Ethiopia Secures 3.6 Bln. Usd From Remittance

Diasporas launch 37.8 bln Birr capital projects

BY TSEGAYE TILAHUN

ADDIS ABABA -Ethiopia secured 3.6 billion USD in the form of remittance during the past fiscal year which is equated with the amount of foreign exchange it garnered from international trade, the Ethiopian Diaspora Agency (EDA) disclosed.

EDA Director- General Selamawit Dawit told The Ethiopian Herald that the Agency has carried out meticulous tasks to encourage the Diaspora to send the foreign currency through legal channels thereby backing the country's development and easing the forex crunch. The huge remittance came from the Diaspora in last budget year attested the success of the agency's interventions.

The director-general further stated that the Diasporas should replicate the overwhelming participation they demonstrated in financing the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) in sending the hard currency through banks and shunning the parallel market. "We are encouraging the Diaspora to use technology-based money transfer mechanisms and participate in business, real estate and other multi-stakeholder projects so as to channel more hard currency to the legal route."

Noting the amount of money transferred in last fiscal year has shown significant improvement from previous periods, Selamawit said that the foreign exchange earnings is still unsatisfactory when compared with Ethiopia's large Diaspora communities across the globe.

"The situation needs viable interventions including the one we employed in # It is My Dam campaignand expanding the accessibility of Diaspora investment projects, local bank remittance accounts and related activities is also something worth equal consideration."

Meanwhile the director-general highlighted that Diaspora business persons launched investment and business projects with a total capital of 37.8 billion Birr in the reported period and contribute share in job creation and promote innovation, among others. Accordingly, 84 operational projects with aggregate capital of 3.9 billion Birr have become operational in Addis Ababa, Amhara, Oromia and other states and provided 13,000 jobs for the youth.

By the same token, the growing number of Diaspora bank accounts have been playing a constructive role in easing the forex crunch and there is a strong desire among the government to enhance the Diaspora's engagement in international trade, she noted.

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