Ethiopia: A self-defeating Charities and Societies Proclamation Hurting All

One of the many things globalization is credited for is that it has “considerably weakened traditional governance processes,” according to Professor Charnovitz Steve, a well-known writer on non-state actors in governance. “Increasing global economic integration has reduced the power of national governments while granting other economic and political actors access to the world stage,” Charbovitz wrote.

In Ethiopia the emergence of rigorous and formal Non-Governmental Organizations/Civil Society Organizations (NGOs/CSOs) dates back to barely two decades ago, although a few NGOs were already there during the imperial era, which were established according to the 1960 Civil Code. But most of the voluntary initiatives were run only by members of the royal family and a few foreign individuals.  The trend was not so much different during the subsequent Derg regime. According to Jeffrey Clarke, who wrote about Ethiopia’s civil society organization activities in late 1990s, there were two groupings of NGOs during the Derg regime: international relief agencies which were officially accepted by the regime and the humanitarian sections of armed opposition groups operating beyond its control.

 

The two decades from 1991 to 2009 are known as a period when a remarkable progress in the numbers and activities of NGOs/CSOs was seen in the history of the country. A relatively enabling atmosphere and significant contributions by these NGOs/CSOs (the latter renamed as Charities and Societies Organization, ChSOs) to various programs that the country was desperately embarked on gave boost to the birth of hundreds of NOGs and ChSOs.

Because of that, and enabling political changes the country was experiencing, foreign donor organizations such as USAID, Global Fund, CDC, Clinton Foundation, and the Rockefeller Foundation have relentlessly bankrolled the entire programs to fight HIV/AIDS, Malaria, TB, vaccination and institutional capacity building programs that were undertaken by as many NGOs/ChSOs in Ethiopia over the past two decades.

Continue reading
  10712 Hits

Exploring Issues in the Renewal of Licenses for Charities and Societies

The Charities and Societies Proclamation refers to three stages in the coming into operation of charities and societies except charitable committees. These are: formation, registration and licensing. Formation refers to the early stage where the situations necessary for the coming into being of the charity or society as an entity are put into place. The most distinct feature of this stage is that the charity or society does not have legal personality during this stage, which usually takes a period of three months. As such, its capacity to engage in acts with legal consequences (juridical acts) is limited. Most notably, it is limited in its capacity to raise funds. This stage reaches its end either upon registration or when the charity or society ceases to exist for failure to apply for registration.

The next stage in the life of a charity or society is registration which may be considered the most important stage since the very existence of the organization commences with registration. Upon registration, the charity or society acquires legal personality thereby becoming a subject of rights and duties. In other words, the merely formed entity acquires the capacity to engage in acts that have legal consequences such as entering into contracts. For a charity or society this translates into the capacity to start working towards its objectives by engaging staff and implementing activities. Unless the charity is dissolved reasons stipulated by law, it maintains its legal personality for an indefinite period of time.

However, the act of registration and consequent acquisition of legal personality does not enable the charity or society to start realizing its capacity to engage in juridical acts. For that it requires a license. Licensing is the process through which the charity or society gets a certificate permitting it to operate in its identified area of operation and engage in activities/projects designed to achieve its establishment objectives. While the initial license is normally acquired upon fulfillment of legally stipulated conditions, the license certificate has to be renewed periodically.

The subject matter for the current short article is two-fold: the requirements for the renewal of licenses for charities and societies; and, the interplay between these conditions and the conditions set by sector administrators for the signing of project agreements and by donors for funding.

Requirements for Renewal of License

Continue reading
  11309 Hits

የበጎ አድራጎት ድርጅቶችና ማህበራትን ፈቃድ ከማደስ ጋር የተያያዙ አንዳንድ ጉዳዮች

የበጎ አድራጎት ድርጅቶችና ማህበራት አዋጅ ከበጎ አድራጎት ኮሚቴ በቀር ለሁሉም የበጎ አድራጎት ድርጅቶችና ማህበራት ሦስት የህልውና ደረጃዎችን ያስቀምጣል፡፡ እነዚህም ምስረታ፣ ምዝገባ እና ፈቃድ ናቸው፡፡ ምስረታ የምንለው የበጎ አድራጎት ድርጅቱን ወይም ማህበሩን ለመፍጠር አስፈላጊ የሚሆኑበት የመጀመሪያ ደረጃ ነው፡፡ የዚህ ደረጃ ዋነኛ መለያው ሶስት ወር ገደማ በሚሆነው በዚህ ጊዜ ውስጥ ድርጅቱ ወይም ማህበሩ ሕጋዊ ሰውነት የሌለውና በሕግ ፊት ውጤት ያላቸውን ተግባራት ለማከናወን ያለው ብቃትም ውሱን መሆኑ ነው፡፡ በተለይም በድርጅቱ ወይም በማህበሩ ስም ገንዘብ የማሰባሰብ ብቃቱ ውሱን ወይም በሕግ የተገደበ ይሆናል፡፡ ይህ የመጀመሪያ ደረጃ ድርጅቱ ወይም ማህበሩ ሲመዘገብ ወይም ባለመመዝገቡ ምክንያት ህልውናውን ሲያጣ የሚጠናቀቅ ይሆናል፡፡

የበጎ አድራጎት ድርጅቶችና ማህበራት ህልውና ቀጣዩ ደረጃ ምዝገባ ሲሆን ድርጅቱ ወይም ማህበሩ በህግ ፊት እውቅና የሚያገኝበት በመሆኑ ከሶስቱ ደረጃዎች ውስጥ ወሳኝ ተደርጎ ሊወሰድ ይችላል፡፡ አንድ ድርጅት ወይም ማህበር በተመዘገበ ጊዜ ሕጋዊ ሰውነት አግኝቶ በሕግ ፊት ውጤት ያላቸውን ተግባራት ለማከናወን ብቁ ይሆናል፡፡ በሌላ አባባል አንድ በመመስረት ላይ የነበረ ድርጅት ወይም ማህበር ሲመዘገብ ውል መዋዋልን የመሰሉ የሕግ ትርጉም ያላቸውን ተግባራት ማከናወን ይችላል፡፡ ለአንድ የበጎ አድራጎት ድርጅት ወይም ማህበር ይህ ማለት ሰራተኞችን በመቅጠር እና ክንውኖችን በመተግበር የተቋቋመበትን ዓላማ ለማስፈፀም የሚያስችል ብቃት በሕግ ፊት ያስገኝለታል ማለት ነው፡፡ የበጎ አድራጎት ድርጅቱ ወይም ማህበሩ በሕግ በተቀመጡ ምክንያቶች ካልፈረሰ በቀር ሕጋዊ ሰውነቱን ይዞ ላልተወሰነ ጊዜ ይቆያል፡፡

ይሁን እንጂ ምዝገባ እና ተያይዞ የሚመጣው ሕጋዊ ሰውነት ማግኘት የበጎ አድራጎት ደርጅቱ በሕግ ፊት ውጤት ያላቸውን ተግባራት ለማከናወን ያገኘውን ብቃት እውን ለማድረግ አያበቁትም፡፡ ለዚህ የግድ ፈቃድ ማግኘት አለበት፡፡ ፈቃድ መስጠት ማለት አንድ ደርጅት ወይም ማህበር ባስቀመጠው አካባቢ የተቋቋመበትን ዓላማ ለማስፈጸም ክነውኖችን ወይም ፕሮጀክቶቸን ለመተግበር የሚፈቅድለት ሰርትፍኬት የሚያገኝበት ሂደት ነው፡፡ አንድ ደርጅት ወይም ማህበር በሕግ የተቀመጡ መስፈርቶችን አሟልቶ በተቋቋመ ጊዜ ወዲያውኑ ፈቃድ የሚያገኝ ሲሆን ፈቃዱ በየጊዜው (በየሦስት ዓመት) መታደስ አለበት፡፡

ይህ አጭር ፅሁፍ በሁለት ተዛማጅ ጉዳዮች ላይ ያተኩራል፤ እነዚህም የበጎ አድራጎት ደርጅቶችና ማህበራት ፈቃድ ለማሳደስ ሊሟሉ የሚገባቸው ቅድመ-ሁኔታዎች እና እነዚህ ቅድመ-ሁኔታዎች በዘርፍ አስተዳዳሪዎች የፕሮጀክት ስምምነት ለመፈፀም ከሚጠየቁት መመዘኛዎችና ለጋሾች የገንዘብ ድጋፍ ለመስጠት ከሚያስቀምጧቸው ቅድመ-ሁኔታዎች ጋር ያላቸው ትስስር ናቸው፡፡

ፈቃድ ለማሳደስ ሊሟሉ የሚገባቸው ቅድመ-ሁኔታዎች

Continue reading
  14207 Hits