How to establish NGOs in Ethiopia

Both International and local NGOs can be established and be operational in Ethiopia. However, knowing the requirements for establishment and registration are necessary to speedup the process of registration with the Government of Ethiopia in order to enable them operate legally.

NGOs operating in Ethiopia could be categorized into two main categories:

1.Indigenous NGOs

These are NGOs established in the country by either Ethiopians or non-Ethiopians.

2.International NGOs

These are NGOs, which have their head offices abroad and obtain most of their support from those offices.

List of NGOs

Again from within these NGOs another category could be established:

1.Secular NGOs

2.International NGOs

Sectorial classification of NGOs is also possible, i.e. NGOs focusing on various sectors such as water, health, children, integrated rural/urban development, etc.

Establishment of NGOs within Ethiopia

Both Foreign and Local NGOs can be established in Ethiopia by registering with the Ethiopian Government.

(A) Registration Guideline for Foreign (international) NGOs.

Any NGO or Non-Profit Making Organization (NPO) which intends to carry out activities in Ethiopia should produce a written application to the Ethiopia missions in their respective countries.

Written documents to be submitted are as follows;

  1. An authenticated certificate that shows the applicant is registered in the country of origin as a non-profit making organization.
  2. An authenticated memorandum of association (constitution or article of association of statues or by-laws) of the applicant organization by which its contemporary activities are governed.
  3. An authenticated letter of authorization of the executive board, which formally endorses the activities of the association in Ethiopia.
  4. An authenticated letter of approval from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or relevant authority in charge of NGO’s / NPO’s activities in the country of origin.
  5. A Project proposal, one original and two copies, showing the intended project to be performed.

The Embassy of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia in Tokyo, Japan having received and again authenticated the aforementioned documents, earlier authenticated by the Ministry of foreign Affairs of the respective country, from an NGO / NPO will directly send them for approval to the Ministry of foreign affairs of Ethiopia. The Embassy upon receiving the feedback from the Ministry will immediately notify the representative of the NGO / NPO, the final reply for the registration. The whole process of obtaining a license or certificate may take at least a month after the submission of the necessary authenticated documents to the Embassy.

(B) Operational Agreement with DPPC

Following registration with the Ministry of Justice and obtaining of Certificate, NGOs are required to sign Operational Agreement with the Federal Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Commission (DPPC). The applying NGO is required to:

Upon submission of certificate of registration, the applying NGO will be provided with three copies of Operational Agreement forms along with Basic Information on New NGOs by the DPPC to be filled, signed by the head of the organization (the person acknowledged by Ministry of Justice) then sealed and returned to DPPC. The Deputy Commissioner of DPPC will sign the Agreement form on behalf of the DPPC. One copy of the Agreement signed and sealed both the NGO and the DPPC will be given to the NGO.

Following the signing of Operational Agreement with DPPC, a NGO is expected to enter into specific project agreement with the concerned regional government offices depending upon the type and the nature of the project prior to implementation.