The role of CSO’s in Ethiopian democracy discussed

In line with the ongoing political reform processes on an amended CSO proclamation the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung brought together around 200 distinguished opinion makers, politicians, researchers and advocates to shed light on this important issue.

The topic and intention of the event, hosted on the 10th October 2018 at the Hilton Hotel in Addis Ababa has been made clear by Mr. Constantin Grund, Resident Representative of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung in emphasizing that “today’s event is not about the past. It is about the future.”

After Mr. Debebe Hailegebriel’s (Chair of the Civil Society Law Amendment Working Group) key note speech and discussion contributions from Ms. Bizuwork Ketete (Irish Aid), Dr. Sisay Alemahu (Lawyer), Dr. Abradir M. Ibrahim (Center for the Advancement of Human Rights and Democratization) and Mr. Befekadu Hailu (Blogger and Democracy Activist) the guests discussed on definitions and roles of CSO’s in Ethiopian politics and other related questions.

Even though the current changes in politics might raise hope, the discussants stressed that the involvement of CSO’s in consolidating Democracy in Ethiopia needs to be addressed carefully and thoroughly. Tenor was thereby that CSO’s can meet up with the expectations there are often surrounded by and that the new CSO framework should be as inclusive and non-discriminatory as possible.

The Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung is grateful to all participants and the vivid discussion and is looking forward to follow-up on the contributions that were made.