CSOs engaged in discussions on national Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP)

Ethiopia’s journey towards middle-income status is soon to reach a key milestone, as the federal government’s original Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP 2011-15) is succeeded by GTP 2 (2016-2020), and civil society organisations (CSOs) have been formally engaged in government review and planning processes to shape the design of the next generation of Ethiopia’s development strategy.

Government and civil society come together

The Civil Society Support Programme (CSSP) has supported three consultation meetings on the GTP in 2015, involving more than 400 CSOs in dialogue processes with the National Planning Commission. CSOs have called for more emphasis on gender, disability and poverty reduction in GTP 2, and a stronger enabling environment for charities and societies to be partners in Ethiopia’s ambitious development proposals.

In line with GTP 2 ambitions, which looks set to further-strengthen the quality and equitable distribution of services, CSOs’ roles in supporting the inclusion of all sectors of society in Ethiopia’s development – for example CSSP initiatives addressing prisoners and marginalised communities such as the Fuga – are increasingly being recognised as making valuable contributions to the achievement of government development targets.

President of Ethiopia becomes patron of the sector

Civil society is estimated to contribute around $2 billion per year to Ethiopia’s development – around 10% of GDP, and a revived spirit of engagement between government and civil society is emerging.  The President of the Nation has accepted a request by the Federal Charities and Societies Forum, which is financially supported by CSSP, to become a patron of the sector, and at the final CSSP-brokered GTP consultation meeting with CSOs, the President remarked ‘we will move to a supporting and facilitating attitude towards the charities and societies sector’.

This reinvigorated relationship between government and civil society bodes well for the successful implementation of GTP 2, and creates opportunities for civil society to further contribute to a progressive and inclusive Ethiopia.

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