Ethiopia’s prime minister, Abiy Ahmed made a passionate appeal to the diaspora community to support the ongoing reforms in the country by establishing a ‘Diaspora Trust Fund’ that can reduce aid dependency facilitate investment in critical sectors of education and health.
Abiy made the proposal while defending the 346.9 billion Ethiopian birr ($12.71 billion) budget for 2018/19 on Friday.
‘‘Diaspora, here is call to you! A dollar a day to help children get education, our brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers get health service, and above all, consider this as ‘paying back’ to your people who gave you future while they had no one.’‘
Diaspora, here is call to you! A dollar a day to help children get education, our brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers get health service, and above all, consider this as 'paying back' to your people who gave you future while they had no one.
HE PM Abiy Ahmed called for the establishment of Diaspora Trust Fund—that can be managed independently, which not only boosts saving&investment but can be used to support national collective initiatives.#Ethiopia hopes its patriotic diaspora community will heed this national call— Fitsum Arega (@fitsumaregaa) 6 juillet 2018
Ethiopia’s influential diaspora
Ethiopia’s global diaspora is estimated to be two-million strong, with the highest numbers in the US, totaling anything from 250,000 up to about one million.
The foreign affairs ministry announced this week that Abiy would be visiting the United States at the end of July, explaining that the visit is aimed at boosting the involvement of all Ethiopian Diaspora in the ongoing reforms, development, and democratisation in their country of birth.
Government also recently demonstrated commitment to the diaspora community when cabinet approved the Amnesty Law that grants amnesty for individuals and groups, either under investigation or convicted on treason, crimes against the constitutional order and armed struggle.
The diaspora community was heavily invested in anti-government protests that raged on in Ethiopia since 2015, and culminated in the resignation of the former prime minister Hailemariam Desalegn.
As many activists and opposition politicians fled the country into exile, the diaspora played a key role in coordinating protests online as internet was blocked at home in Ethiopia, covering the protests through US based satelite channels and providing financial support.