ESAT Press Release
The successful launch of the historic Ethiopian Satellite Television (ESAT) service to Ethiopia on April 21, 2010 represents a giant step in the direction of freedom of information for all Ethiopians. ESAT is the result of the collective efforts of a small group of Ethiopians who are deeply committed to the principles of democracy, human rights and the rule of law. The time, energy and efforts that have gone into this historic effort are simply immeasurable.
During the past year, ESAT has delivered and is still delivering quality programming to Ethiopians at home and in the Diaspora. The ESAT production team has been overwhelmed and gratified by the thousands of telephone calls and e-mail messages it has received from viewers and supporters expressing good will and encouragement. According to many eyewitness accounts from Ethiopia, ESAT has dramatically impacted the lives of its viewers in Ethiopia by enabling citizens to freely express their opinion and by serving as the only independent source of information.
ESAT owes much of its success and popularity to a core group of selfless, dedicated staff and volunteers who work very hard to help ESAT fulfil its mission. However, the current broadcast, the ambitious plan of increasing the programming quality of ESAT and expanding its service to viewers around the world cannot and must not be the responsibility of few individuals. It takes the efforts of many people and enormous financial resources to support a satellite television service of ESAT’s magnitude. The dream of ESAT’s management team is not just to continue the current level of programming but also to increase ESAT’s quality, its capacity and its availability to Ethiopians around the globe.
Therefore, to add more programming, to cover very expensive satellite costs and to put ESAT on a strong financial foundation, ESAT’s governing Board has launched a two-month global campaign to raise $1 million, that will last from January 15 to March 20, 2011. The money raised from the campaign will cover 12 months of our current broadcasting cost and finance ESAT’s expansion plan outlined below. The three-stage implementation of the plan is highly dependent on the amount of funds raised on this campaign.
* 50% of the fund ($500,000) secured will be used to pay for:
1. C-Band Satellite Service to Ethiopia, the rest of Africa, Australia, Asia & the Middle East.
2. Studio costs in Amsterdam, Washington D.C and London
3. Reporter’s salary in different Continents
* 20% of the fund ($200,000) will be allocated for additional KU-Band Satellite Service purchase to Ethiopia
* 30% of the money ($300,000) will be used to cover the cost of additional Satellite Service for North America & Europe
Ethiopia is mired in socioeconomic crisis stemming from the rule of dictatorship. The lack of free and independent media is one of the major reasons that we Ethiopians find ourselves in a cycle of dictatorship.
ESAT was established with the primary objective of breaking this detrimental cycle by imparting reliable and factual information. In fact, many Ethiopians and friends of Ethiopia have already applauded ESAT’s impartiality and its strong determination to lay the foundation of free media in Ethiopia. We believe that any disruption or discontinuity of ESAT’s broadcasting due to financial problems simply puts Ethiopians back in the dark, and most importantly, it puts a break on our collective effort to overcome tyranny.
We extend our call to all Ethiopians to take the pride of breaking the media monopoly in Ethiopia by participating in every facet of ESAT’s fund raising campaign. We believe there will be no better way of empowering people than giving them credible information to make their own decisions. Information is central to democracy and it is a necessary condition for development; therefore, helping the free flow of information fulfils our two goals of democracy and development.
Long live the free spirit of ESAT!!!