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.