Ethiopian Diaspora Engagement Gaining Momentum

The engagement of the Ethiopian Diaspora community in investment activities at home and in supporting flagship projects has gained momentum, Ethiopian Diaspora Agency disclosed.

The agency also announced that the Diaspora have contributed 76 million Birr to the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) and 16 million Birr to "Dine for Ethiopia".

According to the Agency, during the past six months of this fiscal year ,over 800 Diaspora investors have presented project proposals to invest in Ethiopia and over 900 Diaspora members also engaged in various trade activities at home.

In an exclusive interview with The Ethiopian Herald, Agency's Director General Selamawit Dawit stated that the Diaspora's involvement and sense of ownership for their motherland has recently shown great improvement.

For instance, she stated that during the past six months, 35 Diaspora investors have already started investing here.

The Director General also noted that over 900 Diasporas have taken trade licenses and tin numbers to work in Ethiopia during the past six months.

According to Selamawit , the Diasporas' contributions to national projects have also been expanding. The Diasporas have contributed 76 million Birr to the construction of GERD, 16 million Birr to "Dine for Ethiopia", an initiative launched by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (Ph.D.) to Gorgora, Wonchi and Koisha projects, she added.

Selamawit pointed out that the agency has planned to collect 50 million Birr to support "Dine for Ethiopia" in this year and 200 million Birr for the GERD as well.

She, moreover, said the Diaspora has so far extended supports worth over 200 million Birr in kind and in cash to Ethiopia meant to fight COVID-19 pandemic during six months.

"The Diasporas have also made available over 100 million Birr both in kind and in cash to support the Ethiopian military during the law enforcement operation."

The Director General stated that "Specifically the support to the Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF) during the operation was crucial as they have sent critical medicines and other necessary supports based on specification lists of the Ministry of Health."

Regarding the Diasporas' participation in image building and in fighting disinformation, she said that the Diasporas have already developed strong national consensus on major national issues and this has helped Ethiopia's diplomatic efforts to be successful to some extent.

Ethiopian Diaspora has remitted 1.4 billion USD through legal channels and 2,637 Diasporas have opened bank accounts at local banks and deposited 3.5 million USD during the past first six months, according to the agency.

The Ethiopian Herald 19 January 2021

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