Addis Fortune (Addis Ababa)

Ethiopia: Tigray Chamber Welcomed Back

Tigray Regional Chamber of Commerce & Sectoral Associations (TCCSA) which has been in dispute with the Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce & Sectoral Association (ECCSA) over the use of the ECCSA building for the last 10 months, agreed to work together by sending its delegates to the ECCSA's 5th annual meeting held on Tuesday 05, 2012 at the Hilton Hotel.

In a letter sent to the ECCSA, and copied to the Ministry of Trade (MoT), one month after the ECCSA held its fourth annual meeting in December 2012, the TCCSA expressed its grievances over the use of the building located onChad StreetnearMexico Square.

The TCCSA, which is not represented in the new board, said that the ECCSA's decision on the use of the building with other Association's was beyond the scope of its command.

The ECSSA had made the decision after negotiations with the Addis Abeba Chamber of Commerce & Sectoral Association (AACCSA), Addis Abeba & Ethiopia Chambers of Sectoral Associations (AACSA and ECSA), and Oromia Chamber of Commerce & Sectorial Association (OCCSA) on how to use the building.

The building had been confiscated by the Dergue regime and returned to the ECCSA in 2008 by an order from the late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi.

However, negotiations with the TCCSA, which has 38 city, regional and Zonal chamber members, continued despite other regional and city chambers agreeing to settle the issue once and for all.

The MoT issued a directive, based on a proposal from the Board of the National Chamber that the building would be available for use by the Ethiopia and Addis Abeba Associations mentioned above others associations that may be formed in Addis Abeba in the future according to the extent of their operations and human resources, may also use the building

However, the TCCSA at the time suggested that the issue should be resolved by the general assembly instead of a directive issued from the then MoT.

"The Board has only enforced a decision that was made by the Ministry of Trade. We did not make any new decisions regarding the building," said Hunilgne Tigabu, board member of the ECCSA.

The TCCSA agreed to come to the table after the discussion between ECCSA representatives headed by Mulu Solomon, president of the ECCSA and representatives of TCCSA two months ago inMekelleTown, 780Km north of the capital.

The meeting was mediated by higher officials from theTigrayRegionalState, according to Muluken Kidanemariyam, president of the TCCSA, and led to the participation of the TCCSA in the meeting attended by representatives of 18 chambers from across the country, last week.

"We still believe that the building should be rented out to generate income for the Chamber" said Muluken.

The ECCSA and TCCSA will work towards reaching an agreement on the use of the building.

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