Ethiopian ESAT is a game changer.

Ethiopian ESAT is a game changer. By Yilma Bekele

When you think things look bad and hope is fading something happens to boost the morale and compels you to get up and give it another spin. When the little tyrant is making fun of democracy and elections and freedom lovers everywhere despair there comes a ray of hope from around the corner and floods our heart with optimism and ‘yes we can’ mind set.

ESAT is such a moment in the long history of our ancient land. It is like they close the door to engulf us in darkness and our brave ones open a window to let the light in. So you think I am getting carried away? No sir, actually I am frothing at the mouth and I am doing all I can, not to go up on top of Ras Dashen and shout Hallelujah or Alhamdulillah. Now this is a truly Hallelujah or Alhamdulillah moment if there is any.

When they say ‘information is power’ they know what they are talking about. Tyrants, dictators, totalitarians and all mad men in charge have one thing in common – absolute monopoly on information management. Totalitarianism 101 states ‘news and views’ shall be managed by the State. That is the way it is in Ethiopia. The one party state is a one absolute dictator country, a one TV channel, a single radio and a lonely flag ship newspaper nation. Tyrants abhor diversity.

Our country is the last in Africa in communications technology. The regime controls the media including the new technology of Internet. We are the least wired nation on the Planet. For crying out loud even our war torn neighbor Somalia boasts of more Web citizens that good old Ethiopia. The Ethiopian state spends more resources in jamming radio signals, interfering with TV broadcast, hounding editors and reporters and even censoring books and periodicals than on education and health.

The so called ‘Communications Dept’ headed by the infamous Bereket Semeon under the auspicious of PM Meles Zenawi is where they keep the light switch. That is where they summoned the editors of ‘Awramba Times’ to discuss the consequences of their euphoria regarding freedom. That is where they invited the editors of ‘Addis Neger’ for their ‘last super’. In their dark dungeon Zenawi, Semon, Bedri and others pour over transcripts, videos, audios and all source of enlightenment to make sure the Ethiopian people are shielded from unfiltered knowledge.

There is nothing left to chance. Even Internet is seen as threat. Whereas poor nations saw the possibility of growing their economy and catching up, the Ethiopian leaders knee jerk reaction was to block it. Thus they waste limited resources to buy technology to block filter and spy on their citizens. All our independent Web sites are blocked. They are truly afraid that if the Ethiopian people hear the truth they will demand to be free.

ESAT is a game changer. ESAT has started to broadcast to Ethiopia 24 hrs a day using satellite parked high above the equator. It is digital. It is unblockable. It is the voice from tomorrow. It is the little tyrants nightmare.

We the children of Ethiopia are heartened by this good news. We are bursting with joy. At last our people are going to be treated like adults. We are going to do away with the ‘baby sitters’. We are slow, we get distracted easy and we fight amongst each other but in the end we always get the job done. ESAT is our WMD. It is a lethal weapon that disarms those that deny our people freedom and democracy. Let those that preach hate, glorify division beware. ESAT is here to set the record straight. ESAT is going to tell our story, as it really is not some version concocted by behind the scene ‘communications bureau’. Their strangle hold on the news is broken. No more lies.

We urge ESAT to stay true to the cause of freedom. We urge ESAT to celebrate independence and professionalism. We welcome ESTV with open arms and consider their achievement as our own. We promise to move heaven and earth to make ESAT a success. We promise to contribute our share to make ESAT strong, successful and a reflection of that Ethiopian sense of proud yet humble. We congratulate the Board of Directors of ESAT for bringing our country such a priceless gift that is truly a game changer in every sense. Ladies and gentlemen start broadcasting the truth! Please go to ( and feast to your hearts content.

ESAT has organized a fund raising event for the inauguration of this important venture. It will be held in every major city where our people reside. We asked for it, now we got it. It is time to put our resources where our mouth was. Our involvement enhances the quality of the programming. Our involvement will make it stay true to the cause of freedom that we yearn for. Roll up your sleeve and get involved. Find out where the event is and get involved. Call your family, call your neighbor call your Kebele or call your resident cadres and tell them to tune in:

– Arabsat / Badr 6/ Ku band
– Channel Frequency: 11785 GHz
– Symbol Rate: 27500 MSym/s
– Polarization: Vertical