Capital Ethiopia Newspaper

Chamber office dispute resolved

The recently elected board of the Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Association (ECCSA) has passed a historic decision. The board has solved the dispute about sharing the chamber headquarters with other four associations.
At the press conference held on Tuesday January 18, the elected board announced that the Addis Ababa Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Association, National Sectoral Association, Oromia Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Association and the Addis Ababa Sectoral Association will have their office at the ECCSA headquarters, located in Mexico Square.
According to Mulu Solomon, the first female president of ECCSA, the new office is adequate because it meets the needs they have and the national chamber and sectoral associations will be able to use five of the building’s  seven floors.
Ayalew Zegeye, president of Addis Ababa Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Association, expressed the new deal as a win-win scenario because they were able to compromise and come to an agreement everyone could live with. 
Since they decided to return the head quarter to the national chamber in April 2008, there was high controversy between the Addis Ababa Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Association and national association. The city association said their office space was insufficient which created an ongoing dispute. According to the chamber leaders, the national chamber will provide facilities for similar associations that call Addis home and regional chambers if the need arises.  “We have to support other associations because we have similar goals. When they become more self sufficient they can construct their own building,” Mulu said at the press conference. She said that the new board has fully agreed with the decision to provide an office for these associations.
According to the president, before the board decision a committee was formed to study the possibility of providing offices for the associations. “We didn’t pass that proposal and didn’t make any further evaluations,” she explained.
The six decade old building which was nationalized by the Derg regime in the mid 1970’s was erected by the Addis Ababa Business Operators Association.
On the other hand, the city and national associations have  agreed about the ownership of Public Sector Development (PSD Hub) project office, while some processes remain for final agreement.
Mulu told Capital that based on the deal the national chamber will control the activity of the PSD Hub, which undertakes different developmental studies to help to boost the private sector activity. Previously, the two associations had been disputing the ownership of this project, which is funded by non governmental developmental partners.