Business for Peace: Building Business Engagement in the Upcoming National Dialogue

On April 5, 2024, at the Cassiopeia Hotel, regional chambers of commerce came together for the “Business for Peace” event, aimed at enhancing the involvement of the business sector in Ethiopia’s national dialogue. The day began with IA’s project manager delivering the opening remarks, followed by a presentation from the Ethiopian National Dialogue Commission that set the context for the discussions. This meeting provided a platform for members of regional chambers to deliberate on the challenges and opportunities for businesses in contributing to the country’s peace and economic stability.

Discussions during the event focused on several pressing issues, including the need for ethnic coexistence, the impact of VAT on small traders, the role of media in promoting informed public discourse, and the critical importance of creating job opportunities. Participants advocated for better governance, a more conducive environment for investment, and the inclusion of women in the national dialogue process. These discussions highlighted the complex relationship between peace, economic stability, and governance, reflecting on how regional chambers can play a role in these areas.

In response to the issues raised, the Dialogue Commission pointed to the importance of open dialogue in addressing fear and insecurity, the need for inclusive representation in the national dialogue, and assured the audience of the commission’s autonomy from political influences. The event underscored the importance of women’s participation, the necessity for collective action, and the role of media in supporting peacebuilding efforts.

The “Business for Peace” gathering marked an occasion for regional chambers to consider their part in Ethiopia’s broader dialogue on peace and economic recovery. While not without its challenges, the event provided a moment for reflection on the potential collective action and responsibility in navigating toward a more stable and prosperous future.

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