EPRDF to begin a new campaign on the Diaspora, seeks more aid from Donors

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By Ankober

With the ambition of successfully undertaking the Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP) the Ethiopian government outlined that it needs over a trillion birr to fully realize it within five years from now. Main sources identified are:

1. Foreign development partners/donors

2. Local sources-taxation

3. Diaspora

‘Though the Plan is bright and admirable, Meles’ ambitions of ‘Ethiopia’s Renaissance and seeing its industrialization’ can’t come true at all without first creating a cross sectional political and social consensus within the country.’’ posits Tibebu Damenu, a close spectator of Ethiopian current affairs.

When Meles and Co. introduced the details of the Plan to donor communities and foreign partners at the end of last month in Addis, several questions were raised by the latter.

Donors groups have raised several questions, they include:

1. private sector involvement

2. social welfare

3. handling possible threats of overheating developments

4. aid effectiveness

5. Good governance and human rights and the like

Meles was unhappy about these requirements thus, he had two options as he is decided that he get their money. First he released the first female opposition party leader, Bertukan Mideksa and met with lapdog opposition parties. Secondly, he said that there should not be a pre-policy requirement to access financial assistance as Ethiopia is a sovereign country and begged them to continue the budgetary support which was restricted following the 2005 election.

Mobilizing domestic resources, taxation and involving the Ethiopian Diaspora to help boost the government’s revenue are the other sources selected to make the trillion. Thus, with this aim in mind; a good number of cadres and former ministers that are not part of the ‘new government’ will head to the Diaspora with the dream of co-opting and tapping the wealth of the Ethiopia Diaspora.

GTP Sections and Departments will be formed

within and without most of the Ethiopian embassies in Europe and Northern America. The sole mission of these departments is to oversee and accomplish the GTP. The Ethiopian Diaspora has been the most polarised émigré group with the majority of them being con the regime in Ethiopia. The GTP aims to rigorously work on this group and lure them towards its Plan.

Mobilizing domestic resources mainly is an attempt to double the current taxation rate thus increasing its budget to realize the GTP. The current taxation rate in Ethiopia is one of the highest in Africa causing a public uproar frequently.