Addis Ababa April 21/2017 The government of Ethiopia said it has attached great importance to enhance the engagement of civil society organizations (CSOs) in the overall development of the country.
While opening the consultative forum on the role of CSOs in Ethiopia’s democratic system building, Speaker of the House of People’s Representatives, Abadula Gemeda said that the government is working to improve their participation.
He added that the beginning of consultations with the CSOs, launched with today’s forum, would help as a springboard to the efforts of the government in building democracy.
The government has announced plan few months ago to work closely with political parties and the civil society organizations.
While the consultations with the political parties kicked off earlier, the dialogue with CSOs started with the consultative forum held today in Addis Ababa.
Papers presented in the forum urged for the active engagement of CSOs in the country’s democratization process.
While presenting a paper, Dr Assefa Fisah from the Addis Ababa University said that CSOs can put a meaningful impact on the overall development of the nation.
CSOs need to engage in rectifying faults, enhancing public participation and creating responsible society keeping their non-partisan stance.
According to him, they also have the capacity to create social capital.
Another presenter from Ethiopian Women Association Director Saba Gebremedhin said CSOs should promote rules and regulations introduced by the government to ensure good governance and deepen democracy.
Conflict prevention and building patriotism among citizens are also among the major tasks of CSOs, she added.
Saying that there is a good opportunity among citizens to participating in resolving problem, Saba added that improving awareness of communities towards CSOs is crucial.
Head of political parties and civic organizations cluster at Center for Democracy, Office of the Prime Minister, Abulaziz Mohammed said that CSOs can contribute lot in the overall development activities.
He added that they could play immense role in strengthening democratic system and accelerating ongoing development, however, they need to operate in accordance with the law.