BBC World Service will be in Addis on 6th of May to record a live radio debate .PANALISTS ARE: Mustafa Omer, Professor Merera ,Tsedale Lemma and Eskinder Nega

BBC World Questions comes to Addis Ababa

The BBC’s flagship World Service radio debate programme, World Questions, is in Ethiopia at a crucial time in the country’s history. The BBC’s Jonathan Dimbleby will be joined by a panel of leading Ethiopian politicians and thinkers in a debate, in English, led by questions from a public audience on May 6th at the Hilton Hotel in Addis Ababa.

Ethiopia’s Prime minister, Abiy Ahmed, has initiated a series of unprecedented reforms in his first year in office. He has made peace with Eritrea, freed 60,000 political prisoners, allowed previously banned opposition groups, and appointed women to half his cabinet. He has pledged free elections in 2020 and made a prominent opposition activist head of the electoral commission. He now faces one of his biggest challenges – moving the economy from state-led to market-based growth while overseeing political reforms. If Abiy Ahmed is able to succeed, Ethiopia could cement its position as one of Africa’s biggest players.

Jonathan Dimbleby and a panel of leading politicians and thinkers will debate questions raised by the audience in Addis Ababa.

The panel will include:

  • Mustafa Omer, President of the Somali region
  • Professor Merera Gudina, Leader of the Oromo People’s Congress
  • Tsedale Lemma, Editor of The Addis Standard
  • Eskinder Nega, Journalist and Campaigner

Stephen Titherington, Senior Commissioning Editor, BBC World Service English said: “This is a key moment for Ethiopia; a year into Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s changes we hear what an Ethiopian audience and Ethiopian politicians make of this new political and economic reality in what we anticipate will be an engaging and thought-provoking debate”.

Peter Brown, Director of the British Council in Ethiopia, said: “World Questions comes to Ethiopia at an exciting time for the country, and we look forward to a fascinating debate. By partnering with the BBC in this way, we are able to support our wider ambition of promoting cultural relations among people worldwide. Through projects like World Questions, we believe that connecting people both in Ethiopia and globally makes a powerful and lasting contribution to a more open and connected world.”

BBC World Questions is created in partnership with the British Council and will be recorded for radio broadcast worldwide.
BBC World Questions will be recorded in English on May 6th at 1900 (EAT) in Addis Ababa at the Hilton Hotel.

BBC World Questions: Addis Ababa will air on BBC World Service English on Saturday  11th May at 2200-2300 EAT/1900-2000 GMT, and available online after that

For press accreditation to attend the debate and for any queries about BBC World Service please contact:

Any queries about the British Council please contact: 

About BBC World Service

BBC World Service delivers news content around the world in English and 41 other language services, on radio, TV and digital, reaching a weekly audience of 279 million.  As part of BBC World Service, BBC Learning English teaches English to global audiences.  For more information, visit The BBC attracts a weekly global audience of 347 million people to its international news services including BBC World Service, BBC World News television channel

About the British Council

 The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. It works with over 100 countries in the fields of arts and culture, English language, education and civil society. Last year it reached over 75 million people directly and 758 million people overall including online, broadcasts and publications. It makes a positive contribution to the countries it works with – changing lives by creating opportunities, building connections and engendering trust. Founded in 1934 it is a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body. It receives 15 per cent core funding grant from the UK government.

Esther Mulholland

Assistant Publicist, BBC World Service

NBH 4 Zone C, BBC Broadcasting House, Portland Place, London, W1A 1AA

  1. +44 (0) 7834 161550| @BBCNewsPR


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