Diasporas: The unpaid yet effective diplomats

 Ethiopian Diasporas residing in the length and breadth of the world are turning out to be unpaid ambassadors of their motherland, and defending their homeland from all tribulations. Standing in unison against all odds and adversaries their country is grappling with.

On top of that, they have been countering the ongoing tsunami of disinformation and cooked up stories that have been disseminated by a wide variety of interest groups with a view to bewildering the international community and hamper Ethiopia’s economic development.

In addition to sending huge chunk of remittance to their country and the money cannot buy technology and knowledge transfer, Ethiopian Diasporas have been playing irreplaceable role in promoting the good side of their country by engaging in various platforms. In fact, from art, fashion to politics, their professional engagement in the countries they are residing is serving as a means to promote Ethiopia in the world. Ethiopian Diasporas and Ethiopian born foreign citizens have been the frontrunners in sharing Ethiopia’s culture and prominent values.

The communities also contributed a lot in shedding light on the human right violations and sufferings in an effort to spare the lives of civilians and encourage humanitarian assistances when needed. In a similar vein, the Ethiopian Diasporas have been briefing the international community with facts with regard to the law enforcement operation that has been taken place in the Tigary state, the Ethio-Sudan boarder, the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. They leave no stone unturned to familiarize the international community with the existing reality on the ground and give the truth picture of the existing situation.

Nowadays, as some international media and paid activists and lobbyists have been as busy as a bee disseminating a tsunami of disinformation concerning Ethiopia, the Ethiopian Diasporas have been providing the international community with the facts so that the latter have access to the naked truth time and again. It is no hyperbole to day their entire participation is equaled by none. Collectively or separately, these communities have been fighting the spread of misinformation against their country.

Despite the fact most of international communities and global media networks kept on turning a blind eye to the exiting truth and making an effort to distort information regarding the law enforcement operation, the Ethiopian diasporas embarked on acquainting the international community with the fact that the TPLF clique carried out an attack on the Northern Command of the Ethiopian National Defense Force that has been positioned in the Tigray region and caused unimaginable human sufferings and material damage.

In a similar vein, the Ethiopian Diasporas living in every nook and cranny of the world have been countering disinformation that has been broadcast by a wide variety of print and electronic media outlets on the topic of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam.

Apart from bankrolling the dam and countering cooked up stories, they move heaven and earth regarding the fact that Ethiopia has been constructing the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam for the love of pulling its people out of the quagmire of poverty and blackout. Moreover, they were familiarizing pertinent bodies with the fact that Ethiopia is endeavoring to secure national interests.

The communities since lately moved to establish scholars forums where they can be able to give professional analysis and factual argument regarding the GERD to the international communities. When Egypt and Sudan inject false narrative to the global production of information, it is the Ethiopian Diasporas across the global and many disciplines that step in and counter Egyptian propagandas. From appearing on influential media outlets to taking to the streets, the diaspora communities are always out in the field to defend their motherland and foil unguided propaganda by the downstream countries.

The communities besides countering the ongoing disinformation against GERD have been funneling financial assistances to the construction and their support has continued to this day. As learnt from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, Ethiopian Diasporas in Los Angeles collected about $600 thousand in nine months to support GERD. They affirmed their commitment to continue supporting the GERD project.

Likewise, the Diasporas expressed their commitment during a discussion they had with the delegation of the Ethiopian Diaspora Agency and various associations representing Ethiopians and Ethiopian descent in Los Angeles.

Selamawit Dawit, Director of Diaspora Agency made remarks appreciating the engagement of the Ethiopian Diaspora in Los Angeles in supporting the flagship project.

The Director further expressed hope that Ethiopian Diaspora support would add up to the encouraging momentum of supporting the construction of the dam.

Ethiopia’s Consul General in Los Angeles, Ambassador Mulugeta Kelil also appreciated the Ethiopian Community in Los Angeles for contributing about $600,000 to the GERD project in just nine months.

The discussion noted the ongoing working relationship between the Diaspora Agency and the Community in Los Angeles and deliberated ways to further engage the Ethiopian Diaspora in supporting national causes, including the GERD.

In her concluding remarks, Selamawit called on the Ethiopian Community to take note of the challenges that the country is facing right now and avoid traps that tend to eclipse the ongoing reform process in the country.

As the contribution continues, the communities are being urged to sustain support in order to see the full completion of the project. Lately, Minister Seleshi Bekele called for Ethiopian Diaspora support to complete GERD construction.

The Ethiopian embassy in Canada in collaboration with Alliance for GERD in Canada held a webinar discussion entitled,” Updates on GERD and Information Session on GERD Bond Purchase”.

Present at the discussion, Eng. Seleshi Bekele, Minister for Water, Irrigation, and Energy of Ethiopia tabled presentations over the current status of the GERD construction and what is expected of the Ethiopian Diaspora to support the project.

The Minister made a call to Ethiopian Diaspora in Canada to stand together and extend help to the completion of the national flagship project.

In this regard, he said the Diaspora should consider themselves as ambassadors to their country declaring the rights of Ethiopia to an equitable and fair utilization of the Nile River basin.

Diaspora Branch Manager at the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia, Lemma Wakeyo explained the various modalities regarding the purchase of the GERD bonds. Ethiopian Ambassador to Canada, Nassise Chali, on her part, reiterated how the GERD would benefit us all and underscored the need to support the project in advocacy, funding, and in every other possible way.

 BY ADDISALEM MULAT

The Ethiopian Herald April 28/2021

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