Building peace in the minds of men and women

World Press Freedom Day 2019

Wed, 1 May -
8:45 to 18:00

Joint Media Forum - Challenges and opportunities for the Media in the Age of Disinformation

Befekadu Hailu

Writer, Blogger and Democracy Activist

Befekadu is a Writer, Blogger and Democracy Activist. He is Deputy Executive Editor of Addis Maleda weekly newspaper, and a columnist for Duestche Welle Amharic Service, and part-time program coordinator for Ethiopian Human Rights Project ( He is a Management Information Systems Expert by profession who turned a writer by inclination. Befekadu’s published novella titled “Children of Their Parents” is a winner of Bill Burt Award for African Literature (Ethiopia) in 2012. He began his career as a Researcher in St. Mary’s University in Ethiopia and evolved as Democracy Activist with concentration on Freedom of Expression mainly through mainstream and social media. Befekadu begun his media work initially as a Production Manager for an outsourced radio program in FM Addis 96.3. He also worked as an editor for Enqu Magazine, editor-in-chief for Weyeyet Magazine and volunteering editor for Global Voices (all in Amharic). In 2012, along with 8 other colleagues, Befekadu co-founded the prominent and multiple awards winning Zone 9 Blogging Collective, which is a platform for blogging and activism. He has worked with many human rights organizations including Article 19. Befekadu has been jailed four times, one of which lasted 18 months, for his blogging and activism engagements; however, he has never been found guilty. Befekadu regularly blogs in his personal blog on different contemporary issues. Among the awards Befekadu has one are the following, Burt Award for African Literature 2012 (Ethiopia), CPJ’s International Press Freedom Award 2015 with Zone 9 Bloggers,  RSF Award for Citizen Journalists 2015 with Zone 9 Bloggers,  Hellman/Hammet Human Rights Award, HRW, 2015 with Zone 9 Bloggers and Martin Ennal’s Award Finalist for Human Rights Defenders, 2016 with Zone 9 Bloggers.