Ethiopian Chamber Digital Service launched targeting the business community
Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce and Sectoral Associations (ECCSA), launched the Ethiopian Chamber Digital Service (ECDS), a digital system that enables the chamber to provide its services online to its members, the business community and the public at large.
Irish Aid Ethiopia through TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) funded the development of ECDS; with the support channelled to supply the ICT infrastructure and software development.
ECDS will move ECCSA services from manual and physical visit to digitized services in which traders get trade facilitation services at their convenient time and place, specially enabling ECCSA and its members to register their members online. Moreover, it paves a way for companies to get registered and renew membership online and pay fees electronically. Ultimately, the electronic system contributes to the ease of doing business in Ethiopia by enabling traders to easily fulfil requirements and reduce transaction costs of trade.
In addition to trade facilitation and membership management, ECDS has automated trade and investment promotion service, chamber academy, identifying Non-Tariff Barriers (NTBs), legal counselling and arbitration services, putting in one place key trade information for ease of access and dissemination. It becomes a single source for chamber services with lesser cost and time.
ECDS is integrated to the Ethiopia Electronic Single Window System (EeSWS), and telebirr to further enhance the issuance of the Certificate of Origin and other trade facilitation.
Presiding over the launch, his excellency Ato G/Meskel Chala, Minister of Trade and Regional Integration said ‘’ECCSA is highly appreciated to prepare and implement this new Project so as to switch its services from manual to digital in which its members and the business community can get services at their convenient time and place.”
Also speaking at the event, ECCSA’s President Eng. Melaku Ezezew said, “Prior to this system, majority trade facilitation operations at the chamber were manual and traders would physically visit the ECCSA offices and purchase the forms, fill them using a typewriter and bring them back for approval. Now, this is a thing of the past; you can make your applications from anywhere in the world. “
On his part, TMEA Country A/Director Abenet Bekele, said “ECDS is one of the projects that TMEA through its donors is facilitating in efforts to support the government of Ethiopia to improve the business environment. The next steps are critical, as we sensitise the business community on using ECDS for full uptake and utilisation. We are confident that the results of reduced time and transaction costs shall be achieved within a short period.”
The Chamber expects the system to improve business competitiveness, which help to increase Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). The system can capacitates SMEs, especially women entrepreneur’s contributing to overall increase in employment and export. An increase in revenue collection for itself as well as its members is expected, as the automation makes it easier for traders to comply with requirements trade facilitation, membership management, other similar services and improved access to trade information.