ADDIS ABEBA, 11 JULY 2018 – Ethiopia has issued an appeal to its Diaspora to support ongoing reforms in the country.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has said his government will establish a “Diaspora Trust Fund” aimed at reducing the country’s dependency on aid and facilitating investments in critical sectors such as education and health.
Abiy Ahmed said the Trust Fund – open to the country’s estimated two million members of the Diaspora – will boost saving and investment and participation in the democratization and development of the the Horn of Africa nation.
The Ethiopia Diaspora in the United States, where Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is expected on an official visit in July 2018, is believed to be anywhere between 250,000 to one million.
“Diaspora, here is (a) 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,” said Abiy Ahmed.
The Ethiopia Prime Minister made the proposal on Friday while defending the country’s 346.9 billion Ethiopian birr ($12.71 billion) budget for 2018/2019.
The reforms approved by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed include a law under which thousands of individuals and groups have been granted amnesty, will overturn convictions, release thousands from prison and lead to an end to investigations against individuals and groups charged with treason, terror, rebellion, armed struggle and so-called crimes against the constitutional order.
Most of those held or convicted or being investigated had been arrested for their part in the organization of massive pro-reform street protests which started in 2015 and lasted until the ouster (earlier this year) from power of former Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn.
[Investment in real estate, one of the most attractive for the Ethiopian Diaspora – Picture from the Tsehay Real Estate website]