Inter-Country Adoption Allowed for Foreign Nationals of Ethiopian Origin

By Dagnachew Tesfaye

The Federal Supreme Court Cassation Bench on Cassation File No 189201 on March 11,2020 Volume 24 made a landmark decision in favor of allowing adoption by foreign nationals of Ethiopian origin.

The Revised Family Code Amendment Proclamation No 1070/2018 on its preamble and to some extent on its content held the idea of prohibition of adoption by foreign nationals. The term ‘foreign nationals’ was not defined. There was a question as to whether ‘foreign nationals’ include foreign nationals of Ethiopian origin that acquire yellow card.

The case decided by the Federal Supreme Court Cassation Bench on File No 189201 gave an interpretation to the question. The Cassation Decision state that Foreign Nationals of Ethiopian Origin are allowed to adopt Ethiopian children. The Revised Family Code Amendment Proclamation No 1070/2018 do not prohibit foreign nationals of Ethiopian origin from adopting Ethiopian children.

To reach the decision the Federal Supreme Court Cassation bench looked closely into the Ethiopian Children Policy document, the Diaspora Policy document, the best interest of the child and especially Article 36(5) of in the FDRE Constitution, Child Right Convention Article 20-21 and African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child Article 24 , the Revised Family Code of Ethiopia Proclamation No 213/2000, Foreign National of Ethiopian Origin Proclamation No 270/2002, and Banking Amendment Proclamation No 1159/2019, that shows the trend of the government of Ethiopia in allowing economic participation of Foreigners of Ethiopian origin in the banking sector.

The Cassation Bench reached to the conclusion that foreign national of Ethiopian origin can adopt an Ethiopian child. The position of the Federal First Instance and Federal High Court, that a foreigner with Ethiopian origin cannot adopt an Ethiopian child is dismissed by the Federal Supreme Court Cassation Bench. The Interpretation of the law by the Federal Supreme Court Cassation Bench, as per Federal Courts Reamendment Proclamation No 454/2005, is binding on federal as well as regional courts of all levels.

To sum up, the Federal Supreme Court Cassation Bench by a legally binding interpretation has filled the legislative gap that happened on Proclamation no 1070/2018 and allowed foreigners of Ethiopian origin who has the valid yellow card, to adopt Ethiopian children.

Movable Property Security Right

By Dagnachew Tesfaye

Introduction

This article is about movable property security right. The article provides the movable property security right proclamation, the National Bank of Ethiopia directive on operationalization of movable collateral registry and finally the codification, valuation and registration of movable properties as collateral for credit directive of the National Bank of Ethiopia. A brief conclusion will follow.

1. Movable Property Security Right Proclamation

Movable Property Security Right Proclamation No 1147/2019 (hereafter Proclamation) was done on 7 August 2019, to be effective at the expiry of 12 months after publication in the Negarit Gazette or the commencement of operation of the Collateral Registry Office (CRO), whichever comes first.

The Proclamation is divided into eight parts.

Part One of the Proclamation deals with definitions and scope of application of the Proclamation. For example the Proclamation does not apply to movable assets that require registration in a special register under existing law such as securities traded on exchanges, ships or aircrafts.

Part Two of the Proclamation provides the creation of a security right. A security right is created by a written agreement. The most important elements of this agreement are: identifying the secured creditor and the grantor, listing of the secured obligation and description of the collateral.

Part Three states the effectiveness of a security right against third parties. One requirement to ensure effectiveness against third parties is that the security right should be registered in the CRO by the secured creditor.

Part Four declares the establishment of the CRO. CRO shall be established for the purpose of receiving, storing and making information accessible to the public in registered notices with respect to security right and right of non-consensual creditors.

Part Five provides priority rights of the secured creditor. The secured creditor is entitled to have priority rights over other creditors unless otherwise provided to the contrary by insolvency or liquidation laws.

Part Six lists the rights and obligations of the grantor or secured creditor and also third party obligators.

Part Seven is about enforcement of a security right. The secured creditor whose right is affected by the non-compliance of another person is entitled to apply for relief to a court, including relief in the form of expeditious proceedings.

The last part i.e. Part Eight states miscellaneous provisions. The exemption of the movable security agreements from payment of stamp duty is included. Also the rights and obligations of the Ministry of Transport with respect to matters relating to registration of security rights on vehicles shall be transferred to CRO. Ministry of Construction registry with respect to security rights on construction machinery and equipment and Ministry of Trade registry of security rights on business mortgage and hire-purchase are transferred to CRO.

Enforcement of a prior security right commenced before entry into force of this Proclamation shall continue being enforced by the prior law. CRO shall provide for institutions responsible for providing title deeds for corporal or incorporeal assets whether or not an asset has been free from any pledge before effecting title transfer. Property mortgage or pledge with Banks proclamation no 97/1998 and Business Mortgage Proclamation No 98/1998 are repealed. Until an autonomous CRO is established, National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) is empowered to establish the CRO.

2. NBE Operationalization of Movable Collateral Registry

The NBE has issued a directive namely Directive No MCR/01/2020 that deals with operationalization of movable collateral registry. The Directive established the CRO housed in the NBE and appointed the first Registrar. Access to the collateral registry shall be electronic and automated. The fees and modes of payment have been listed. The Directive shall come into force 26th of February 2020.

3. NBE Codification, Valuation and Registration of Movable Properties

Similarly the NBE has issued its second directive Directive No MCR/02/2020 coming into force as of 15th September 2020 namely Codification, Valuation, and Registration of Movable Properties as Collateral for Credit. As a result, the Directive details livestock, farm products, land use right, financial instruments, intellectual property rights codification, valuation and registration procedures and processes.

Conclusion

The Movable Property Security Right proclamation set out the right to use movable properties as securities, opening up new regime of properties in the economy. To implement the intentions of the Proclamation, the NBE has formally established the CRO housed under it and provided codification and valuation of different movable assets including livestock, farm products, land use rights, financial instruments and intellectual property rights.

Establishment and Operation of Foreign Currency Saving Account

The Directive maybe sited as “Establishment and Operation of Foreign Currency Saving Account for Residents of Ethiopia, Non-Resident Ethiopian and Non Resident Ethiopian Origin” Directives No. EX1V 68 /2020″.

The National Bank of Ethiopia (NBE) has issued a directive effective from November 19,2020 that allows the establishment and operation of foreign currency saving account for (a)Resident Ethiopians (RE) namely Ethiopian Nationals and Resident Foreigners living and/or working in Ethiopia, (b)Non-Resident Ethiopians (NRE) meaning Ethiopian Nationals living outside Ethiopia; and (c) Non-Resident Ethiopian Origins(NREO) namely yellow card holders who are foreign nationals of Ethiopian Origin.

The preamble of the Directive set out the rational behind allowing foreign currency saving account. One of the reasons for allowing foreign currency saving account is to create incentives and encourage inflow of foreign exchange in the formal channel. It also can support the international foreign exchange reserve in the country, ease the balance of payments problem of the country and in general encourage saving and investment.

The directive details the process of opening the foreign currency saving account. Non Resident Ethiopians and Non Resident Ethiopian origin can open foreign currency saving account in person or by post in his/her name. Opening banks may also establish contact with potential account openers using Ethiopian Embassies, e-mail, fax, telex and/or other electronic media and power of attorney holders authorized by the opening bank. The bank should however, receive authenticated documents afterwards to open the accounts. Resident of Ethiopia can open an account by producing required documents by account opening bank. A request for opening an account for deposit in foreign currency saving account shall be accompanied by a letter of application and a specimen signature. Two or more eligible joint depositors may together open a single account. Power of attorney holders are allowed to open foreign currency accounts but cannot credit the account on behalf of non-residents and/or foreign nationals of Ethiopian origin.

A minimum of USD 50 or equivalent in any other currencies namely
a) The US dollar b) Pound Sterling c) Euro can be deposited to open the foreign currency saving account. However a bank may accept deposits in other convertible currencies that include Canadian Dollar, Chines Yuan, Saudi Riyal, Japanese Yen, Australian Dollar and UAE Dirham. And, these other currencies shall be converted to any of the three currencies enumerated above at spot exchange rate based on the preference of the account opener.

A bank may open interest bearing or interest free foreign currency saving account for depending on the choices of the account holders. The interest rate shall be calculated in foreign currency, but paid in local currency. The minimum interest rate shall be LIBOR plus 4 percent subject to revision from time to time by the NBE.

A foreign currency saving account opened by RE,NRE &NREO shall he credited by:
a) Foreign currency transferred through banking system
b) Deposit of Foreign currency cash notes
c) Foreign currency transferred through International Remittance Service Providers.
d) Transfer from own Non Resident foreign currency account
e) Transfer or cheque drawn or endorsed in favor of Ethiopian National by a Non resident foreign currency account holder from Non-Resident Foreign Currency account.

Usage of the foreign currency account has several benefits and some limitations. The foreign currency saving account holders:
a) Are free to sell all or part of their account balances to deposit opening banks at any time.
b) Can use for his/her self, spouse and children education, medical and travel expenses abroad upon presentation of valid documents to confirm relationship with the account holder. The documentation requirements and maximum amount of utilization should be as per the operation of Foreign Exchange Bureau Directive.
c) Notwithstanding, (b) above, the account holder shall have the right to
withdraw 10% of the foreign currency balance in debit card.
d) can use as cash collateral to get credit in local currency from banks in line with the opening authorized bank’s credit policy.
e) Can use to purchase share from the Financial Institutions
f) Other than for the purpose indicated under article (b) above, withdrawal is permitted only in birr and
g) Other transactions that might be approved by the NBE from time to time.

It is prohibited for Foreign Currency Cash notes deposit originally bought from forex bureaux but not utilized due to cancellation of travel shall not be used to credit and/or open a foreign currency saving account. It is not allowed for Foreign currency cash notes deposit from any illegal sources be used to credit and/or open a foreign currency saving account. It is also not permitted to withdraw in foreign currency except stated under ( b) above. And it is prohibited to over drawing of the account.

The opening bank has the obligations to maintaining confidentiality of the account of the depositor, report the number of accounts opened and the balance in the account every month to NBE.

Any bank that violates any of the provisions of the Directive shall be subject to a penalty of Birr 10,000 (ten thousand) for each violation. Where an account holder violates the provisions of this Directive, the opening
bank may suspend the account and immediately and report the case to NBE.
Moreover, any person who fails to comply with a provisions of this directives shall be punished in accordance with article 26(1 )of the National Bank of Ethiopia Establishments amended ) Proclamation umber 591/2008.

In conclusion the step the NBE has taken in allowing foreign currency saving account opening will encourage savings in foreign currency. However NBE has to expand the reasons of withdrawals from time to time giving the account holders more latitude to benefit from their savings.

Procedure of Approval and Registration of External Loan

The National Bank of Ethiopia(NBE) is vested with legal authority to regulate foreign exchange and registration of external loans. To regulate external loan and supplier’s credit, NBE has issued External Loan and Supplier’s Credit Directive No 47/2017 effective as of October 03/2017.

A borrower should first seek approval from the NBE before entering external loan or agreeing to supplier’s credit agreement with a lender or supplier. Seeking approval will not be applicable to banks. Article 4.2. of NBE Directive No SBB/77/2020 Foreign Currency Intermediation, exempted banks from seeking prior permission for each transaction of external loan.

However, for individuals or companies other than banks, external loan and supplier’s credit are permitted upon prior approval by NBE. The borrower or supplier’s credit seeker should present the necessary documents of the loan agreement or the proforma invoice for NBE. Registration enables the borrower or the supplier’s credit seeker to pay the lender or supplier in convertible foreign currency.

The eligible parties to get approval and registration of external loan or supplier’s credit are exporters, domestic investors and foreign investors. Exporters can request external loan or supplier’s credit if the loan is going to finance their export oriented investment. Domestic investors that engage in projects that generate foreign currency can request external loan or supplier’s credit approval. On the other hand, foreign investors can borrow from external source or request supplier’s credit if the debt to equity ratio do not exceed 60:40 of the foreign capital.

The documents that need to be produced by the exporter or domestic investor or foreign investor include:
-application letter
-valid export license for exporter and domestic investor
-valid investment or other business license for foreign investor
-for external loan, the draft loan agreement
-for supplier’s credit pro forma invoice
-for exporter and domestic investor documents that show capacity to repay the loan and
-for foreign investor foreign capital registration certificate.

Once approval is obtained, NBE will issue approval letter. After approval letter, the borrower or supplier’s credit seeker need to present for registration the following documents:
-an application letter
-a bank advice for cash loan
-customs declaration for loans in kind and
-copy of external loan approval or supplier’s credit letter. Thus the external loan or the supplier’s credit will be registered.

For external loan executed by the Federal Government of Ethiopia, the requirement is only to present for registration the external loan agreement and the guarantee issued by the government.

However, the government or banks are prohibited to be guarantors or enter guarantee agreements for external loans or supplier’s credit for private loans.

Finally for repayment of the external loan or supplier’s credit an application letter, copy of the external loan or supplier’s credit registration letter and loan repayment schedule need to be submitted.

These are rigorous procedures the NBE put in place when it comes to foreign currency administration. The eligible parties are those that can generate foreign currency through their business only.

Foreign Currency Intermediation by Ethiopian Banks

The National Bank of Ethiopia(NBE) issued a directive Directive No SBB/77/2020( the Directive) effective from August 18,2020, that allows Foreign Currency Intermediation(FCI) by Ethiopian banks, as one form of banking business. FCI is defined as an act of borrowing in foreign currency from foreign lenders and granting credit to local borrowers in foreign currency as well as collecting the repayment of the credit in foreign currency.
Foreign currency acquired through borrowing from external source shall be used only for extending credit in foreign currency to foreign currency generating activities in Ethiopia or to deposit at the NBE or at a foreign correspondent bank, in foreign currency.
The Ethiopian bank acquiring an external loan in foreign currency shall register the loan with NBE by submitting a copy of the signed contract and term sheet of the loan within 5 business days of the date on which the loan contract was signed.
The Directive avoided for the Ethiopian banks from requesting and acquiring separate permissions from NBE for transaction to be expressed in foreign currency.
All in all the Directive has put in place terms and conditions to be fulfilled, prudent and reporting requirements to be met. In case of not adhering to such terms and conditions and requirements, penalties in foreign currency shall be levied.

Local and Foreign Civil Society Organizations Registration and Benefits

By Dagnachew Tesfaye
Civil Society Organizations are administered by the Organizations of Civil Societies Proclamation No.1113/2019 (hereafter the Proclamation) done on March 12/2019 to be effective from the date of publication in the Federal Negarit Gazette.”. This brief article is divided into four parts. Part one shall deal with definitions. Part two shall look upon types of local organization, with emphasis on two of those types. Part three shall deal with the requirements for registration of local and foreign civil society organizations. And part four shall state the effects in terms of rights, responsibilities and income generation benefits to such registered civil organizations. A brief conclusion shall follow.
1. Definitions: The Proclamation defines local and foreign organizations. “Local Organization” are defined as a civil society organization formed under the laws of Ethiopia by Ethiopians, foreigners resident in Ethiopia or both. Here foreigners resident in Ethiopia are granted the right to establish local organizations. On the other hand “Foreign Organization” is defined as a non-governmental organization formed under the laws of foreign countries and registered to operate in Ethiopia;

2. Types of Local Organizations: Two or more persons may establish Local
Organization. Here on the Article 17 of the Proclamation there is a reference to ‘Indigenous Organization’. There is no definition of Indigenous Organization in the Proclamation. However, the Amharic version of Article 17, which is the prevailing one in terms of interpretation, refers to ‘Local Organizations’.
There are five types of Local Organizations. These are a/ An Association; b/ A Board-led Organization; c/ A charitable Endowment; d/ A charitable Trust; or e/ A Charitable Committee. For the purpose of this article, a focus shall be made only on the first two i.e. on association and a board-led organizations.

An Association is an Organization formed by five or more members and governed by a General Assembly as the supreme decision-making body; for the purpose of this Proclamation it shall include professional associations. The organizational chart of an association may have a General Assembly, Executive Committee, Manager, Auditor and other departments as may be necessary. Details regarding the structure and governance of an Association will be determined by its rules.

One the other hand a Board-led Organization means formed by two or more founders, its Board being the supreme organ. The Board shall have a minimum of five and a maximum of thirteen members. The first board members shall be designated by the founders. The term of service and appointment procedures for subsequent board members shall be prescribed by the rules of the Organization. Here the unique nature of Boar-led organizations is that persons who are related by consanguinity or affinity with the officers of the Organization may not be Board members. The organizational chart of A board-led Organization shall have a manager accountable to the Board and necessary staff as may be necessary. The particulars shall be determined by the rules of the Organization.

3. Documents Required for Registration of Local and Foreign Organization: An application for registration by Local Organization shall be signed by the founders and contain the following particulars: a) The minutes of the formative meeting indicating the names, addresses and citizenship of the founders; b) Copy of the identity card or passport of the founders; c) The name of the organization and its logo, if it has one; d) The objectives of the organization and its intended sector of operation; e) The Region where it intends to operate; f) The Rules of the organization approved by the founders; g) The Organization’s address.

On the other hand an application for registration of a Foreign Organization shall, in addition to the conditions mentioned from a-g above, be accompanied with the following documents: a) Duly authenticated certificate of registration showing its establishment from its country of origin; b) Duly authenticated resolution of its competent organ to operate in Ethiopia; c) Duly authenticated power of delegation of the country representative; Letter of recommendation from the embassy in which the charity is incorporated or in the absence of such by a competent authority in the country of Origin from Ministry of Foreign affairs of Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and; d) A Work plan for a minimum period of two years.

4. Effects in Terms of Rights, Responsibilities and Income Generation Benefits of Registration: The Proclamation provides that any Organization which registered upon fulfillment the registration requirements provided in this Proclamation : a/ shall have legal personality; b/ Can sue, be sued and enter into contracts; c/ Without prejudice to laws that require special license, can operate in the sector of its choice; d/ to own, administer and transfer movable and immovable property. However, the proceeds from the disposal of the property may not be transferred as donation for the benefit of members or to another activity which is not its mission; and the Organization which transfer property shall inform to the Agency within 15 days; e/shall have the right to engage in any lawful activity to accomplish its objectives; f/ Local Organizations shall have the right to operate in Ethiopia or abroad, or implement objectives having global, regional or sub regional nature; g/ can implement project activities on its own or to provide financial and technical support to other organizations; h/ may propose Recommendations for the change or amendment of existing laws, policies or practices, or issuance of new laws and policies of those which have relationship with the activities they are performing. However, unless it is permitted with an other law Foreign Organizations and Local Organizations which are established by foreign citizens which are residents of Ethiopia may not engage in lobbying political parties, engage in voters education or election observations; i/ Foreign Organizations may implement project activities or work in partnership with Local Organizations by providing financial, technical or in kind support; j/ to the extent possible, Foreign Organizations by working in partnership with local and Governmental Organizations, can give support to build the capacity of Local Organizations; o) Shall have the right to move its properties from one region to another region or city administration, unless the Project Agreement states that such properties may not be transferred because they are necessary for the sustainability of a specific project it is implementing; p) Have the right to engage in any lawful business and investment activity in accordance with the relevant trade and investment laws in order to raise funds for the fulfillment its objectives. However, the profit to be obtained from such activities may not be transferred for the benefit of members; q) Shall have the right to solicit, receive and utilize funds from any legal source to attain its objective; r/shall get a written approval of the Agency to open a bank account. The Agency shall respond to requests for such approval within five days from receipt of the request; s/ All financial transactions shall be performed through a bank account opened by an Organization in its name; t/ All banks have the obligation to provide the bank statement of accounts held by any Organization to the Agency when requested. w/ The Bank Account transaction can be done in the context of the Organization rules; x/ No Organization may employ a Foreign National who is not given work permit under the relevant laws. Notwithstanding the stipulation above, a Foreign Organization shall not be barred from appointing a Foreign National as its country representative; y/ Foreign Nationals other than the Country representative may only be hired if the office granting work permit verifies that the work cannot be performed by Ethiopians. z/ The provisions of Sub-Article 3 shall not apply to Foreign Nationals who are not salaried employees but come to Ethiopia to professionally contribute by working as volunteers for a period not exceeding one year.

The responsibilities include a/ an Organization shall make the necessary efforts to ensure that its activities help to bring about sustainable development, contribute to the democratization process, promote the rights and interests of its members or enhance the profession they are engaged in; b/ an Organization which is established for the benefit of the general public or third parties shall ensure that its activities take into account the interests of women, Children, persons with disabilities, the elderly and others exposed to threat or vulnerable groups of the society; c/ an Organization cannot engage in sectors which require additional permit by law without getting the necessary permit from the relevant government bodies; d/ In performing their duties all members, officers and employees of the Organization have the responsibility to give primacy to the Organization’s interest and take the necessary precaution to avoid conflict of interest; e/the Administrative cost of an Organization established for the benefit of the general public or that of third Parties may not exceed twenty percent of its total income. For the purpose of this provision, “Administrative Expense” shall mean expenses which are not related to the project activities of an Organization but are necessary to ensure the continuity of an Organization and related to administrative activities, and shall include: salaries and benefits of administrative employees; purchase of consumables and fixed assets and repair and maintenance expenses related to administrative matters; office rent, parking fees, audit fees, advertisement expenses, bank service fees, fees for electricity, fax, water and internet services; postal and printing expenses; tax, purchase and repair of vehicles for administrative purposes, and procurement of oil and lubricants for the same; insurance costs, penalties and attorney fees. However the Agency may issue Directives regarding Organizations exempted from the application of 20% administrative expense rule.

Income generation related benefits include: a/ an Organization which engages in income generating activities in may do so by establishing a separate business Organization (company), acquiring shares in an existing company, Collect Public Collections or operating its business as a sole proprietorship; b/shall open a separate bank account and keep separate books of account for its business in accordance with the relevant commercial and tax laws; c/ the relevant tax, commercial registration and business licensing, and investment laws shall be applicable to income generation activities under this provision; e/ Income that is generated from income generating activities will be used to cover administrative and program costs of the organization; f/ the income and resources that are acquired from income generating activities shall not be transferred or shared for the benefit of members or workers of the organization; g/ when the Organizations Collect Public Collections, they shall inform to the Agency; and h/ An Organizations engaged in income generating activities based on this Article shall inform to the
Agency within fifteen days.

Conclusion: The Civil Society Proclamation has made registration of civil society organizations easier. Foreigners who reside in Ethiopia are allowed to form a local organization. It also included many benefits of registration. One of the important benefits is income generation benefits. Employment of foreigners shall follow work permit procedures. However foreign citizens can occupy the position of country representatives and up to one year non-salaried professional volunteer position.

The Prevention and Control of Covid 19 Pandemic Directive No 30/2020

The Ethiopian Public Health Institute has issued Directive No 30/2020( hereafter the Directive) . The Directive is effective from October 5/2020. The power to issue the Directive emanates from Article 72 (2) of the Food and Medicine Administration Proclamation No. 1112/2019, Article 55(3) of the Food, Medicine, and Healthcare Administration and Control Proclamation
No. 661/2009, and Article 98 of the Council of Ministers Regulation on Food, Medicine, and Healthcare Administration and Control No. 299/2013.

The aim of the Directive is to prevent and control of Covid-19 pandemic. The Directive is divided into ten parts. Part one of the Directive deals with definitions and scope of the Directive. The scope of application of the Directive is on all over Ethiopia.

Part two of the directive put detailed prohibited activities and duties imposed. It is prohibited:
– for any person who knows he infected with COVID-19 to enter the country, mix with the general public or meet with people in any situation that may allow the virus to spread;
-for any person to shake hands with another as a greeting or for any other purpose; it is prohibited to make deliberate physical contact with each other;
-for employees of any public or private organization to provide service without maintaining a distance of two adult strides and without wearing
masks; it is prohibited to provide service to individuals who are not maintaining a distance of two adult strides and not wearing masks or to serve more than
-to stand or sit without maintaining a distance of two adult strides in market places, transport depots, places where public services are provided or any other public space where a large number of people are found;

Until it is decided wearing a mask is no longer necessary, it is prohibited:
-for any person to be found without a mask anywhere outside his residence or move from one place to another. Nevertheless, this provision is not applicable to minors who are under 6 years of age or individuals having the respiratory or other related medical case that can be proven by evidence.
three patrons at a single table; and
-for any business organization to provide service to any person who is not covering his mouth and nose with a mask;

It is prohibited for any public or private school or for any public or private college or university: to provide education until it is decided it is possible to conduct classes face-to-face or without respecting the directives that shall be enacted regarding precautionary measures in methods of education delivery or the general teaching and learning work or other detailed standards of education delivery;


It is prohibited for any daycare center to provide service until it is decided it is allowed to provide service without respecting the directives that shall be enacted on the manner of providing the service taking cautionary measures.


The duties imposed are divided into four specific areas. These are in employee protection, customer protection, sector specific and duties on individuals.

Employee related duties imposed include: any public and private organizations, or organizations in the industry and production sector or any other sector have a duty to use various mediums to make information regarding the disease accessible to their employees; provide materials useful to prevent the disease at their gates and other necessary places; rearrange working places to allow sufficient air circulation; provide precautionary materials useful to prevent the spread of the disease, ensure employees wear masks.


Customer related duties include any public or private service provider shall provide sanitary materials useful for preventing the spread of the virus, mark spots where customers could stand maintaining a two adult stride distance, ensure that customers are wearing masks and taking the necessary precautionary measures;


For the transport,construction and any hotel, tour operator and other organizations in the tourism sectors, the duties imposed are as follows:
any cross country or inter-city transport service providers have a duty to carry passengers in accordance with the law setting the maximum carrying capacity, deny service to individuals who are not wearing masks; open windows to allow sufficient air circulation in the vehicle and provide service by implementing other necessary precautionary measures provided in directives enacted by the sector;


-Construction project employers have a duty to provide the necessary sanitary materials such as water, soap, mask, sanitizer or alcohol, thermometer and anti-viral materials on the construction sites; ensure the employees work maintaining their distance to the extent possible; respect and make sure others respect precautionary measures provided in directives enacted by the sector to prevent proneness to the COVID-19 pandemic in the construction sector;


-Any hotel, tour operator and others organizations in the tourism sector have a duty to make sure there is a distance of two adult strides between their employees and customers, ensure they are wearing masks, prepare materials necessary to prevent the disease, provide their employees with precautionary materials useful to prevent the spread of the disease, and provide tourism services by taking precautionary measures provided in directives enacted by the sector; and


Individuals have a duty to inform the Ministry of Health, the Ethiopian Public Health Institute, the nearest health institution or official of any person he/she suspects of being infected with the disease. And any person who suspects he/she is infected with COVID-19 has a duty to be tested by reporting to the appropriate body and shall take the necessary precautionary measures to prevent the virus from being transmitted to others.


Part three is precautionary measures for home isolation and care.


Part four deals with quarantine and boarder health control. This part covers duties on travelers with a test result of RT PCR coming through international airports in Ethiopia. Such travelers shall bring negative RT PCR test from the country he/she is coming from done up to 120 hours or five days before arriving in Ethiopia. A returnee coming through international airports of the country with no certificate of negative RT PCR test, has the duty to give sample of RT PCR test, have his/her address registered and self-quarantine at home until the result is known. Transit passengers passing through international airports of the country are not allowed to leave the airport or designated hotel by the air line and cannot enter the city or mix with the general public. Similar duties and procedures have been laid for people crossing land boarders. Finally any corpse sent to Ethiopia from abroad must be accompanied by death certificate indicating the cause of death. The funeral ceremony shall be conducted following the precautionary measure listed in the Directive.

Part five lists down duties imposed during corpse arrangement and enshrouding, transporting the corpse and funeral ceremony and duties imposed after the funeral ceremony.


Part six deals with precautionary measures that need to be taken during meetings. Meeting up to 50 individuals is allowed with all the necessary cautionary measures. When the attendees of the meeting are more than 50 individuals, permit from the Ministry of Peace or other regional peace and security organs should be obtained. Precautionary measures that need to be taken by host organizers, conference service organizers and attendees are listed.


Part seven puts cautionary measures during religious ceremony, in-house social ceremonies and holiday held in public squares. One-fourth of the maximum occupancy, distance of two adult strides need to be maintained in religious ceremonies and holidays held in public. Regarding in-house ceremonies like birthday, graduation, mahiber, and other in-house ceremonies, it is prohibited to celebrate with individuals other than family members.


Part eight deals precautionary measures that need to be taken with cafe, bars, restaurants, night clubs, coffee shops, recreational and amusement service providers, cinemas, theaters and art galleries and sport tournaments. It is prohibited to serve more than 3 people in a table and there shall be a two-meter distance between each. Night clubs, cinemas, theater and art galleries are responsible to ensure no more than one-fourth of the maximum occupancy size and a two -meter distance between customers. Sport tournaments like football, volleyball, handball, basketball, tennis, athletics and other tournaments shall not be attended by spectators and fans.


Part nine provides with restrictions and cautionary measures in physically visiting elders’ care centers and rehabilitation centers and prisoners. It is prohibited to physically visit elder’s care centers and rehabilitation centers. Prisoners visit shall be conducted with distance and other precautionary measures.


The last part i.e. part ten deals with miscellaneous provisions including duty to cooperate, legal liability and effective date of the Directive.

In conclusion Directive No 30/2020 provides prohibited activities and duties imposed on individual, social and economic aspects of Ethiopians to prevent and control Covid-19. Every person and institutions shall have the duty to cooperate for the implementation of this Directive. Any person who contravenes the restrictions and duties provided in this Directive shall be held liable as per the relevant Criminal law.


Communication Service Licence

By Dagnachew Tesfaye

The Ethiopian Communication Authority (ECA) has been established by Communication Service Proclamation No 1148/2019. The Proclamation has tasked ECA with the power to the issue communication service licence.

The requirements of acquiring of Communication service licence , the terms and conditions of such licence shall be determined by ECA in consultation with stakeholders. Here ‘communication service’ has been defined to mean service offered to the public consisting of the dissemination or interchange audio, video or data content using telecommunication media and of physical content using postal service, but does not include broadcasting.

Under Article 19 of this Proclamation ownership of telecommunication operator or telecommunication network has been made open for both domestic and foreigner private investors. ‘Telecommunication operator’ shall mean an entity authorized by the authority pursuant to this Proclamation to provide telecommunication services. ‘Telecommunication network’ is also defined to mean the collection of telecommunication line and associated switching systems that is used for the provision of telecommunication service. The later term i.e. ‘Telecommunication service’ is defined as the provision by a licensee of the conveyance of telecommunications directly to the public or to telecommunications operators.
On the other hand, the Ethiopian Investment Commission (EIC) under the Investment Proclamation No 1180/2020 is tasked to accept and handle Investments coming into the country. EIC administers wholly foreign owned investment; Joint investment made by domestic and foreign investors; Investment made by a foreign national, not Ethiopian by origin, who is treated as a domestic investor by the Investment Proclamation; and Investment made in areas eligible for incentives by a domestic investor who is required to obtain a business license from an appropriate Federal Body.

However, Article 4(2) of the Investment Proclamation delegated some of the powers of EIC to different other government authorities. For example EIC’s jurisdiction in issuance, renewal, amendment, substitution, replacement, and cancellation of investment permits and the issuance of investment expansion or upgrading permits for air transport services has been delegated to Ethiopian Civil Aviation Authority (ECAA). The generation or transmission or distribution of electric power is delegated to Ethiopian Energy Authority (EEA) . Similarly the issuance of permits, renewal, amendment, substitution, replacement and cancellation or issuance of permits for expansion or upgrading in the area of communication services is delegated to the ECA.

ECAA, EEA and ECA shall submit to EIC a quarterly report regarding services they rendered through their delegated power. ECAA, EEA and ECA shall coordinate with EIC to undertake studies identifying sectoral potentials and sector specific investment developments strategies and engage in investment promotion works.

To sum up issuance of communication license in the telecommunication sector is assigned to ECA . ECA is in the process of selecting two telecommunication operators to grant its first communication license. ECA is also conducting stakeholder consultation to issue different types of directives.

Administrative Decisions Making and procedure for Judicial Review

Federal Administrative Procedure Proclamation No. 1183/2020 (FAPP) defines “Administrative Decision” as a decision issued by an administrative agency on relating to persons rights or interest in its day-to-day function, excluding issuance of Directives. Administrative Agency means an Executive Organ of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia duly established by law and includes the Executive Organs of City Administrations accountable to the Federal Government.

FAPP is applicable in all Administrative Agencies except Prosecutor and Police when they perform duties administered by the Criminal Procedure
Law and Military and Security Institutions.

Initiation of Administrative Decision: The initiation for an administrative decision can be made either by an applicant or relevant administrative agency.

Manner of Administrative Decision Application: An application for administrative decision shall be made in writing and may be submitted in person, a registered postal address or electronic means. The agency may prepare forms through which an application may be made. In any case a written application of administrative decision shall include: date, name of the applicant or his agent, signature and address; name of the administrative agency to whom the petition is made; the right and interest of the applicant being sought; act that the administrative authority has to do and facts and evidence relevant for the decision.

Record of Applications: Upon receiving an application for administrative
decision, the agency shall immediately furnish a written confirmation of application, that contain details of receiving relevant documents attached
there.

Principles to follow when making administrative decision include balancing the individual interest with public interest, avoidance of irrelevant matters and interests, rendering of professionalism, proper hearing, good faith, reasoned decision, avoid conflict of interest, equality of customers, timely decision, predictability, and transparency.

Administrative decision may only be rendered by the Head of the Administrative Agency.

Conducting Hearing: Before rendering any administrative decisions shall provide adequate opportunity of hearing. However, decision may render without hearing if there is no arguments of the facts of the case or if it is special privilege or if the administrative agency has alternative
decision power ;or the issue is urgent.

Conditions of Hearing: The parties to case has the right to appear in person and have the right to give testimony , to produce evidences to access and examine evidences presented to the Authority .The Agency may use all legal methods to get documents of investigation and any evidences from the party participated in the argument, witnesses and professional persons.

Recusal: A person may be recused from the decision making if he has a direct or indirect interest on the matter or the matter at hand affects a person that has a relation with a decision maker in consanguinity or Affinity, close friend or if he has represented the person regarding
whom the decision is being considered, as an agent, attorney or in any other professional capacity or he has made a decision on the matter in
another capacity.

In case where one of the grounds listed above are present the person may be recused from decision making process on his own accord, or the petition of the an interested person. If recusal is requested, until the head of administrative decision rendering final decision the person raised matter of recusal shall remain suspended from entertaining the case. The Head accepted the recusal request initiated by the interested person or others shall render decision within five working days to stay or recused .

Administrative Decision: An Agency shall notify the concerned person of its decision with its reason in writing. The decision shall contain
date and number of decision, name of the Authority, parties to the case and their address, issues of claim, discretion of evidences, description of fact and Law and decision.

Suspension: The party whose who may incur damage on his right and interest by immediate enforcement of the decision can apply for the suspension of the decision to the authority rendering decision. An administrative agency receiving a petition for suspension may order the case to be seen again or to suspend any part of the decision.

Right to Lodge Complaint: Any person against whom and administrative decision is made has the right to lodge a complaint to the
Agency. All administrative agencies shall establish a complaint
handling division and notify such establishment to clients.

Stay of Enforcement: Enforcement of any decision of an administrative
agency against which a complaint is lodged will be stayed until the complaint is processed and a final decision made. However, the head of the Agency may order the enforcement of the decision where delay in
enforcement may cause an irreversible damage to public interest.

Handling of the complaint: The complaint handling body shall properly
examine the complaint it has received and present its recommendation to the Head of the Agency or an officer duly authorized by the Head. The decision of the Head of the Agency or an officer duly authorized by the Head of the Agency, after considering the recommendation of the
complaint handling body shall be considered as the final decision of the agency. The agency shall notify the petitioner, in writing, the decision made.

Judicial Review of Administrative Decsios: Any interested person can file a petition requesting a judicial review of an administrative decision. However the judicial review shall be sought against a final decision of the administrative agency. A petition for a judicial review should exhaust all remedies available within the Agency before petitioning the court for judicial review. However, the obligation to exhaust remedy shall not apply if the concerned Agency unduly delay decision.

The Federal High Court(FHC) shall have the jurisdiction for judicial review. The decision of the FHC could be appealed to the Federal Supreme Court. The FHC shall establish special benches to handle petitions of judicial review

Principles of Review: An administrative decision will be revoked by a court where it failed to honor the principles stipulated in FAPP.

Procedure of Judicial Review:A petition to review an administrative decision shall be made within 30 days after the petitioner was
notified of the decision .

If the court finds the petition to review to have merit, the court shall give the concerned administrative organ to give its written response within 15 days. The court has the power to order records to be brought to court pertaining to the decision.

Decision of Judicial Review and Execution: The court should render its decision within a short time possible. The court may confirm, partially or fully reverse the decision submitted for review. When the Court partially or fully invalidate the decision, it may order the administrative agency to revise or reconsider its administrative decision by rectifying the
shortcomings identified through the court’s decision.The decision of the court should be executed immediately.

The legality of the administrative decision that is partially or fully invalidated will be revoked. However, administrative agency’s decisions done prior to the date the court made a ruling shall stay valid.

On procedural matters not covered by FAPP, the Civil Procedure Code shall apply. A person who incurred damage as a result of fault committed through the administrative decision is entitled to seek compensation from the administrative authority that is responsible in accordance withe the relevant law.