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Ethiopia aid laws raise concerns

Addis Ababa – Heavily aid-reliant Ethiopia is drafting a bill to provide a legal framework for the activities of foreign aid groups, sparking concern among aid workers and threatening to antagonise creditors.

“We can understand that the Ethiopian government would want to bring in legislation on NGOs to create a proper legal framework and more financial transparency,” said one official representing a donor country.

“But the text in its current form would make it impossible for NGOs to function,” he told AFP on condition of anonymity.

The bill, a copy of which was obtained by AFP, comprises 12 sections and is to be submitted to parliament soon.

According to the draft bill, any NGO drawing on foreign sources for more than 10 percent of its funding will be considered a foreign organisation. The new law would bring several existing local NGOs into that category. Continue reading

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