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The Historical Trends and Legal Frameworks of CSOs in Ethopia

Melkamu Dires Asabu

MSW in Social Work
MA in International Relations and Diplomacy
Woldia University, Faculty of Social Science
Woldia Town (Ethiopia)

Moges Yirgabelew Kifle

MA in Development Management
Program of Peace and Development Studies
Debre Berhan University
Debre Berhan (Ethiopia)


The historical trends and legal frameworks of CSOs are not identical across countries. Hence, this study gave attention on investigating the historical trends and legal frameworks of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in Ethiopia. The result uncovered that the movements of both domestic and foreign CSOs have a recent history which firstly began during the reign of Emperor Haile Selassie-I in 1930s.Beginning from that period, the number of CSOs is increasing from time to time. The development of CSOs as well as their legal framework to govern them lacks consistent features. This was especially true both in Derg and EPRDF regime. At the regime of Derg, until the 1973/74 famine, the numbers of CSOs were not grown as expected since the military-socialist regime of Ethiopia was against with the establishment of independent CSOs. By overthrowing the Derg regime when the incumbent government coms to power, it recognized and valued the role CSOs had to play and gradually. by assuming that the imperial legislation (Regulation No. 321/1966) had failed to support the substantial roles of CSOs, the government formulated Proclamation No.621/2009. Recently, the EPRDF amend the Proclamation No.621/2009 with Proclamation No.1113/2019 for the main reason that the former one is more of restrictive and discouraging.

Key words: Proclamation, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), Legal Frameworks.

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