Diaspora’s excelled patriotism

The Ethiopian diaspora community’s unflinching advocacy, financial assistance, and other backings thrown behind the Abbay hydro-power dam have remained intact for over a decade.

Over the last 13 years, the community has been defending the all-round interests of Ethiopia, particularly concerning the Abbay hydro-dam or the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD).

In the stated years, the diaspora remitted over 114 million Birr for the construction of the mega hydropower project, according to the Ethiopian Diaspora Association (see The Ethiopian Herald Vol. LXXX No 183, April 11, 2024).

The advocacy work that the diaspora carried out was invaluable.

Ethiopia had been a subject of debate at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) over a dozen times. Sworn-in foes of the country endeavored to agitate the development pace of Ethiopia; hence, they unfairly took the GERD case to the UNSC. They managed neither to halt the pace of the construction nor to slow it down. The diaspora community joining hands with the Ethiopian government brought the case back on track in an ‘African solution, to African challenges’ fashion.

The wicked propaganda and the self-made fear some media were fanning had been acutely mitigated with scientific facts. And today, the overall project has reached 95 percent.

Though a tough job which consumed the dear time, energy and finance of Ethiopians and foreigners of Ethiopian origin, the advocacy work had created the opportunity to inform the world opinion on the incontrovertible benefits of the development project.

The Abbay hydro-dam (GERD) is a project which showcases the possibility of mutual interdependence in the Nile Basin. It shows the capability of Africans to initiate, lead and realize mega development projects.

Among the critical challenges that African countries are facing in the pursuit of realizing development projects are shortages of finance. Or some could be of the opinion that aid and grants are second to none to harnessing natural resources. But, the construction of the Abbay hydro-dam serves as a tangible witness to the fact that we, Africans, can do even more if we stand in unity.

Africa’s huge energy project located in Ethiopia, a few kilometers away from Ethio-Sudanese border, is a bona fide project that is in its final stages of construction to quench the ever-increasing energy demands of Ethiopia and its African friends. For instance, Djibouti, Kenya and Sudan are enjoying clean energy supplies and getting connected to Ethiopia’s electric grid. Tanzania and South Africa will get connected to Ethiopia’s national grid in no time.

Downstream countries that funnel their wealth to lobby firms in a wishful thinking of harming the development feat must understand that their ill-fated activities are in utter contradiction to pan-Africanism.

Their attempts are truly to impoverish Africa and cripple the agenda 2063. Energy interconnection is part and parcel of creating ‘the Africa We Want’.

In this regard, our diaspora community needs to continue standing by the side of Africa and its people. There should not be any African community which keeps languishing in darkness in the 21st C. We must harness our rivers and turn them into energy. We have to boost our cooperation more than ever before. And Nile countries should bring their covenant, the Cooperative Framework of Agreement (CFA) on the Nile to effect. The diplomatic efforts to get one more Nile Basin country to pass the CFA at its legislature should get a further momentum. It is also high-time for the Ethiopian diaspora to work in close cooperation with the diaspora community of other African countries to protect the interests of Africa.


Recommended For You