WHEREAS, the national payment system is an essential component of the financial infrastructure of the country, whose safety, security and efficiency is critical to ensure financial stability, economic growth and financial inclusiveness;
WHEREAS, it has became necessary to provide rules on establishment, governance, operation, regulation and oversight of the national payment system so as to ensure its safety, security and efficiency;
NOW, THEREFORE, in accordance with Article 55 (1) of the Constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia it is hereby proclaimed as follows:
1. Short Title
This Proclamation may be cited as the “National Payment System Proclamation No.718/2011″.
In this Proclamation unless the context requires otherwise:
1/ “book, record, account, document or information” means a book, record, account, document or information recorded or stored in any media including paper or data stored by electronic, optical, magnetic or in any other form;
2/ “card” means any card, or other device, including a code or any other means of access to an account, that may be used from time to time to obtain or deposit money or to make payment, and includes a debit, credit and stored-value card;
3/ “central counterparty” means an entity that is the buyer to every seller and the seller to every buyer in a settlement system;
4/ “central securities depository” means an entity in whose register securities or other financial instruments are immobilized so as to enable their transactions to be finally processed by book entry;
5/ “clearing” means the process of transmitting, reconciling and confirming funds or securities transfer instructions prior to settlement and includes the netting of instructions and the establishment of final positions for settlement;
6/ “clearing house” means the National Bank or an entity authorized by the National Bank that provides clearing services but excludes a clearing house recognized under any other law;
7/ “clearing system” means a system whereby participants present and exchange information relating to the transfer of funds, securities or other financial instruments to each other through a centralized system or at a single location and includes mechanisms for the calculation of participants’ positions on a bilateral or multilateral basis with a view to facilitating the settlement of their obligations;
8/ “electronic” mans electrical, digital, magnetic, optical, biometric, electrochemical, wireless or electromagnetic technology or any other technology used in relation to the national payment system;
9/ “electronic communication” mans electronic exchange of messages in a standardized format that allows:
a)visual display or listening of data that is clear and readily understandable; and
b)receiving and retaining the information in the message for subsequent retrieval such as by printing, recording or any other means for later use;
10/ “electronic equipment” means electronic terminal including computer, points of sale, automated teller machine, telephone and other similar devices;
11/ “electronic signature” means a data in an electronic form, affixed to or logically associated with, an electronic message, which may be used to guarantee the authenticity and identify the signatory in relation to the date message and to indicate the signatory’s approval of the information contained in the data message;
12/ “financial institution” means a bank, a micro-financing institution, postal savings, money transfer institution, an insurance company or such other similar institution as determined by the National Bank;
13/ “funds transfer” means any transfer of funds, either representing an order of payment or a transfer of money, which is initiated by a person by way of instruction, authorization or order to a financial institution to debit or credit an account maintained with that financial institution and includes point of sale transfers, automated teller machine transactions, direct deposits or withdrawal of funds, transfers initiated by telephone, internet, card or other devices;
14/ “large value funds transfer system” means large value electronic fund transfers, the amount of which shall be determined by the National Bank, which consists of:
a)an inter-bank funds transfer system;
b)high priority and time critical government fund transfer;
c)clearing and settlement of securities of the government; or
d)any other fund transfer system prescribed by the National Bank as large value.
15/ “National Bank’ means the National Bank
16/ “national payment system” means a system in the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia that consists of the following :
a)sending, receiving and processing of orders of payment or transfers of money in domestic or foreign currencies:
b)issuance and management of payment instruments;
c) payment, clearing and settlement systems;
d)arrangements and procedures associated to those systems specified under paragraph (c) of this sub-article; and
e)payment service providers, including operators, participants, issuers of payment instruments and any third party acting on behalf of them, either as an agent or by way of outsourcing agreements, whether entirely or partially operating in the country;
17/ “netting” means the determination of the net payment obligations or the determination of the net termination value of settlement obligations by setting off or adjusting the payment obligations between two or more participants within the payment system;
18/ “operator” means the National Bank, a financial institution or any other entity authorized by the National Bank as operator;
19/ “participant” means a party who participates in a payment, clearing or settlement system as a direct participant which opens and maintains a settlement account at the National Bank or any other settlement entity or an indirect participant which shall only be able to settle its obligations due through the account of a direct participant;
20/ “payment instrument” means any instrument, whether tangible or intangible, that enables a person to obtain money, goods or service or to otherwise make payment or transfer money such as cheques, drafts and cards;
21/ “person” means any natural or juridical person;
22/ “retail funds transfer system” means a fund transfer system consisting of the cheque clearing system operated and administered by the National Bank and any type of retail fund transfer system authorized by the National Bank;
23/ “settlement” means the act of discharging obligations by transferring funds, securities or financial instruments between two or more parties;
24/ “settlement rule” means the rule that provide the basis upon which payment obligations are calculated, netted or settled;
25/ “settlement system” means a system for the discharge of payment and settlement obligations established and operated by National Bank or any other settlement system authorized by the National Bank;
26/ “stored value” means a representation of value that is intended to be used to make a payment which includes units of value recorded in a computer chip or any other device and may or may not be denominated by reference to units of a currency;
27/ “stored value card” means a prepaid card in which the record of funds can be increased or decreased;
28/ “system” includes a payment, clearing and settlement system;
29/ any expression in the masculine gender includes the feminine.
A PROCLAMATION TO PROVIDE FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE SPORTS COMMISSION
WHEREAS the promotion of sports makes significant contributions to communities, especially the youth to maintain healthy physique and brain, and thereby facilitate their active participation in the nation building, to strengthen the solidarity of the nations, nationalities and peoples of Ethiopia, and to strengthen the country’s regional and international relations;
WHEREAS it has become necessary to organize an autonomous federal institution to promote, support and regulate sport activities;
NOW, THEREFORE, in accordance with Article 55(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, it is hereby proclaimed as follows:
1. Short Title
This Proclamation may be cited as the “Sports Commission Establishment Proclamation No. 692/2010″.
1/The Sports Commission (hereinafter the “Commission”) is hereby established as an autonomous federal government organ having its own legal personality.
2/ The Commission shall be accountable to the Prime
3. Head Office
The Commission shall have its head office in Addis Ababa and may have branches elsewhere, as may be necessary.
The objectives of the Commission shall be to promote community based sports and to encourage outstanding sports persons.
5. Powers and Duties of the Commission
The Commission shall have the powers and duties to:
1/prepare the country’s sport policy, and implement same upon approval;
2/enable the public to participate in and benefit from sports for all and traditional sports, and ensure the creation of conducive conditions for the participation of disabled persons in sport activities;
3/collaborate with the concerned bodies to produce trained manpower in the field of sports;
4/promote the expansion of sports facilities and centers;
5/facilitate the supply of adequate sportswear and equipment in cooperation with the concerned organs;
6/organize sports medical facilities in cooperation with the appropriate bodies, and adopt systems for controlling doping practices;
7/issue directives governing the establishment of sports associations; register and support associations operating at the national level;
8/devise mechanisms for the establishment of national sports development fund, and implement same upon approval;
9/without prejudice to the power of other organs to issue business licenses in accordance with the law, authorize sports associations to engage in income generating activities which are consistent with their objectives with a view to meet their financial requirements;
10/provide necessary support in organizing and conducting national and international sport games;
11/own property, enter into contracts, sue and be sued in its own name;
12/perform such other functions as are conducive to the attainment of its objectives.
6. Organization of the Commission
The Commission shall have:
1/ a Federal Sports Council (hereinafter “the
2/ a Commissioner and, as may be necessary,
Deputy Commissioners appointed by the government; and
3/ the necessary staff.
Every negotiable instrument to qualify as such must meet special requirements relating to form and content. These are mandatory requirements for the validity of the instrument. The absence of any one of such requirements renders the instrument non negotiable. On the other hand if it fulfills, it becomes negotiable i.e. transferable from one person to another person by delivery. The term ‘negotiability’ here refers to the capacity of the instrument being transferred by delivery or endorsement and simultaneously entitling the transferee rights and entitlements emanating from the instrument. When there is a valid negotiation the right and the document together, pass on to the transferee. As you can see from article 715(1), this very essence i.e. inseparability of the document Vs the right, is used as a key element in defining negotiable instruments by the commercial code.
The general part of the commercial code (articles 715-731) does not provide any common standard by which the negotiability of negotiable instruments can be measured. Rather it only provides specific requirements applicable to bills of exchange, promissory notes and cheques. Since all these instruments are commercial papers, we will in general examine the basic requirements applicable to all, at the same time comparing and contrasting them with the specific requirements of each instrument. The negotiability requirements of bills of exchange, promissory notes and cheques are indicated in article 735, 823 and 827 respectively.
PROCLAMATION No. 699/2010. A PROCLAMATION TO PROVIDE FOR THE PROTECTION OF WITNESSES AND WHISTLEBLOWERS OF CRIMINAL OFFENCES
PROCLAMATION No. 699/2010.
A PROCLAMATION TO PROVIDE FOR THE PROTECTION OF WITNESSES AND WHISTLEBLOWERS OF CRIMINAL OFFENCES
WHEREAS, it is essential to create conducive situations in order to ensure the safety and security of the public by having criminal offenders brought to justice and sustain the right penalty;
WHEREAS, providing protection for witnesses and whistleblowers of criminal offences play a significant role for the prevention of crime by uncovering crimes that may cause serious threat to the public;
WHEREAS, it is found necessary to legislate the protection systems that need to be put in place in order to protect witnesses and whistleblowers of criminal offense from direct or indirect danger and attack they may face as a consequence thereof and thereby to ensure their safety;
NOW, THEREFORE, in accordance with Article 55
(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia it is hereby proclaimed as follows:
1. Short Title
This Proclamation may be cited as the “Protection of Witnesses and Whistleblowers of Criminal Offences Proclamation No.699/2010.”
In this Proclamation, unless the context otherwise requires:
1/ “whistleblower or witness” means a person who has given or agrees to give information or has acted or agrees to act as a witness in the investigation or trial of an offence;
2/ “protected person” means a witness, a whistleblower or a family member of a witness or a whistleblower who has entered into a protection agreement with the Ministry;
3/ “relocation” means a type of protection measure that involves temporary or permanent resettling of a protected person by the Ministry in a place, within the country or overseas, other than his place of residence or if the protected person is undergoing a penalty entailing loss of liberty, the transfer of him to another penitentiary;
4/ “change of identity” means a type of protection measure that involves modifying and adjusting parts or entire personal data of a protected person to a new situation and may include plastic surgery where necessary;
5/ “surveillance protection” means a type of protection measure that includes the conduct of covert protection of a protected person and surveillance and technical recording, by long-distance communication means, of the premises in which he resides;
6/ “concealing identity and property ownership” means a type of protection measure that involves temporary creation and use of documents relating to the identity and property of a protected person;
7/ “family” includes the spouse or cohabitant, the children, parents, siblings and the children of the spouse or cohabitant of a person;
8/ “Ministry” or “Minister” means the Ministry or Minister of Justice, respectively;
9/ “Commission” means the Federal Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission;
10/ “person” means natural or legal person;
11/ any expression in the masculine gender includes the feminine.
3. Scope of Application
1/ The protection under this Proclamation shall be applicable with respect to testimony or information given or investigation under- taken on a suspect punishable with rigorous imprisonment for ten or more years or with death without having regard to the minimum period of rigorous imprisonment:
a)where the offence may not be revealed or established by another means otherwise than by the testimony of the witness or the information of the whistleblower ; and
b)where it is believed that a threat of serious danger exists to the life, physical security, freedom or property of the witness, the whistleblower or a family member of the witness or the whistleblower.
2/ Notwithstanding the provisions of sub-article (1) of this Article, the Ministry and the Commission may also extend the protections provided under sub-article (1),
(1), (m), (o), (p) and (t) of Article 4 of this Proclamation to witness and whistleblowers who renot protected persons
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One of the significant changes introduced by the new Ethiopian pension laws is the substantial increase in the amount of pension contribution by the beneficiary and the government/employer. Until June 2011, only the public sector was covered by the pension scheme. Starting from July 2011 those (employees and employers) in the private sector will start making a contribution following the first private organization employees pension law. So what is the amount to be contributed by employees, employers and the public organs (the government)? The following table summarizes the contributions to be made from each respective party according to the proclamation no.714 and 715.
In the previous (now repealed pension law) the amount of pension contribution by public servants including military and police officers was 4% of their gross salary. However, there was a significant variation in the contribution to be made by the government for public servants as compared to the contribution to military and police officers
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One of the controversies surrounding the new private organization employee’s pension proclamation has been the effect of resignation on entitlement to pension benefits. Based on the length of service of the employee, resignation could have three different effects.
1. When the length of service of the employee is greater than or equal to 10 years but less than 20 years of service, resignation results in reimbursement of the employee’s contribution excluding contribution made by his employer.
2. If the employee resigns after serving for less than 10 years, he will relinquish his right to reimbursement. He will just leave empty-handed.
3. If the length of service is greater than or equal to 20 years but less than 25 years the employee will be entitled to get full retirement pension but payment will be made upon attainment of retirement age.
4. If the length of service of the employee is greater than or equal to 25 years , resignation results in entitlement to full retirement pension which will start to be paid beginning five years prior to retirement age.
As indicated above, an employee who resigns after serving for less than 10 years is not entitled to claim his own contribution. Although this has become a point of controversy in light of the new private organizations pension proclamation, a similar limitation has existed for more than 40 years in case of government employees’ pension laws.
In this regard one of the oldest pension laws of the country ( Public servant’s pension decree No. 46/1961) reads:
“A public servant who voluntarily resigns prior to completing 10 years of service shall be entitled to no benefits hereunder” (Article 8(a) of Public servant’s pension decree No. 46/1961)
All subsequent pension legislations have adopted a similar position regarding the effect of resignation before 10 years of service. During this time no strong criticism has been heard against such statutes.
What follows is a brief analysis or criticism of the new law and previous statutes as regards their prohibition of reimbursement of employee’s contribution. I will also try to forward some advice to employees who want to quit their job but still get their own contribution by way of reimbursement even if they have served for less than 10 years.
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Types of pension benefits according to the new Private Organization Employees Pension Proclamation No. 715/2011
The Ethiopian government has issued a new law which extends pension benefits to permanent employees of private organizations. The bill was signed by the head of state i.e. President of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, President Girma Woldegiorgis on June 24, 2011. However, the effective date of the bill starts on the date of its publication in the Negarit Gazeta, as it is the case with other statutes issued by Parliament. Even though the exact date of the publication of the law has not been officially declared, it is almost a week since the publication of the proclamation by Bernanena Selam Printing Press, the official printing press for the law maker for the last 60 years.
When one looks into the transitory provisions, specifically those provisions providing for time limit in which contribution by the employee/employer and payment of pension benefits by Private Organizations Pension Agency will start, it becomes clear that the new law will not fully enter in to force from the date of its publication. According to article 57 sub article 6(a) of the proclamation, payment of pension contribution starts as of July 8, 2011. Similarly, pension benefits shall commence to accrue as of the next month of one year after the effective date of this proclamation.
Types of Pension benefits
Generally speaking, the private organization employees pension proclamation provides for four categories of pension benefits. These are;
Factors determining the type of pension benefits
Entitlement to any of the pension benefits and payments is dependent upon some specific conditions laid down by the proclamation.
These may be broadly mentioned as length of service, ground of termination of employment contract and the degree of employment injury. The grounds of termination of employment contract could those mentioned in the proclamation (“pension law grounds) and those not mentioned in the proclamation (“non-pension law grounds”)
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