Troubled by the political and economic crisis that the incumbent is now finding itself in, the TPLF led military governing body of Ethiopia, the so called Command Post, is organizing a massive Public Relations and fund-raising campaign next week in the name of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).
It aims to collect 120 million Birr (4,352,400.00 US Dollar) within one week. Hundreds of tents are also going to be built across districts in cities for the purposes of the campaign.
Many activists have already treated the announcement as an attempt of filling the financial void the ruling regime has encountered in recent months including Forex Crunch and also to change the instability and crisis narrative that has dominated the Ethiopian political sphere.
Recently a letter allegedly sent by the main contractor of the Dam the Italian company Salini Costruttori showed that the company warned the Ethiopian regime that it would suspend the construction unless it was paid what was due. Some sources even state that the construction of the GERD, GIBE III and two other mega dams has been suspended due to lack of finance and Forex in the country.
The support for construction of the GRED has dwindled after Ethiopians at home and in the Diaspora were milked from their meager incomes. Many who didn’t contribute or buy the bond for the GERD were denied services or discriminated by government offices. It has been considered as forced taxation. Successive campaigns by Diaspora-based Ethiopian media and politicians against the construction of the Dam has also affected the reputation of the GERD. Many fund-raising events for the GERD in the Diaspora were disrupted by Ethiopian activists opposing the construction.
Similarly, investors speaking on ruling Front’s media, Fana , have admitted that the national economy has been affected due to the protests. Seasoned banking investor and another real estate investment mogul confirmed the negative effects of the current protest on the financial and economic sector of Ethiopia.