Internet and FM Radio in Ethiopia
History of Ethiopian Radio
In the 1920's the Ethiopian government concluded that Ethiopia should have a radio system.
Ras Tafari Mekonnen, who would later become Emperor Haile Selassie, was very interested in the new technology of wireless communication and began several radio projects with the goal of creating communication links within Ethiopia and abroad, by implementing radio in Ethiopia.
Ansaldo Corporation of Italy in 1928 won the tender for the construction of a 1-kilowatt station, which would facilitate wireless telegraphy and telephony at Akaki, in Addis Ababa.
By 1935, the Ethiopian Government took control of the radio station, and in the same year on September 13th, Emperor Haile Selassie broadcasted his first appeal to the world.
The occupying Italians took over the Ethiopian radio station in 1936 and planned to transform it into a communications headquarters for their failed empire plans.
A powerful 7 kilowatt radio station was being built in Ethiopia by the Italians in 1937, but then taken over by the British in 1941. The British would then give the Ethiopians the 1-kilowatt station, but kept control of the 7-kilowatt station.
During the years of 1941-1945, the powerful 7-kilowatt station was still not in operation and this would create friction between Emperor Haile Selassie and the British authorities.
Ethiopian Radio Broadcasts
Ethiopian radio broadcasts began in 1941 using the weaker 1-kilowatt station with a staff of 7 and broadcasting programs 4 hours a day in Amharic, English and Arabic.
By the 1950s, the Imperial Bodyguard ran its own radio station, using a 1-kilowatt short-wave transmitter. Also during the period, a contract was signed with the World Lutheran Foundation in 1959 that led to the establishment of Radio Voice of the Gospel in the 1960s.
The Ethiopian government in 1961 would install a new 1-kilowatt transmitter and 3 years later would build its first ever high-power short wave facility in 1964.
Ethiopian Radio programs had already begun by, whereas television began as late as in 1962. Both radio and television programs were produced at the Mexico Square facility of the EMMC. Radio Ethiopian main transmissions were broadcast at the same time on both short and medium wave.
Ethiopian Radio Stations
There were 3 main stations: 100-kilowatt station in Addis Ababa, a 100-kilowatt station in Harar, and a 50-kilowatt station just outside of Asmara, with additional programs being broadcast from a 10-kilowatt station in Addis Ababa.
The main service broadcasts were in Amharic, Oromiffa, Tigrinya, English, Afar, Arabic, and French. The two regional stations rebroadcast the programs from Addis Ababa daily except for a two hour slot from 15:00-17:00. During this time, it transmitted: Harar broadcast in Oromiffa from 15:00 to 16:30 and Somali from 16:30-17:00; Asmara broadcast in Tigre from 15:00-15:45 and Tigrinya from 15:45-17:00.