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Al Maktoum Foundation receives back permit as investigation on two NGO continues

The Ethiopian Agency for Civil Society Organizations which changed its name to Ethiopian Civil Society Organization Authority has given back work permits for Al Maktoum Foundation one of the three, Non-Government Organizations (NGO) which have been previously banned due to unlawful acts. The authority is also completing its investigation on the other two organizations to give back their permit
Also according to the information Capital has obtained, the authority is investigating certain international organizations that are doing illegal acts which will be released in the coming days in order to take the necessary measures.
“Activities of civil organizations should be based on their mission with respect to the country laws and sovereignty,” said Jima Debol director of the authority, indicating that some international organizations are still working illegal acts. “The authority will take various remedial measures, ranging from warnings to suspensions and closures of the civil society organizations that threaten Ethiopia’s sovereignty, unity and security depending on the nature of the damage,” the director remarked. As he said the authority is investigating and various punitive measures which will be taken against some charities that are operating outside of the objectives they were established.
On August 4 2021, the agency suspended the license of three foreign Non-Government Organizations (NGO) such as MSF Holland, the Norwegian Refugee Council and Al Maktoum Foundation. The reason behind the ban ranges from engaging in an unpermitted area of operation to disseminating misinformation.
The agency has identified rule violations by these organizations while monitoring their activities, MSF Holland and the Norwegian Refugee Council have been disseminating misinformation in social media and other platforms outside of the mandate and purpose for which the organizations were permitted to operate. Also, these organizations employed foreign nationals without the appropriate work permit from the Ethiopian government for more than six months.
MSF Holland illegally imported satellite radio equipment and made use of it. Since the equipment was not authorized by the relevant government authority, the employees were thus apprehended by the security forces for using the equipment for illegal purposes.
Furthermore, Al Maktoum Foundation failed to comply with the Ministry of Education’s COVI D-19 protocol, its mismanagement of budget and problems with staff management.
Despite repeated discussions with the executives of all the three organizations, they were unable to fix the situation.
The Agency for Civil Society Organizations stated that the activities of the organizations have been suspended for three months in accordance with Article 77 (4) of Proclamation No. 1113/2011 until a final decision is made.
In related news on Friday October 22, 2021 the authority and its international partners together launched the Ethiopian Civil Society Organizations Mapping study.
The study which is supported by the EU civil society fund (III), civil society support programme phase 2 and the federal agency for civil society organizations has been ongoing for the past six months throughout the country perhaps because of the intensification of the war in Tigray region and parts of Amhara region’s deterioration of security in parts of the country it has been limiting the researchers.
The purpose of the research is said to provide updated multidimensional information on CSOs in Ethiopia operating at national and regional levels.
In undertaking the study the experts interviewed 324 key informants from 262 institutions pertinent to the civil society sector.
There are three types of civil society organizations operating in Ethiopia one national civil society organizations, one national civil society organizations which are registered at federal level, regional and sub-regional, the second one is international civil society organizations and the last one is CBOs and other informal social groupings.
According to the study currently there are 3,244 civil society organizations, 2,732 local civil society organizations, 50 consortiums of civil society organizations and 462 international civil society organizations operating in Ethiopia.

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