While defending the 346.9 billion Ethiopian birr ($12.71 billion) budget for 2018/19 on Friday 6 July, PM 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 and facilitate investment in critical sectors such as education and health.
‘‘Diaspora, here is a call to you! A dollar a day to help children get an 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 a future while they had no one.’‘
HE PM Abiy Ahmed called for the establishment of a Diaspora Trust Fund that could be managed independently and would not only boosts savings and investments but could also be used to support national collective initiatives.
Ethiopia’s global diaspora is estimated to be two-million strong, with the highest numbers in the US, totalling anything from 250,000 up to about one million.
The government also recently demonstrated its commitment to the diaspora community when the 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.