How can we help?

Our objective is to create a conducive environment to the full exercise of freedom for associations to ensure maximum public benefit.

Before you go ahead and start a CSO, let's go through the applicable laws and  procedures you need to follow. Click here for all the details you'll need.

Find out what activities are Illegal, the types of concerns we can investigate, and how to report a concern about a registered CSO.

ACSO performs numerous services around CSOs within the mandate it was given by the Ethiopian constitution. Click for all our services.

About the Agency For Civil Society Organizations

ACSO is governmental office that particularly established for a purpose of registering, supporting and following up every activities of civil society organizations that are working in Ethiopia.

Our Process

Register organizations, support, facilitate, monitor, and supervise organizations to ensure that they undertake their activities in compliance with 1113/2019 Proclamation.

Our Vision

To see civil society organizations to become effective development partners in building democratic system as well as giving maximum benefit to their beneficiaries, members and the public by 2022.

About ACSO

Message from the Director General

Ato Jima Dilbo Denbel

Since the promulgation of Proclamation 1113/2011which endeavors to defend the right to association and to create a democratic society by strengthening civil societies’ role in contributing to the development and growth of our nation, Agency for Civil Society organizations (ACSO), has tirelessly worked to strengthen civil society organizations’ ability to play an appropriate role in contributing to the nation’s development and in building capacity for the creation of a democratic society.

We have been working hard to change the hostile relationship which existed between the former government and civil societies into constructive partnership by rendering services based on best practices such as transparency, accountability and participation.

In addition, we have created a strong structure which enables civil societies to self-regulate. So far, existing data shows that we have made a lot of progress towards reaching our above stated goals.

ACSO also has been registering and certifying CSOs and doing supportive monitoring and evaluating so as to ensure that they are abiding by the rules and regulations. We have enhanced their role in the growth and development of our nation by strengthening their contribution to the Ethiopian people thereby helping foster the culture of voluntarism and philanthropical gestures.

In order to accomplish its responsibilities and executing the authority given to it by the proclamation No. 1113/2019, ACSO, has created and implemented new systems which allows civil societies to make significant contributions in the area of education, health, food security, environmental protection, etc.

Since the promulgation of the new proclamation and from the date we have started new and re-registration in April 2019, we have reregistered over 1,805 existing organizations and we have registered over 1,300 new Civil Society organizations.

We were able to achieve registered such amount of new registrations because the registration process was simplified to give quick and user-friendly. ACSO’s management team and staff were decisive, dedicated and worked hard to achieve this record number of new registrants. I would like to take this opportunity to thank ACSO’s staff for their initiative, hard work and dedication.

As many of you know, the number of civil society organizations registered in Ethiopia is small compared to the numbers registered in neighboring countries. However, we at the Agency are determined to change that and have set a goal of a four-fold growth in the next five years. To achieve its goal, the Agency has created a 10-year strategic plan. One of its priorities, among many others, is to render exceptional service by using modern technology. This year we are working with partner organizations to expand access to and render user friendly service through the Agency’s website. We will also continue to hold forums to further the ongoing dialogue between civil societies and the Agency to build on and increase the trust, understanding and good working relationship developed during the last two years which has resulted in numerous productive and successful relationships.

As a follow up to the proclamation, we have prepared the implementation rules and regulations, submitted them to the appropriate partners for review, discussion and comments. The document is now submitted to the appropriate government body and awaiting final approval. Similarly, we have had numerous discussions with concerned partners regarding the rules and regulations required to implement the Proclamation’s provisions. We are continuing the discussions and gathering verbal and written comments which will be submitted to the Agency’s Board for approval in the near future.

Therefore, the Agency is very determined to work tirelessly to contribute to the achievement of our nation’s multi- pronged developmental goals. Finally, we give our solemn promise not to be tempted to rest on our laurels. We will stay focused on our vision to serve with goodwill, loyalty, transparency and accountability. We also promise to implement good practices and strive to eliminate corruption.

Finally, we ask civil societies and others to use the available processes put in place by the Agency to report problems so that we can resolve them.

Thank you!

Some facts about ACSO

1500

Since its reorganization in 2019G.C, the Agency has
registered more than 1500 new civil society organizations

3300

Among those registered, more than 400 are foreign CSOs; and the remaining more than 2900 are local CSOs

Proclamation No. 1113/2019

The major law regulating the civil societies in Ethiopia is the proclamation on the organisation of civil society  organisations No. 1113/201.

Self Regulation

Under the new proclamation, CSOs are also allowed to self-regulate.  Accordingly, a Civil Society Council has been established for the first time with the support of ACSO.

Governing Laws

CSOs are also governed by the different domestic laws of the country including the Constitution, the Criminal Code, the Civil Code, and other laws relevant laws

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