Jan 1 , 2023
By BERSABEH GEBRE ( FORTUNE STAFF WRITER )
Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) can establish a business entity or be part of existing ones unrelated to their objectives to generate income. CSOs were only allowed to participate in areas that exclusively aligned with their objectives, to generate income and annual net profits that would back their finances.
A new bill hoped to regulate their income-generating mechanisms was issued three weeks ago following a discussion with the Authority for Civil Society Organizations (ACSO). CSO investments should not exceed 30pc of their annual budget, otherwise charged as an administrative cost. The administration costs should be less than 20pc of their annual budget while collecting money from schools, hospitals, and religious institutions is prohibited, and profits from business entities go to their charities.
Ten years ago, the Authority, formally known as the Ethiopian Charities & Civil Societies Agency, issued warnings to over 200 NGOs over budgetary breaches after conducting an investigation on 261 NGOs. It has found 192 of them spending more than 30pc of their budgets on administrative purposes and 12 local NGOs raising more than 10pc of their budgets from foreign sources, both passing limit.
The new directive extracted from the CSO law that was passed three years ago was authorized by the Ministry of Justice.
Under Jima Dilbo, the Authority oversees 4,400 CSOs, of which 570 are international organizations. Yonas Mesganaw, the legal advisor at the Authority, believes that the bill encourages CSOs to do business without the fear of breaching the agreement.
Formerly known as non-governmental organizations (NGOs), CSOs were sourcing budgets from donors and membership fees that were limited or unreliable.
According to the Director of the Consortium of Ethiopian Human Rights Organizations (CEHRO) Mesud Gebeyehu, fund disbursement is related to the relationship between donors and the nation, impacting the acceptance of proposals. He said expanding financial sources is the only way his organization will be secured. Established five years ago, the organization advocates for human rights, democracy, and peace, with 17 CSOs under its fleet.
Local organizations such as Kelem Ethiopia, engaged in the education sector, with limited-period projects mostly catering to specific groups, have mixed feelings. The General Director, Abdulaziz Arage, hopes that commercial banks will include CSOs in their loan portfolio though the bill is a step to alleviate their financial constraints.
The study conducted last year explained that in 2014, the total funds pledged by CSOs for 2,604 projects, excluding Dire Dewa city, accounted for 35.76 billion Br. The current fund for 2,885 projects under CSOs is committed to 78.87 billion Br. Only the Somali and Harari regional states experienced a decline in total budgets as some CSOs did not get the required license to operate.
Starting its operation in 2018, Pro Development Network (PDN) supports 50 CSOs. The network sources funds from international donors such as the European Union and USAID. The Director Ahmed Hussien, director general of PDN, said that their organization plans to rent machines that will be functional to dig holes for clean water projects.
"We are contacting donors to get those machines," he said.
He mentioned that some organizations struggle to get donations, making it difficult to implement their objectives.
Only Ethiopian-owned organizations can advocate for human rights issues, including the rights of children, women, and the disabled. They are required to obtain 90pc of their funds from local sources otherwise recognized as international organizations and prohibited from advocating on such issues.
PUBLISHED ON Jan 01,2023 [ VOL 23 , NO 1183]
Commentaries | Jan 25,2020
My Opinion | Jan 03,2021
My Opinion | Oct 24,2020
Radar | Oct 19,2019
Fortune News | Jul 09,2022
Radar | Sep 24,2022
Fortune News | Sep 18,2022
Life Matters | Nov 26,2022
Featured | Jul 25,2020
Featured | Aug 24,2019
Dec 24 , 2022
Biniam Mikru heads the department of cabinet affairs under Mayor Adanech Abiebie. But...
Jul 2 , 2022 . By RUTH TAYE
On a rainy afternoon last week, a coffee processing facility in the capital's Akaki-Qality District was abuzz with activ...
Nov 27 , 2021
Against my will, I have witnessed the most terrible defeat of reason and the most sa...
Nov 13 , 2021
Plans and reality do not always gel. They rarely do in a fast-moving world. Every act...
Leaders of the National Election Board are in a charm offensive mood, of a sort. Last week, they organised a rare tour for members of the me...
When the country's most senior diplomats and envoys return back to their posts after two-week debriefings, they leave behind a point or two...
Dec 2 , 2023
The symphony of traffic noise in Addis Abeba is not just a sign of life, but a siren...
Nov 25 , 2023
Ethiopia's quest to develop a functioning capital market is a demanding yet not unach...
Nov 18 , 2023
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD) has made a fervent call for landlocked Ethiopia to ga...
Nov 11 , 2023
In November last year, a ray of hope pierced the gloomy skies of Ethiopia as the Pret...
I have a love-hate relationship with my phone. It is my go to source for information. I enjoy interacting with text messages and browsing t...
Over the weekend, I attended a wedding where my husband was one of the protocols. Despite the typical joy...
Or see contact page