(Haftu Gebrezgabiher)

Presently, the remittance income of Ethiopia hits over four billion USD. Its diaspora community has contributed over 37 million USD to the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) so far. Diaspora investment is massively rising in the country. Only in the last budget year, over six thousand members of the diaspora have visited the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for investment opportunities and investment support has been given to over 3000 members, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

While this show us the fact on the ground, there is an extreme diaspora movement particularly, in the Northern America highly engaged in the social medias that is concerning in the current Ethiopian political state. Why? Here we go.

An Ethiopian higher official during a high-level political discussion: “in the past, Cuban and Iranian Diasporas used to be the most polarized diaspora community. Thanks to President Obama’s decision to change US policy on Cuba, the diplomatic reforms made under his leadership towards these two countries. Consequently, Ethiopian diaspora has come to the top in polarization these days.”

At several occasions, Ethiopians in the diaspora, particularly in the U.S., have tried to harass Ethiopian higher officials that traveled for international meetings and diplomatic missions. They usually keep alert up on the journey of such high ranking officials and shouting for democracy and human rights though their agenda has been criticizing as it is the hidden agenda of other interested groups in any case do not wish to see prosperous and stable Ethiopia.   

Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn also said the extreme minority diaspora have started playing a role in today’s Ethiopian politics by disseminating false information and bigotry. While that is easy for them to do so, the government cannot use the same playbook. “The government cannot propagate baseless information. It is striving to accommodate the interest of all Ethiopian nations, nationalities and peoples,” he noted.

He underlined that the high polarity in the Ethiopian diaspora movement is an extension and part and parcel of the ideological difference between Ethiopia’s developmental state paradigm and the anti-peace elements sheltered in western countries.

“Such polarization will continue unless and otherwise we abandon our democratic developmental journey. But as we realize the renaissance of Ethiopia, the extreme force will get weaker and eventually become extinct on their own”, the premier said.

In addition, he noted that “we shall strengthen our efforts to work closely with the positive elements of the Diaspora”, whom he called the silent majority, “to convey to the position of active participants of such situation for bringing national consensus.”

Hailemariam called upon the silent majority to keep alert and his public to be a vanguard to the incumbent constitutional federal system. Nevertheless, the ultimate solution, according to him, is working to address public’s grievances here at home.

Ethiopian Ambassador to the United States Girma Birru on his part said that there are around 500,000 Ethiopians residing only in the United States and thirteen weekly flights from the US America to Ethiopia. Most of the travelers are Ethiopian diaspora for the purpose of investment and visiting. In doing so, the country is securing high remittance income more than any other part of the globe.

Girma noted that “during opposition demonstrations in United States, the size of diaspora who took to the streets do not exceed 250 in number of which most them are political asylum. This number is insignificance compared the size of Ethiopian diaspora residing in the US America but politically they are highly affiliated with the past regimes.” I testify that the larger diaspora community residing here is keen to engage in the development of homeland.


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