The Ethiopian Diaspora has managed to send over 1.72 Billion USD Remittance in the first four months of this fiscal year, the Ethiopian Diaspora Service has confirmed.

Speaking with ENA, the Ethiopian Diaspora Service, Director-General, Mohamed Edris, said following the peace agreement, this year remittances from the Ethiopian Diaspora will be expected to increase much higher.

In the previous budget year, the Diasporas remittance contribution was about 5.6 billion USD, which is by far larger than the previous year and the year before, Mohamed said.

According to him, in the 2013 Ethiopian fiscal year, the Diaspora has remitted 4.3 billion USD.

The director general further said that the Ethiopian Diasporas are increasingly becoming development actors in the Ethiopian development trajectory.

“The role of our Diaspora engagement in development areas of Ethiopia is rapidly increasing, be it in terms of remittances, trade, tourism, investment activities and in knowledge, technology and skill sharing.” ’

The Diaspora is also becoming active partners in philanthropic activities, he said, including in assisting and volunteering in different areas, the Director General noted.

In terms of investment, in the five months of this budget year, the Diaspora engagement is also very encouraging, Mohammed said.

“Despite all the conflict and security issues at home and all other challenges, investment activities by the Diaspora is far exceeding the previous year’s engagements.”

According to him, his office has supported 121 Diaspora investors who invested over 97 billion Birr.

Real state, agriculture and hospitality services are some of the sectors that the Diaspora investment has been engaging, said.

Following the peace agreement to resolve the problem in northern Ethiopia, the participation and cooperation of the Diaspora is expected to increase.

He stressed the need to engage all the diaspora in the development efforts of the country in various fields.

“We do have a knowledge Diaspora, we do have a second generation Diaspora, we do have a business Diaspora, and sometimes we do have a political diaspora.”

Before the reform, the Diaspora engagement had been focusing on the supporter and opponent dichotomy, he said.

During his first Diaspora outreach program in America, Germany, UAE and South Africa, Prime Minister Abiy’s mission was to demolish the wall of division lingering for long, he said.

His move enabled to increase the Diaspora participation, he noted.

The basic reason that we are able to win the hearts and minds of a significant majority of the Diaspora is our commitment to engage them despite their attitude and orientation on current affairs, the director general said.

We are trying to bridge more Diasporas together despite their attitude and orientation, he said.

(ENA)

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