Last Thursday June 30th, 2022, leaders of chambers of commerce, women business and industry associations met in Bahir Dar to discuss ways to put in place sound mechanisms to ensure quality dialogue in the forthcoming National Dialogue and discuss issues affecting private sector enterprises.
Participants included business association leaders and operators, academic and civil society organizations – shared expertise and broad experience, through lively and dynamic discussions. They agreed to develop a road map to become a catalyst for positive change in the relationships between conflicting factions; act as a facilitator of constructive activities with other actors that have interest in peace; and be an influencer of actors who, by virtue of their official position or informal authority and legitimacy, can say “yes” or “no” to peace.
During the meeting, Initiative Africa (IA), the organizer of the meeting and the closest partner of the business organizations for the preparation of the National Dialogue , agreed to provide short to medium-term support for the business organizations through a Comprehensive Support Package (CSP) to improve awareness and knowledge, address policy issues, enhance communication skills or strengthen personal capacities of individuals, which, in turn, can fuel efforts to influence the National Dialogue.
A day earlier, chambers of commerce and industry association leaders, attended a workshop organized by the Institute of Security studies (ISS) together with Bahirdar University under the theme’ Importance, Process, Stakeholders’ Role, and Case Analysis of the National Dialogue for Ethiopia’.
The participants on this national peace dialogue were close to 100 in number and were executives from different private sectors, professors, the national elites, religious leaders, different CSO representatives, and so on. The dialogue was very dynamic and focused on how the collective can contribute to wheeling the national peace dialogue forward and contribute to being the change agent.
At the closing session IA Executive Director, Kebour Ghenna said “we face the most serious political and security situation in modern Ethiopia today. But we should raise to the challenge with unity and determination.” He also thanked all the participants and ISS for hosting and supporting the event.