Commission Stresses Need for Active Involvement of Private Sector to Achieve DDR Program

The National Rehabilitation Commission emphasized that the involvement and assistance of all stakeholders, including the private sector, are crucial for the successful implementation of the Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) program across the country.

Ethiopia's Disarmament, Demobilization and Rehabilitation (DDR) program requires mobilization of adequate resources for the reintegration of the large number of ex-combatants in the country, it was indicated.

Initiative Africa in partnership with the National Rehabilitation Commission and the Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce and Sectorial Association held discussion today under the title: “The Role of the Private Sector in Ethiopia’s National Rehabilitation”.

During the occasion, National Rehabilitation Commissioner, Teshome Toga stressed the need for the participation and support of all stakeholders in the process to implement the DDR program in the country.

Achieving the DDR program needs full implementation of the peace agreement and inclusive participation of all stakeholders, including the private sector, to mobilize support because the process needs huge financing, the commissioner stated.

The main purpose of this meeting is to discuss about the role of the private sector in the DDR process, Teshome said.

The commission’s efforts to implement the DDR program in the country needs a critical support of the private sector, he noted.

The Commission has so far identified 371,971 ex-combatants who require national and international support to rehabilitate and reintegrate.

Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce and Sectorial Association Deputy Secretary, Degala Ergeno said the private sector should support the government's efforts to implement the DDR program.

The national DDR program should also involve the private sector, he said, adding the association as a private sector umbrella institution will fulfill its national duty by supporting the program through technical assistance, job creation and stabilizing inflation.

Sweden Embassy in Ethiopia Bilateral Development Cooperation Head, Asa Andersson noted that the private sector plays a crucial role in supporting development efforts and promoting peaceful solutions.

Sweden as a long-standing partner of Ethiopia is committed to promote and support Ethiopia’s efforts for peaceful solutions and development, she said.

“As a long-standing development partner, Sweden is a committed partner to Ethiopia and we want to promote and support peaceful solutions and development.”

The (DDR) plan is one, but also the rehabilitation, reconstruction and recovery framework, the national dialogue, the transitional justice process are key for peaceful solutions and development, the head pointed out.

Accordingly, Sweden is also supporting the National Dialogue Commission and planning to launch an economic recovery program in northern Ethiopia.

“Being cognizant of the current context, Sweden added a new result area in its latest Development Cooperation Strategy with Ethiopia (that runs to 2026) – 'Peaceful Inclusive societies', to basically work on peace issues by strengthening conditions for prevention, management and resolution of conflicts through peaceful means.”

With resilience and determination, Ethiopia can overcome obstacles and build a brighter future, Andersson added.

“I would also like to acknowledge the governments and stakeholders' efforts in initiating national processes for the multi-faceted challenges Ethiopia is facing in its efforts to heal and rebuild.”

Initiative Africa Executive Director, Kibur Ghena pointed out that new job opportunities should be created by the private sector so that the youth who participated in the war can lead a normal life independently after the war.

For this, consensus should be reached by organizing a discussion forum with the National Rehabilitation Commission and the private sector actors, he added.

The DDR program requires advocacy, financial and material assistance from the national and international partners

Source: Ethiopian News Agency