Endalkachew Sime, secretary-general of The Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce & Sectoral Association, resigned from duty on August 25, 2019.

The board of directors that approved the letter of resignation is now looking for a new candidate to fill the vacant position.

“The letter was submitted to us in our special meeting, which was scheduled on Monday, and we approved it in the same session,” said a board member of the Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce.

Endalkachew Sime, who worked at the Chamber for eight years, spent the past three years as Secretary-General of the organisation.

Before his latest position, he was deputy secretary-general & advocacy department manager at the Chamber, and prior to that he was secretary-general of the Ethiopian Textile & Garment Manufacturers' Association for four years. Endalkachew holds a bachelor's degree in agricultural economics from Haromaya Univeristy.

While the Chamber has a president and vice-president in addition to having a council and board, it is the secretary-general that is responsible for overseeing the day to day activities of the Chamber.

The secretary-general is responsible for directing, supervising and administering the Chamber, ensuring that the revenue of the Chamber is collected, operating its bank, preparing and submitting an annual budget and work programme and other duties deemed necessary for the attainment of the Chamber's purposes.

In addition, though the president and vice-president are appointed, the secretary-general is hired as an employee by the 11-member board.

The Chamber has already issued a vacancy announcement on August 31, 2019. The position pays a salary of 31,744 Br and requires at least a master's degree with 10 years of experience.

“We are looking for a candidate that has good industry knowledge and that can lead the Chamber,” said the board member.

The Chamber of Commerce was legally established in Ethiopia in 1947. Following the advent of different regimes, the Chamber was re-established in accordance with the economic model of the time.

The national Chamber was re-established in its current structure in 2003 to help the private sector in becoming a dominant player in the economy.

The organisation has 18 members, of which 11 are regional chamber associations, while the remaining are sectoral associations.

Currently, the Chamber has Melaku Ezezew and Aseffa Gebresillasie as its president and vice-president, respectively. The appointees, unlike the secretary-general, who is employed in the position permanently, only serves in the position for two years when a new election will be held.

Eyesuswork Zafu, former president of the Chamber, believes that the organisation needs strong leaders that can bring industry players under its umbrella.

The Chamber has been growing weak over the years, said Eyesuswork, adding that while the fundamental problem remains the legislation that established the Chamber, its leaders have also contributed to its weakness.

Endalkachew Sime, former secretary-general of the Chamber of Commerce, and Melaku Ezezew, president of the Chamber, did not respond to calls and text messages from Fortunebefore the paper was sent to print.

PUBLISHED ON Aug 31,2019 [ VOL 20 , NO 1009]

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