the issue of “Non violence struggle in Ethiopia.” The 78-year-old noted human rights activist said the Meles Zenawi regime dreads a peaceful form of struggle as it relies on the culture of gun-totting and violence.”

“The regime has been trying to shut down all avenues of peaceful struggle but the Ethiopian people carry their hopes high and have remained loyal to their cause,” Professor Mesfin said.


In the meantime, free-text messaging service, banned since opposition successes at the stolen 2005 elections, was allowed for only 24 hours because May 28 is a day Meles Zenawi’s group came to power way back in 1991.

Reminiscent of the days in the run-up to the May 2005 elections, UDJ supporters made a swift use of the rare opportunity, and spread news about the special programs that were due for the evening. The turnout for the Birtukan Mideksa candle-light vigil was impressive that the hall was packed. And the appearance of Engineer Hailu at Birtukan’s party headquarters was like icing on the cake, according to Awde newsletter.

Ethiopia remains an impoverished, enemy-held territory denied the benefits of technology services as basic as mobile phones. Mobile phone distribution in South Africa, for instance, stands at 87%; but the figure for Ethiopia is a shocking 1.45%, according to ITU.

Abbaymedia interview with Berhanu Nega

Abbay Media interview with Dr Berhanu Nega, Leader of Ginbot 7 Movement on 31st May 2009, in London.


Thousands of Ethiopians protest in London

Tedla Asfaw – VOA of Addisu Abebe interviewed (April 2) Ato Wondimu Mekonen from London and two gentlemen from Switzerland and Sweden on phone while the condemnation of Meles Zenawi was heard on background by huge crowd of Ethiopians who came from all over Europe.

The rush by TPLF’s Aiga, Ben of “belly first” including http://www.nazret.com and stick to the one minute video clip of OLF and ONLF and try to ignore the video clip of BBC’s own four minutes video clip is disgusting and non professional, fake journalism.

The millions of Ethiopians back home got the truth through VOA and the TPLF’s TV can show the Gambella and Ogaden butcher dinning with the queen and cheering behind the scene for his financiers. Not hanging the photo of Meles with G20 leaders might be punishable by jail.

The truth of the matter is none of the G20 leaders dare to visit Ethiopia because Ethiopians never welcome those who sided with their tormentors. That was why George Bush never touch the soil of Ethiopia and why Tony Blair was not welcomed by Ethiopians.

There will not be any official visit of Ethiopia by Obama or other respected world leaders because they know very well that any government sponsored welcoming ceremony could easily turn to anti-Meles rally that will shame both the host and the guest.

A tyrant who is despised by his own people will never get any respect in foreign land and when the last day comes no one comes to his rescue either.

We thank you, the thousands who protested today and stand with the millions of Ethiopians.The flags you waved on London street were seen by all including the G20 leaders.