By Muluken Yewondwossen

The Addis Ababa Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Association (AACCSA) plans to draft a policy position paper that may stimulate
the relationship between the government and business associations.
On Thursday December 27 the city chamber, which is the largest and oldest chamber in the country, organized a business conference
entitled ‘The Contribution of Business Associations to the Ethiopian Economy’.
The recently elected president and former banker MesenbetShenkute, told Capital that the goal of the conference is to get more input
for a planned policy position paper to present to the government.
Business Associations are crucial for the country’s economic, social and political development, according to the president.
“Without peace in the country there is not business, the organized private sector needs to be involved in helping Ethiopia prosper,” she
said.
“Currently we are debating policies that have already been amended by the government, which means are not as influential as we want
to be,” she said.
“We plan on influencing government policy, she added. She went on to say that this will make associations and the chamber proactive
in their relationship with the government.
“We need to hear from associations about their challenges in addition to the contribution of individual members,” she added.
Several business association leaders attended the conference held at Intercontinental Hotel.
“These meetings will help us identify problems faced by business associations so we can propose solutions to the government,”
Mesenbet explained.
In his paper presented at the conference HailemelekotAsfaw stated that business associations play a huge role in the nation’s
development. He indicated that associations not only help with business relationships but also with cooperation on cross border
trading such as the World Trade Organization and Continental Free Trade of Area of the African Union.
“Associations can play a role in the national election process through advocacy as a civic society, they will not be involved in
politics,” he said.
The chamber considered the event to be timely due to the new reforms taking place in Ethiopia. Previously civic
societies like the city chamber helped in the nation’s democratization processes.