The Ministry of Justice, in collaboration with an EU-funded project, is set to unveil an electronic consultation platform for draft laws.
Designed by the BEIC Project Ethiopia, the platform aims to streamline the legal consultation process by enabling citizens, including those from the private sector, to provide feedback and opinions and suggest amendments to draft laws.
The portal, which will publish not only proclamations but also directives and regulations, is also anticipated to aid in creating inclusiveness and transparency in the regulatory preparation of laws and introduce traceability in the legislation process.
In Ethiopia, federal agencies are required by law to solicit comments from the public on their draft directives through consultations. However, people in the legal profession say this rarely happens.
“Federal institutions not only hesitate to disclose information on draft laws, but at times, they even refuse to share directives that are already in effect,” said Yehualashet Tamiru, a lawyer and a consultant.
Yehulashet adds that the new portal, if implemented with coordination, has the power to bring transparency, accountability, and compliance.
According to BEIC Project Ethiopia, the existing Legislative Consultation Manual has been updated to include a system of consultation and e-consultation processes.
The project has already conducted a training session with selected staff members from the Ethiopian Ministry of Innovation and Technology (MInT) and MoJ, and the platform has been tested.
Launched in 2021, the Technical Assistance for Business Environment and Investment Climate, including e-government, short for BEIC Project Ethiopia, aims to support the Ease of Doing Business in Ethiopia (EODB) reform program led by the Prime Minister’s Office.
The five-year project is funded by the European Union and implemented by GIZ in collaboration with McKinsey & Company. The BEIC project has the overall objective of contributing to the improvement of the business environment in Ethiopia, fostering private sector development, and generating employment and income opportunities.
Besides, the Ministry of Justice, BEIC Project is working with the National Bank of Ethiopia to improve access to credit for SMEs. In addition, it has signed an MOU with the Ethiopian Ministry of Trade & Regional Integration to simplify the company creation journey in Ethiopia.
This alliance aims to create a seamless and efficient process to establish new businesses by creating a one-stop shop and single-window repository for the Ministry’s Online Trade Registration and Licensing System (OTRLS), with the ultimate aim of reducing the number of days and processes it takes to start a business in Ethiopia.