The Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced yesterday that Ethiopia is finalizing preparations to host the Second Diaspora Day at Bahir Dar City August 1-2, 2016 through panel discussions and expertise based workshops.
It was also disclosed that Diaspora engagement in the overall economic development of the country is increasing from time to time.
Briefing journalists yesterday, State Minister of Foreign Affairs Regassa Kefale said that the government of Ethiopia has dealt with issues of the Diaspora through a policy that will maximize the benefit of citizens at home and abroad.
The State Minister added Diaspora are expected to support the country through knowledge and capital they acquired abroad.
Marking the day has ample advantages and more specifically it will enable the Diaspora to know the investment opportunity and the ongoing development in the country. He added : “ The day will enable Ethiopian Diaspora to see the overall situation in the country.”
The State Minister reaffirmed that the government of Ethiopia is keen to work closely with the Diaspora with its viable investment policies, strategies and opportunities. “ The Diaspora will have a positive impact in the ongoing peace and development drive and be part of the over all development process.”
Ministry Diaspora Engagement Affairs Directorate General Demeke Atnafu also said the day will be marked with panel discussions and expertise workshops to acquaint the Diaspora with investment opportunities at all levels.
Major issues to be discussed during the day are meant to raise their awareness on different national issues such as Revenue and Customs Service, the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam and others that are closely related to the country’s development, he said.
The Directorate General added the expertise workshop will raise various issues like education, health, science and technology, among others, so as to exchange experiences and knowledge for future development endeavours.
Responding to questions raised by journalists, Demeke said that over 4.5 million USD has been secured from the sale of bond for the construction of GERD. He added :“ The number of Diaspora coming to invest at home this budget year has increased to 5,100 from 4,200 last year.”
According to information from the Ministry, over 3,500 Diaspora from across the world have already registered to take part in Diaspora Day. And over 5,000 Diaspora have opened a foreign currency account in Ethiopia recently.
BY YARED GEBREMEDEN