Citizens Charter


The Citizens Charter is a nonpartisan declaration of the bedrock principles and protections that define our shared vision for a post-socialist, post-ethnic and cosmopolitan Ethiopia:

  • It cultivates civic virtue by serving as a Bill of Rights for Ethiopians who wish to build a society that is open and pluralist.
  • It provides a clear vision and collective aspirations for an alliance of engaged citizens, civic organizations and political organizations to bring to fruition the fervent desire for national unity, territorial integrity, and self-governing local communities in a democratic Ethiopia.
  • It relies on the power of reason and conscience to launch a protracted worldwide civic engagement that is dedicated to the respect for and protection, by government and citizens alike, of the universally accepted human, civil, cultural and political rights of all Ethiopians.
  • It upholds the fundamental values of the dignity of and respect for the individual, mutual support and service to community, and appreciation of cultural diversity—all of which are among the hallmarks of the Ethiopian spirit and Ethiopian civilization that the present generation can build on.
  • We seek to elevate civic activism as the most reliable guarantor of freedom from autocratic politicians and a predatory State. In so doing, the Charter rings the wake-up call for Ethiopian citizens to take up the common cause of fighting for the full realization of individual liberty as their birthright, and honoring with conviction the duties that are inherently bundled with such rights.

It issues a clarion call to all Ethiopians to discard for good the outmoded political culture of master and servant and assume the unavoidable responsibility of ushering in a new culture of rights and responsibilities. This inevitably means that our civic and political discourse shall henceforth be Charter 2012/ 3 of 10 honest and citizen-centered, and our leaders shall be judged by their demonstrated commitment to public service, transparency, and accountability. The Charter is, therefore, intended as an inspiration for Ethiopians of all walks of life to assert the sovereignty of the citizen and the indivisible national identity of Ethiopiawinnet through collective action for an inclusive democratic government. It is in this spirit that we ask all democratic Ethiopian political parties and civic organizations to demonstrate their leadership by endorsing it in full or incorporating the basic tenets outlined in this Charter into their manifestos and programs.