Chamber’s Proclamation On the Way to Reform

The amendment was originally proposed by the Ministry of Industry and Trade

A fifteen-year-old proclamation issued for the establishment of chambers and sectoral associations is up for amendment after a call from the Ministry of Industry (MoI) and the Ministry of Trade (MoT).

The Ministry of Industry called a meeting last week to collect opinions from stakeholders for the amendment of the proclamation dealt with the establishment of these associations. The meeting was held at Hilton Addis Hotel last week excluding the national chamber.

The primary reason for the amendment is to create a conducive environment to operate in the economic situation. The current proclamation does not go in line with the current financial condition, according to the MoI.

Contribution and structure of the chambers, membership fees, terms of presidents and boards were issues that grabbed the attention of participants at the meeting, and different problems were raised to put up for amendment.

One of the problems mentioned during the meeting was the contribution of the chambers to their members and the country. It was commented on that chambers are not working in line with their objective and mission, according to participants at the meeting.

“The responsible government bodies are not giving the required assistance and follow-up on the activities of the chambers and associations,” one of the participants said.

The structure of the chambers was another issue addressed at during the meeting. In the current proclamation, the chamber is a three tier organization, which includes the national, regional and city chamber of commerce and sectorial associations.

“The proclamation has created various chambers with no actual power,” said Endalkachew Sime, secretary general of Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce and Sectorial Associations, explaining why the proclamation is hindering their operations. “It makes it difficult to use our resources and manpower effectively.”

Membership was also mentioned as another challenge during the meeting. The voluntary commitment to be a member is highly affecting the association’s membership base. And forcing businesses to register in the Associations can be a solution, according to the participants.

“Chambers are dependent on a membership fee, so, the proclamation should force businesses to be a member,” said a participant.

Terms of presidents and board of directors were the other major concerns agreed to be addressed during the amendment.

Even though the proclamation states that a president shall serve for two years, there is no clearly stipulated term of office. This had resulted in the overstay of chairpersons and presidents in some chambers such as Amhara and the national Ethiopian Chamber.

Due to such problems, the government has instructed some of both the city and national chambers to re-elect their president to solve controversies that arose from the protocol concerning the election of the Chamber’s board of directors. It even leads to a temporary pause of the election to select a board of directors and president of the national chamber.


Published on May 06,2017 [ Vol 17 ,No 888]



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