Assessment of the contribution of Civil Society Proclamation to Democratic Development in Ethiopia: A comparative Analysis with Charities and Societies Proclamation on selected Civil Society Organizations in Addis Ababa

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Addis Ababa University


After the coming into force of the Ethiopian charity and society proclamation in 2009, the role of civil society organizations to the contribution of development has significantly diminished. Hence, it has become one of the core agendas of the government during the recent reform program undergone. To alleviate the problem government has repealed the law and replaces it with a civil society proclamation. The purpose of this study is to assess comparatively how the current civil society law addresses the drawback of the charity and society proclamation particularly to the root cause of financial sustainability and democratization taking a case of selected civil society organizations found in Addis Ababa. Even though there are a lot of researches conducted on the topic, none or few have been conducted a study identifying the detrimental provisions in the charity and society proclamations how the civil society proclamation deals with the problem. To this end, the researcher employed a mixed descriptive method of research design by collecting primary data from forty-two leaders and founders of selected civil society organizations in Addis Ababa using a close-ended questionnaire by applying the snowball non-probability sampling technique. Moreover, the researcher also interviewed officials in charge of enacting the new law and officials from implementing bureaus using semi-structured interview questions by applying a quota sampling method. The collected data has been analyzed qualitatively and quantitatively using statements, tables, figures, and percentages. The result shows that the charity and society proclamation threaten the financial sustainability of civil society organization by putting restrictions on raising not more than 90% of fund from a foreign source and accepting funds from an anonymous source, the administrative hurdle to engage in income-generating activities from a local source, and enlisting project based activities in administrative costs. However, the civil society proclamation resolved the problem by lifting the restriction, allowing without condition to engage in income generation activities, and emplace project related cost in program cost from administrative cost. Moreover, the charity and civil society proclamation limit the freedom of association of these organizations and restrict their contribution to good government, democracy, and human rights by draining their financial means and by limiting foreign organizations to engage in advocacy and policy issues. However, the current law resolved the problem by lifting the restriction of financial sources and allowing free entry. For the success of the civil society law the civil society organization are duty bound to implement the fund they get for the intended purpose while donors to ensure the sustainability of the project and government to emplace proper regulatory mechanism.



CSOs/NGOs, development, financial sustainability, democratization