Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Guardians of the GERD

“The Ethiopian Diaspora community is working diligently for the realization of the GERD and has thus far contributed close to 50 million dollars towards the construction of the dam.”

The Government of Ethiopia recognizes that a partnership needs to be built with the diaspora to benefit both parties and has worked to grant significant rights and privileges to the diaspora since the establishment of the Ethiopian Expatriate Affairs (EEA) in 2002, and the Ethiopian Diaspora Agency later. The Ethiopian government has encouraged the diaspora to invest in the country both financially and through knowledge exchange to assist in developing the country and improving its fiscal situation

Over the past 10 years the Ethiopian diaspora has been supporting the construction of GERD both financially and diplomatically irrespective of the apparent political differences one may expect from the diaspora. However, the support has never seen such a massive growth until the first filling of the dam was materialized. The first filling of the GERD has not only accelerated the rate of support the Ethiopian diaspora has been making but also increased its motivation to the highest level.

Considering the impact of the financial contribution the diaspora has been making over the years, the government is devising different approaches that can harness the diaspora’s potential to the fullest. When these mechanisms become operational, they are supposed to boost the financial support. The diaspora has also intensified its fight for Ethiopia’s equitable share of the Nile. Members of the Ethiopian diaspora  have not only filled streets of western capitals for the request of equitable share of the Nile waters, they have also been making different public relations campaigns and advocating Ethiopia’s cause to the whole world by using media outlets.

This was possible because Ethiopians in the diaspora have worked tirelessly to show the world how Ethiopia has been treated unfairly with regards to the Nile waters. The facts argued by the diaspora include: While Ethiopia contributes over 86% of the Nile waters, over 60% of its population lives in the dark; Egypt has achieved universal access of electricity to all of its citizens. While Ethiopia asks for fair and equitable share of the Nile waters, the downstream countries try to enforce a colonial era agreement which leaves 0% of the Nile waters for Ethiopia.

As any reasonable mind cannot defy these solid facts, numerous attempts made by the downstream countries to deny Ethiopia its rightful requests towards using the Nile waters fairly and equitably were futile.

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