Since the 2005 Ethiopian national election, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) have themselves been victims of a brutal government proclamation that suppressed them from advocating for human, election, and even gender rights. The number of active CSOs has halved over the past fifteen years.
Following the amendment of the restrictive proclamation in 2019, the number of CSOs has currently reached 3,200, an increase of 1,400 new and reregistered organizations.
Nonetheless, the role of CSOs remains a drop in the ocean especially when witnessing the increasing number of conflicts, humanitarian crises, and widening gap between the state and society. Further, only 236 CSOs are registered by the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) to observe the upcoming national election. EBR’s Mariamawit Gezahegn delves into the trajectory CSOs have endured and their persisting challenges.