Ethiopia: Diaspora's Role Goes Beyond Remittance

Realizing their remarkable potential contribution in the development process of the nation, the Ethiopian government has encourage the Diasporas community to increase their active involvement in the affairs of their country. The Ethiopian Diasporas who left their country for political, social and economic reasons spread across the globe. Even though they are preoccupied with their day to day activities making a living in their adopted country, their attachment to their homeland is still intact; they appreciate any welcome from the government of their origin country. In his recent address to the members of the Diaspora in the US where there is the highest population of the Ethiopian Diaspora, Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed called on the Diaspora community to come home and support their homeland development efforts and the ongoing reform.

The purpose of the Premier is to bridge the gap between the Diaspora community and his government since he strongly believes that without ensuring the full participation of this community, it would be impossible to realize the intended development and the current reform in the nation.

Here, while we are asking them to make active involvement to sustain the current reform, it is also proper to mention the significant roles the Diaspora community had been playing in the last four years to bring the reform into existence. Through various means, they were tirelessly exposing the inequality, abuse of power and disregard for the rule of law across the nation. They also exposed the unfair treatment of groups or individuals who were imprisoned because of their political views. Moreover, they constantly made their voice heard marching in several cities like Washington DC, New York, Berlin and London. In short, they were advancing the movement for equality and justice for all in the last four years. The people at home can never forget the great contributions they have done in causing the leadership they need to come forth.

What is more about these community members is they are serving as the ambassadors of the Ethiopian People just as the Premier mentioned in his inaugural speech few months ago. They become the right hand of the Ethiopian people in telling the outside world about the fast and vast development the nation has been registering in a couple of decades. Besides, they usually come together to discuss for possible solutions whenever there is a national constraints; for instance, they organized fundraising programmes during droughts.

Now, new hope is flourishing across the nation as a result of the ongoing reform that was brought into existence because of their tireless effort. The Premier promised to build a nation where all different political parties, groups or individual can have equal participation. In connection to this, he called upon all the Diaspora to participate in political, economic and social changes to make the country a better place for all. And it seems that all the Diaspora members have accepted the call to support and strengthen the progressive elements in his government.

They no longer affirm their commitment only by material and financial support, but by getting involved on issues that would involve holistic development. For instance, research indicates that there are millions of Ethiopian Diaspora in diverse professions such as hotel operators, transportation specialists, businesspeople, scientists, doctors,_investment bankers, engineers involved in exploration of natural resources and the like. All these vast knowledge and skills of the community are deep and wide that could be transferred to young Ethiopians at home. Since all these skills are needed in rebuilding the nation, their potential developmental importance goes well beyond remittances.

In general, the Diaspora community made a wise decision to come home and play their shares in ongoing development and reform. We believe they will be willing to serve their people with pride and gratitude. Most of them heard saying "We do not need any reward other than self-satisfaction from the yield of the seeds we plant." Provided that the government continues encouraging them to invest their treasure in their homeland, their contribution shall be great in the journey of building the great nation.

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