Ethiopian Chamber elects new president, board members
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By Muluken Yewondwossen – October 30, 2017

New faces joined the leadership of the Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Associations (ECCSA) after the election held on Friday October 27.

The general assembly that is relatively the calmest event in the history of the chamber has been undertaken for a whole day and the counting continued until the evening of Friday.

Due to some acts against the rule and regulation of the chambers and sectoral associations at the Amhara Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Associations and the federal Sectroal Association the general assembly and election has been suspended for more than a year.

During the election Melaku Ezezew (Eng.), president of Amhara Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Associations, Feysa Ararsa, the outgoing board member of ECCSA and founder of Harambe University College, Fasil Tadesse, President of Textile and Garment Manufacturing Association are the three nominees for the presidential position to replace Solomon Afework.

However the SNNP Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Associations planned to nominate the outgoing president, Solomon, but he refused to compete for another term, while he has a right to serve the chamber for one more term.
Melaku, who came from the historical town of Gonder, has got the major vote to serve the chamber for the coming two years. He got 87 votes, while Feysa stood at the second position with 75 votes and Fasil got only eight votes from the total 174 voters that come from regional chamber and some other sectoral associations.

“I have a plan to boost the private sector activity since I have experience in the business in the city and regional level,” he said during his lobby to the chamber representatives to give their vote for him.

Melaku, 39, graduated from Addis Ababa University on Electrical Engineering and Master of Business Administration in Project Management.

For the last 17 years he engaged on several businesses like computer maintenance, training and sales, printing press, merchandise business and construction machinery renting.

“Currently I am working on real estate development, driving training center and transport business at Gonder,” he said.
He told Capital that he has targeted to work on regional and city chambers to come up with the standard of the national chamber. “We are here to serve the private sector,” he said.

The industry sector is also the other priority area that the chamber has to focus in the future since the government targets the sector as a potential for the growth of the country, according to the new president. “We have to clear the chamber from any dispute and disagreement observed in the past,” he added.

“I am happy with my decision not to run for another term; we have to give space for other fresh forces to lead the private sector association,” Solomon, the outgoing president told Capital. He said that he is ready to serve the regional chamber that represent him and the federal chamber. “There are a lot of things that we started during our term, so if the current board want our support we are ready,” he added.

He advised the private sector to join the manufacturing sector that he calls it a sustainable business for the country. “I am also on the process to join this suitable business,” he added.

For the vice president position Assefa Gebresilase, who represent the Tigrai Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Associations, was elected. Assefa was the only nominee of the post.

The other nine board members are Semit Solomon, Amhara chamber, Dr Aynalem Beyene, Addis Ababa chamber, Abebayehu Girma, Eyasu Mosisa, Ashenafi Feleke, from SNNP chamber, Teshale Fisehatsion, Tigrai chamber, Tadesse Genna, Oromia chamber, Dr Hasen Abdulahi, National Sectoral Association, and Engeda Beyene, SNNP chamber.
Except Ashenafi Feleke, who was a member of the outgoing board, all of the elected board members are new.

Experts who follow the chamber activity very well stated that it is a good opportunity to move the chamber a step forward.
However experts said that it would be crucial for the new board to consult the former leaders on the operation that they will decide. The past chamber has registered ample improvements to implement some new ideas on the associations. For instance it has drafted a regulation that shall allow the chamber to form an arbitration centre on the aim to solve disputes on the business operation. The current board shall be responsible to ratify the regulation as per the general assembly gave a delegation to revise and approve it.

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