Africa Freedom of Information Centre Engages in Successful Advocacy Activities in Ethiopia

Africa Freedom of Information Centre (AFIC) recently concluded a series of successful engagements with state actors in Ethiopia as part of its advocacy activities.

The focus of these activities was to promote gender-responsive public procurement and address the barriers faced by women-led businesses in accessing public procurement contracts in East Africa.

The research study conducted by AFIC in collaboration with its country partners in Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, and Uganda shed light on the underrepresentation of women-led businesses in accessing government procurement contracts, despite significant government spending on procurement each year.

The study aimed to identify the barriers and propose solutions to foster the inclusion of women-led businesses in the procurement processes.

During the visit to Ethiopia from May 22nd to 26th, 2023, AFIC engaged with its country partner, KAL Law Office, and collaborated with Inspired Ethiopian Youth Association (IEYA) to advance the cause of the research.

The discussions centered around the recommendations arising from the study, and letters of recommendations were submitted to relevant government entities.

The objectives of the advocacy visit included supporting partners in advocating for the adaptation and implementation of the study’s recommendations, providing technical support and ongoing advice to partners, promoting linkages and partnerships with key allies, and documenting key results on the implementation of the study recommendations.

During the visit, AFIC supported its partners by facilitating meetings with state actors, including the Office of Addis Ababa Youth and Sports Bureau, the Ministry of Labour and Skills, and the Ministry of Women and Social Affairs.

AFIC programmes officer, Executive director and the Director for women Empowerment, Officer in charge for Gender and inclusion, procurement head in the Ministry at the Ministry of Women and Social Affairs.

AFIC ED sharing the recommendations of the Study with the Office of Addis Ababa Youth and Sports Bureau

AFIC ED, handing the report to Oxfam Country Director Dr. Gezahegan Kebede

These engagements were fruitful, with the officials expressing their interest in the study’s findings and pledging their support for the cause.

Additionally, a multi-stakeholder meeting was organized, bringing together representatives from government ministries, agencies, women’s organizations, banks, and youth groups.

The participants expressed their urgency in addressing the challenges faced by women-led businesses in procurement and committed to joining efforts in advocating for change.

One of the key outcomes of the visit was the establishment of a joint committee comprising state actors, non-state actors, the private sector, and civil society organizations.

This committee will spearhead advocacy activities in Ethiopia and influence government actions to include women-led businesses in the procurement processes. The media also pledged to engage the public in discussions on women-led business in procurement, thereby setting the agenda for change.

Furthermore, a media round table discussion was held to disseminate the study findings to media practitioners. The media committed to prioritize the issues raised in the study and play an active role in shaping public discourse on women-led businesses in procurement.

The successful advocacy activities in Ethiopia have laid a foundation for further action and collaboration between AFIC, its partners, and the Ethiopian government.

The efforts made during the visit aim to bring about positive change by creating an inclusive environment for women-led businesses in the procurement processes, ultimately contributing to gender equality and economic empowerment in the region.

AFIC expresses its appreciation to its local partners, government agencies, project funders, and partners for their support during the engagements.

As AFIC continues its advocacy work across Africa, these efforts in Ethiopia serve as a testament to the organization’s commitment to fostering transparency, accountability, and gender-responsive practices in public procurement processes.