Ethiopia Streamlines Foreign Organizations Registration and Administration with New Directive

The Federal Authority for Civil Societies Organizations (ACSO) in Ethiopia has issued Directive No. 986/2024, outlining key procedures for the registration and administration of foreign civil society organizations operating within the country. This marks a significant step towards clarifying existing ambiguities and establishing a more cooperative environment for foreign CSOs to contribute to Ethiopia’s development. [1]

The directive draws its authority from Article 89(2) of the Civil Societies Proclamation No. 1113/2019 and represents the first comprehensive effort to address registration, administration and procedural treadmills for foreign CSO’s. Prior to its promulgation, ACSO reportedly consulted with over 50 domestic CSOs to ensure the directive addresses stakeholder’s concern. [2]

Key features of Directive No. 986/2024 include:

Clear definitions of rights, legal duties and restrictions: The directive outlines the rights and responsibilities of foreign CSOs operating in Ethiopia, promoting transparency and accountability alongside negatively listed restrictions.

Stringent work plan regime: The directive establishes the minimum particulars that must be fulfilled in the work plans of foreign CSOs that help expedite and monitor the process and execution of their work.

Defined entry and operational requirements: The directive indicates that upon the precondition of a project agreement signed with the government foreign CSO’s can register and operate within Ethiopia; this provides a roadmap for navigating to the due diligence and compliance niches of the authority.

The directive also provides a mechanism of oversight for funding and management of foreign organizations as well as employment of foreign nationals.

ACSO anticipates directive no.986/2024 gears a shift towards synergy and effectiveness in development efforts. It aims to enhance the impact of foreign CSO contributions on Ethiopia’s development goals through partnership with indigenous and governmental organizations to promote capacity-building programs for local organizations.[3] Promulgation of the directive requires a diligent work force to meet the administrative and registration diligence, our firm stands right by your side through and through.

[1] MOJ (ministry of justice), clarification on directive no.986/2016.

[2] ibid

[3] directive no.986/2014

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