ECCA open for amendments of CSO proclamation
The possible contributions of civil society organizations (CSOs) to the economic, social, and political development of Ethiopia continue to be a matter of ongoing discussions amongst important public and nonpublic stakeholders. The current political landscape in Ethiopia has led to renewed exchange of viewpoints of their contributions, up to an eventual amendment of the Charities and Societies Proclamation of 2009.
To facilitate a professional dialogue on those questions, the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) and the Vision Ethiopian Congress for Democracy (VECOD), a non-governmental, non-profit local civic organization, invited to a conference on “The Role of Civil Society Organizations in Building Democracy, Human Rights, Good Governance and Development: Opportunities and Challenges” on November 28th 2017.
More than 60 high-level representatives from the government, civil societies, political parties and media organizations attended the event. Following the presentation by Ato Debebe Hailegebreale, an experienced CSO lawer, a lively discussion on the idea and practice of the Charities and Societies Proclamation of 2009 took place. Whereas many observers claimed a restriction of activities of Human Rights Advocacy groups in Ethiopia, the Deputy Director of Ethiopian Civil Society Agency (ECCA), Mrs. Fantaye Gezahegn, underlined that if there are unintended shortcomings, the Charities and Societies Proclamation could be open for amendments. In general terms, the importance of civil society organizations for the public life in Ethiopia is not questioned by the government.
The discussion made clear that the dialogue between all stakeholders shall continue in order to assure the best possible contribution by civil society organizations for the development in Ethiopia.
Deutsche Welle, November 29th, 2017