Africa-Press – Ethiopia. Recognizing 52 Ethiopian Diaspora organizations will stimulate the diaspora community to continue their efforts to defend and promote the country, members of the diaspora have said.
Recognitions were given yesterday to some 52 Ethiopian Diaspora organizations drawn from 25 countries and members of the diaspora who actively participated in support of their country on various occasions.
Defend Ethiopia UK Taskforce, Alliance for GERD in Canada, Ethio-Canadian Network for Advocacy and Support (ECNAS), Abren Organization, among others, received recognition.
Representatives of Defend Ethiopia UK Taskforce, Zelalem Tesema said that the diaspora have been working for the last two and half years to defend its country against the disinformation campaign, which was really in an organized manner.
“Now this recognition means a lot to all of us. This is for all people, Defend Ethiopia members or not who stood to defend our country. This is not only recognition but also a responsibility to continue to defend our country to continue to promote our country,” he stated.
Be it GERD or tourism, “this is more responsibility than recognition for us,” he noted
Moreover, Zelalem elaborated that the diaspora could play a great role in promoting peace and stability for all Ethiopian because we know what peace means.
“It could be the rehabilitation and reconstruction process. We should all support our country, our people, so that we suffered a lot during the last two and a half years. We shouldn’t forget COVID-19 as well, that pretty much prevented any kind of tourism, but also the war. Now the work began. We all need to work together to defend our country, to promote our country and rebuild it,” he underlined.
Alliance for Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) and Ethio-Canadian Network for Advocacy and Support (ECNAS), Semaneh Tamirat Jembere said on his part that it is our obligation to serve our country and people.
“I don’t think we need recognition. But because you have given us recognition, we are very happy. The reason why I’m saying this is that it is our obligation. It is our obligation to serve our people. And for that, we don’t need, really big recognition, but now you have done a big recognition that is very well” he noted.
Noting the majority of Ethiopian people live below the poverty line of 1.5 dollars per day, he said, adding “these are the people who gave us education, free of charge. We need to give back and help our people.”
Representative of Abren Organization based in USA, Daniel Iyasu recalled that in the last couple of years, there has been a kind of like a deliberate attempt to tarnish the Ethiopian state for various reasons, by a lot of international actors.
“We have been kind of trying to counter that and trying to inform people about what’s really going on, what’s happening here in this country, is not exactly, what you see in the foreign media. It’s important to have a different perspective. It’s always good to ask and be curious about what’s happening,” he noted.
The Ethiopian Diaspora are strong, he said, adding “I think Ethiopians as a community, we take our culture, language, families and we maintain our connections to Ethiopia in many different forms.”
He said “I think it’s been nice to see the Ethiopian government engage with the diaspora much more than before. I think prior to say, the last two, three years, there has been a kind of antagonistic feelings between the diaspora and the government here.”
The initiative by the government to engage with the diaspora in North America, Europe, in the Middle East, Africa and everywhere is a very positive thing, he added.
“I would encourage everybody in the diaspora to engage with their country,” he stated.
On other hand, he added that it’s very encouraging to see the peace deal in northern Ethiopia is hopefully is something we can anchor.
It is important for the diaspora to engage with the peace process, he urged.
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