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On Tuesday, May 17, 2022, three Ethiopian consortium of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), respectively led by the Center for Advancement of Right and Democracy (CARD), Civil Society Resource Center (CSRC), and Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR), signed 162 million Birr grant agreements (3 million Euros) with AFD, represented by Ms Valerie Tehio, Country director. The signing ceremony was attended by H.E. the Ambassador of France in Ethiopia and for the African Union.

The grant, amounting 162 million Birr, finances the Civil society innovation fund, that aims at creating a more democratic, pluralistic, and innovative civil society landscape in Ethiopia. It will support 15 local CSOs dedicated to the promotion of human rights, gender equality and media freedom. They will have financial resources to implement their activities and will benefit from capacity building and networking to play a greater role in the civic space.

The consortium will also support new and emerging CSOs outside of the consortium from 20 % of the fund. The program should contribute to knowledge creation, community dialogue and advocacy related to human rights, gender and media freedom and engage more than 15 thousand people. The development of a pluralistic civil society sector, representative of the diversity of Ethiopian society is decisive to defend basic rights, balance the power of the state, and ensure a stronger and more innovative civic activism in the country. 

Besides, the AFD is supporting the Authority for the Civil Society Organizations (ACSO) with a 54 million (1 million Euro) grant to contribute to an enabling environment for the development of civil society. France is committed to strengthening citizens’ participation, civil society’s contribution, pluralism and rule of law to achieve a peaceful and inclusive development of Ethiopia.

Active in Ethiopia since 1993, AFD has been operating in Ethiopia with sovereign and non-sovereign loans, grants and bank guarantees to finance projects run by the State and local authorities, public or private companies, and civil society organizations. Its on-going commitment amounts to more than 450 million euros

Media Contact: Bérénice Oreyo-Pierronnet | +254 759 637 405