Ethiopia - The Outlook for Digital Media Outreach in the Horn of Africa

Aser Seifu (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia)

Archived discussion

About the presenter

Aser Seifu, after graduating as a biology major from Addis Ababa University, became the first enrolled student in the Film and Media Studies Program in the Mekane Yesus School of Jazz Music and Media, a school of the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus, a member of the Lutheran World Federation and World Council of Churches. Three years ago he became an instructor at that school and then head of the program, specializing in teaching directing and cinematography. He says he is happy to see his world twice, in his eyes and in his camera lens.

The Horn of Africa

Click here and scroll down to see Aser Seifu Kasseye's view of the potential for digital media outreach for the gospel in Ethiopia and East Africa.

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Alexandra Sperl 2018-10-22 7:23:58am
I have been to Ethiopia this August for the first time. I was overwhelmed by the potential this country has. There are so many young people, especially young born again Christians that have amazing business ideas or are super creative and are willing to network and work together. I believe that there is so much power in unity, when people stand up and do something together. I am more than honoured to get to know them more and I can only tell you that there is such a bright future ahead.
Jessica Smith (Child Evangelism Fellowship) 2018-10-22 3:22:21pm
I also had the privilege of visiting Ethiopia this summer, and met Aser when he documented an event for my ministry. I was very pleased to see the priority that was placed on advancing the work through media. With the unity of the Spirit and recognition of the gifts believers of all ages can share, there is tremendous potential for Ethiopia to bless their people and the world through media that brings glory to Christ!
Aser Seifu (MYS School of Jazz Music and Media ) 2018-10-31 11:32:00am
Thank you so much, Jessica Smith, And my vision is to have one department for Sunday school teachers and young christian to prepare a long term and short term training to give media skill for those who would like to reach for kids in digital media. Please pray for this, God Bless You!
Aser Seifu (MYS School of Jazz Music and Media ) 2018-10-31 11:29:40am
Thank you so much, Alexandra
Faith Gulilat 2018-10-22 12:10:17pm
Aser, has a vision that will change the generation in the media ministry. His heart for the Lord and passion to serve him through media and digital field has kept him in the country. While most young people desire is to go to western country, his stayed same to teach and serve the generation. Yes Ethiopia is growing in this field, specially in the media, but still need more people like him, who has heart for the Lord and youth. His works are very professional and accurate from the project I have seen. He is also on the process of making documentary film of my book, The Unique Call, the life and legacy of the Tuomi's family , missionaries in Ethiopia for over 50 years. I believe he will be a good instrument for the body of Christ in this field.
Aser Seifu (MYS School of Jazz Music and Media ) 2018-10-31 11:34:05am
Yes, This is my goal for this year, to see this powerful story in screen and reaching for many how gospel change, individual, orphans, city and even impact the nation. very honored to work with you, Faith God Bless You!
Raphael Bräuninger (Metro World Child) 2018-10-22 1:25:54pm
Yes, we need to use this new technology in order to reach this next generation. If we want to make the message of Christ relevant to the young generation, we need to communicate it as they communicate, we need to share it at places they're at. What use is there if we share the Good News in ways people are not receptive to anymore and on places and stages people no longer listen to anymore.
I love Aser a lot and all the work he's doing. He is a great man of God, pursuing his amazing vision of enabling people to share their stories through media in order to reach people with the Gospel in new and innovative ways. I'm very honoured to know him and call him my dear friend.
Aser Seifu (MYS School of Jazz Music and Media ) 2018-10-31 11:29:19am
Thank you Raphael, It is a great honer to share our skill and profession for the work of God's kingdom. Even if we are from different world, having one Heavenly Father makes us family to reach for people in good news together.
Tom Kuster (Christ in Media Institute) 2018-10-24 10:24:42am
Aser, you report that social media use is growing rapidly. What are the devices that people are using for this? desktops? laptops? tablets? smart phones? How widespread are smart phones, and is there a difference in the socio-economic status of people who own them? Do women and men have them in equal numbers? I think there is great potential in spreading short audio and video Christian messages on smart phones - providing lots of people have them.
Aser Seifu (MYS School Jazz Music and Media ) 2018-10-31 10:48:51am
Currently almost 4 million people access internet on their smart phone, this is a huge number for our country, this number is increasing daily in high number, and I couldn’t get the number of users in gender. And some youth ministries and churches start to share the good news in social media.
Tyler Baldwin (Martin Luther College) 2018-10-24 12:38:51pm
Mr. Seifu,

I really appreciated your slideshow that described the challenges that Ethiopia faces with their media outreach program and the progress that is being put into place in order to further better the program. What I found most interesting was when you stated in the presentation that “a Media production without content or message is a waste.” I firmly agree with that statement and the goals you are trying to achieve with this production. While we are trying to reach out to all nations in the fastest, most appealing way possible, the main focus needs to be on the message of Christ that we are trying to share with others.

When I was reading about the needs of the Ethiopian Christian Media, I noticed that a goal was to reach out to the youth through Digital Media. Because younger people more times than not have a great knowledge of social media, training them when they are young and teaching them ways to spread the gospel through digital media may be beneficial towards the growth of the production and the next generation of youth to spread the gospel.

After reading your article, I wondered if a political, social, and economic shift in Ethiopia could greatly affect the work being done. You stated that there was “relative peace in the Horn of Africa” and that “the role of Ethiopia (political, social, economic) both continental in general, and particularly regional). If these statements were to change in the future, I’m wondering if it would have a major effect on the Ethiopian Christian Media work being done.

Thank you for your contribution to the conference!
Aser Seifu (MYS School Jazz Music and Media ) 2018-10-31 10:58:17am
Thank you so much, Mr. Tyler Baldwin
Yes, as currently Ethiopia is in huge political reformation, we have our first female president in this month, and also we have 50-50 gender balance in minister cabinet, this is the first in African history, and this tells a lot for us, to have balance and fairness in governance. Even we have seen some good initiatives in Medias, so hopefully Ethiopian Church should awake and work in digital media greatly. To import media equipment had been hard, and to work in collaboration with outside was also very bureaucratic, now we have seen lots of change.
Madison Sunsdahl (Martin Luther College) 2018-10-25 4:31:27pm
Mr. Seifu,

I truly enjoyed reading about Ethiopia and the work of God being done there. It’s astonishing to see that “65% of the population in Ethiopia is under the age of 29.” This is evidence that if we share the Word of God with these young people while they are impressionable, it could have positive ripple effects through the culture and families. It’s interesting to see that through radio, television, and social media, the Gospel is being shared with millions.

A suggestion I have for helping people understand technology and media in general is holding classes/meetings to show how to use them. While doing so, you can guide them in the direction of Christian sources. As you know, media is a wonderful entry into learning more about the Lord and it’s very exciting to think that perhaps it could be the key to many individuals becoming believers.

As I was looking at your presentation, I was wondering why exactly is there a “gap between the producers/financers and directors/creative Professionals”? What do you mean by that?

Thank you for your contribution to the conference!
Aser Seifu (MYS School of Jazz Music and Media ) 2018-10-31 11:07:11am
Thank you so much, Madison Sunsdahl

About the gap, People who have the message, the story are far from the producer/Church, in Ethiopian churches. The people who are doing the creative part/ like camera work, editing, directing, / even some, are non- believers. People who can do such thing fear the church politics. Church should work with people who have heart and skill. Or church should train people who have the message and the vision.

Simeon Glende (Martin Luther College ) 2018-10-29 9:38:53pm
As I was reading your article I appreciated how you explained why we should try to use technology in this ministry. You did this by explaining in your power point how they was a, “High Participation in Social Media Facebook, YouTube” and also how “65% of the population in Ethiopia is under the age of 29.” It is really cool how you have thought about using this tool to share Jesus with other people. I also had a question when I read through your slides. You said that, “ The people who are now good in Ethiopian Christian Media lack content/Message.” I was wondering if this has ever had a negative effect at people at your church? If there are errors has it ever mislead people from within your church or is it just misleading other people? I’ll keep you and your ministry in my prayers! Thanks again for sharing your unique ministry!
Aser Seifu (MYS School of Jazz Music and Media) 2018-11-16 10:49:38am
Thank you so much, Simeon Glende
As Paul said in Philip 1:18 “ What then? Not with standing, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.” What I am really appreciate in Ethiopian Christian Media, we have many TV and Youtube channels that spread Christian message, But the problem is both for inside/ Believers and for non believers. The main problems, prosperity gospel, vary material oriented messages, high computation, division and many more. There are very few who work for the pure good news, about Jesus Christ.
Estifanos Tsige (Bethany Luther college ) 2018-11-08 2:17:38pm
I am from Ethiopia to and it is great to here a lot of good things about the country. There is a lot of things to explore about Ethiopia. And it is good to hear that they are standing up and doing things together.
Aser Seifu (MYS School Jazz Music and Media ) 2018-11-10 4:37:01am
Hello Estifanos, Very Happy to hear from you. It is the time to stand together and work for the Kingdom of God. Thank you for your comment.
Annan Gari (Bethany Lutheran college ) 2018-11-10 4:45:17pm
Hello Aser,
I am a member of Mekane Yesus church. I learned (Sunday school) there for about 4 years. There are indeed a lot of young people with potential. The people are involved in a lot of things and are actively trying to spread the gospel. I believe that this generation would bring change as to how the media can be used as a tool for Christians. There are many situations that people should be aware of. The Christian community united should be able to overcome these problems and challenges.