Category: local government

The virtues of true decentralization – Addis Standard

Source: Op:Ed: The virtues of true decentralization – Addis Standard

Belachew Mekuria, PhD, For Addis Standard

Addis Abeba, June 18/2019 – In an earlier piece for AS, I highlighted the need for empowered regional states in our federal arrangement so as to enable us ‘establish and sustain one economic community.’ The praxis of our federalism is hardly in sync with the constitutional promises of a truly self-governing structures in social, economic and political dimensions. The role of regional governments in looking after the socio-economic and political affairs of their people is dashed aside to the margins rendering them dependent on the ‘almighty’ center that, under the guise of building single economic community, controls the formulation and implementation of the country’s policies spanning every aspect of the body politic. I intend to briefly explain why true decentralization is one of the many long overdue reforms that the country ought to address.

Centralized Economy, Decentralized Poverty

It is desirable to pursue economic policies that embrace local conditions and endeavor to meet the needs of the people who are not only poor, but in relative terms, are getting poorer by the day. Creation of single economic community is excessively referenced to legitimize the central control of economic policy making that is supported by a relatively over-capacitated central bureaucracy. House of Federation has the mandate to propose laws that help establish and sustain one economic community for enactment by the House of Peoples’ Representatives. While an attempt is made to institutionalize a centralized economic policy making, implementation and monitoring infrastructure, it has not led to an overall improvement in well-being and livelihoods. As a result, the capacity to design sound policies for accelerated economic growth at regional level is highly undermined; poverty still remains ubiquitous; some experiencing it more than others.

Though there are a number of areas that call for genuine decentralization, I limit the discussions to three key areas for devolution of power to the respective regions having profound implication on empowering members of the federation.

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Proclamation No.760/2012 Registration of Vital Events and National Identity Card Proclamation

Proclamation No. 760/2012


WHEREAS establishing a system of registration of’ vital events  plays  a  key role  in  planning   political, social and economic developments in providing  different  social  and  economic services to citizens  and  in  making  the  justice  administration expedient and effective

WHEREAS it has become necessary to create accessible, comprehensive and compulsory registration system on the basis of which citizens can effect proper and timely registration of vital events

WHEREAS the  issuance  of  national identity cards  to citizens  has  become  important  for the protection of  national  security and  for  providing efficient services to citizens by the public and private sector

NOW THEREFORE in accordance with Article 55 sub-article (1) and (6) of the Constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, it is hereby proclaimed as follows

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We, The peoples of the Amhara National Regional State:-

Having been desirous to do away with the negative impact hindering our overall development which the age old oppressive system had for long imposed upon us by cruelly support essaying our human and democratic rights and thereby exposing us all to the scourge of poverty and backwardness as a result unjustified economic and social policies in place;

Being dully convinced  of the fact that we had for long been victims of an unbearable harm caused to us directly or indirectly to an atrocious national oppression which had to be committed in the past on and against the majority of our country’s nation-nationalities and peoples, and henceforth needs to e corrected and rectified hereafter:

Cognizant of the fact that it would be beneficial to an acceleration of our mutual development, Now that our country Ethiopia, stands to be a federal democratic republic, wherein human and democratic rights of individuals as well as Nation- Nationalities and peoples including the right to self-determination up to secession are fully respected and in general the rule of low prevails, once the formerly suppressive and backward system has been uprooted due to the heroic struggle undergone for the ages on the part of all our country’s’ Nation-Nationalities and peoples;

Having firmly believed that, we, the peoples, settling in the Amhara National Regional State, would be able to attain rapid economic growth, durable peace and fullfledged democracy, only when we do mange to possess our own constitution founded on the spirit of the constitution of the Federal DemocraticRrepublic of Ethiopia, taking into account the concrete circumstances of our regional state and thereby enabling us to exercise our constitutional rights dully respected thereto fully and unrestrictedly;

Recalling that, dependent on the above noted background, we had deliberated upon and adopted the regional constitution which has, to this day, been in effect for the very first time on the 22nd day of June 1995 through the agency of our representatives elected from amongst us in a direct participation and democratic manner and sent to the founding congress of the regional council; and thereby the same regional constitution in force /as amended beforehand / deserves tobe, after a deep and thorough examination, revised and promulgated in such a way as to incorporate and exhibit an efficient governmental organization accountable to the electorate and strictly following transparent working procedures to the extent of the requirements demanded by the state of affairs which we are in at the moment;

Now, therefore, have hereby approved the whole text with an undivided vote, to day, on the 5th day of November 2001 in the third regular secession of the regional council held here in Bahir dar, after having thoroughly deliberated upon the revised constitution and deeply examined its specific articles, whose initial draft had to be prepared and submitted to us by the body designated as such for the purpose,

Amhara Regional State VALUE ADDED TAX(VAT) PROCLAMATION NO. 285/2002


via ANRS Revenue Autrhority.

ANRS Revenue Autrhority


WHEREAS, the current sales tax does not allow collection of the tax on the added value created wherever a sales transaction

WHEREAS, the value added tax minimizes the damage that may be caused by attempts to avoid and evade the tax and helps to ascertain the profit obtained by the taxpayers;

WHEREAS, the tax enhance saving and investment as it is a consumption tax and does not tax capital;

WHEREAS, replacement of the current sales tax by value added tax enhances economic growth and improves the ratio relationship between Gross Domestic Product and Government Revenue;

NOW, THEREFORE, in accordance with Article 55(1) and (11) of the Constitution, it is hereby proclaimed as follows:


  1. Short Title
    This proclamation may be cited as the “Value Added Tax Proclamation No.285/2002.”
  2. Definitions
    For the purpose of this Proclamation, unless the context otherwise requires:

    1. ” accounting period” means a calendar month. The month of Nahase and Pagumen shall be aggregated and treated as one calendar month;
    2. “Agent” means any person who acts on behalf of and on instruction from another person;
    3. “Association of persons” means an association of individuals or an association that includes one or more members who are not individuals, but not including any association falling within the definition of “body”;
    4. “Authority” means the Federal Inland Revenue Authority;
    5. “Body” means any company, registered partnership, entity formed under foreign law resembling a company or registered partnership, or any public enterprise or public financial agency that carries out business activities including body of persons corporate or unincorporated whether created or recognized under a law in force in Ethiopia or elsewhere, and any foreign body’s business agent doing business in Ethiopia behalf of the principal:
    6. “Export” means taking goods out of Ethiopia;
    7. “goods” means all kinds of corporeal movable or immovable property, thermal or electrical energy, heat, gas, refrigeration, air conditioning, and water, but does not include money;
    8. “Money” means:
      1. a coin or note that is legal tender in Ethiopia; or
      2. a bill of exchange, bank draft, promissory note, postal order, or money order; or
      3. a stamp, from or card that has a monetary value and is sold or issued by the Government for the payment of any fiscal charge leveled under any law except where the coin, note, stamp, from, or card is disposed of as a collector’s piece, an investment article, or an item of numismatic interest;
    9. “Import of Goods” means bringing goods into Ethiopia according to the customs legislation;
    10. “Permanent Establishment” means a fixed place of taxable activities through which those activities of a person are wholly or partly carried on. The following shall, in particular, be considered to be a permanent establishment, an administrative office, branch, factory, workshop, mine quarry or any other place for the exploitation of natural resources, and a building site or place where construction and/or assembly works are carried out.                                                                             READ MORE