MFA Ethiopia takes the lead in digital diplomacy

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia is rated as one of the leading foreign ministries in digital diplomacy by Burson Cohn & Wolfe (BCW), the world's largest, full-service, global communications agencies with deep expertise in digital and integrated communications across all industry sectors. The Official Facebook Page of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia is among the 650 Facebook Pages reviewed in the study.

With close to 300,000 followers on Facebook and more than 137,000 followers on Twitter, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, is one of the leading foreign ministries in the world in terms embracing, adapting and applying digital tools for foreign policy implementation on issues that matter in national, regional and international contexts.

According to the study findings, with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs taking the lead in Ethiopia's digital engagements, the Government of Ethiopia leads the rankings in terms of the number of pictures posted daily, having published more than 11, 500 pictures since January last year, surpassing the foreign ministries of Botswana and Pakistan.

Commending the responsiveness of the foreign ministry's digital engagements, especially on Facebook in the form of communicating with its public via Facebook instant messaging, the study indicated that daily average of 60 messages are received by the Ministry, mostly inquiries related to consular services (passport, visa, laissez-passer, emergency assistance and travel advice) and occasional media inquiries by foreign media agencies and journalists.

Apart from producing text, photo and video posts (such as short tourism promos), the MFAEthiopia has also embraced the unprecedented opportunities offered via Facebook Live videos, for better interactivity and real-time engagement with its public. So far, the weekly media briefing by the Spokesperson of the Ministry have been broadcasted live via Facebook. The public reactions and the positive feedback the Ministry has received during those live sessions is being used to develop a robust real-time digital engagement strategy, in a way that it garners more followership and influence paying due attention to what the public has to say, both in real-time as well as in non-real-time milieus.