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Ethiopian government has affirmed that it has been creating enabling environment for the free engagement of civil society organizations as part of the ongoing far-reaching reforms.
A day-long workshop held today at the Office of the Prime Minister intended boost up the role of civic society organizations in promoting democracy, human rights and development in Ethiopia
The discussion focused on major thematic areas including political and economic reforms, federalism and nation building that have to be supported by a strong participation of civic societies.
Earlier in the discussion officials have presented the government’s perspective on the sweeping reforms and its readiness to give the necessary support for civic societies.
Speaking on political, security and justice reforms, Deputy Attorney General Dr. Gedion Themotios, said Ethiopia has embarked on the political reform by significantly revising various laws and proclamations which stifled the free engagement of civic society.
Noting that for a long time, Ethiopia was criticized for clamping down democratic initiatives and actions, however, the country has been experiencing a renewed initiative for political reform and democratization over a year.
Acknowledging the role of civil society in mobilizing and educating the public, the Deputy Attorney General urged civil societies to work at grassroots levels.
He called on the civil societies to play their part as the government is encouraging and giving them tremendous supports.
“In fact, our reform has not still reached out at the grassroots level such as Kebele, Wereda and Zones. One thing we need to realize is this reform could not be attainable only by the government’s effort. As a result, you the civil societies have to support such efforts.”
Senior Macro Economic Advisor to the Prime Minister, Mamo Mihiretu, said on his part that Ethiopia has been making a macro-economic adjustment that requires the participation of many stakeholders including the civic society organizations.
He particularly, emphasized on the fact that civil society sector has remarkable experts potential saying “you should support the economic development of the country in various ways.”
He added the government is highly desirous to create alliance with the civil societies in order to accelerate the country’s development.
The participants who were drawn from many local civil societies and NGOs have appreciated the government’s commitment in creating an enabling environment for their operations.
Preparation has been finalized to endorse a new Civil Engagement Policy in the near future, it was learned.