Diaspora policy and cultural participation
Ethiopia is among the countries whose people migrate at a very high rate. Diaspora could contribute to the development of their home countries through remittance, knowledge and technology transfer, investment, and the like. Engaging the Diaspora residing in different parts of the world and creating a conducive environment for them to participate in the country’s development endeavour has become imperative.
The Diaspora policy ratified in 2013 states that Ethiopians in the Diaspora could play an important role in carrying out research and investing at home. In addition, they could win friends for Ethiopia and try to influence their country of residence to cooperate with our country. Cognizant of the key roles played by Ethiopian residing abroad, the government should take initiatives in creating the most conducive environment for them to play constructive role, including in the cultural sector.
The policy is very comprehensive, here are the features regarding the 2005 Convention:
- Cultural centres will be established in foreign countries where many Ethiopian community associations exist to encourage Ethiopian Diaspora to develop skills and knowledge on their country’s languages, cultures and history. (5.5.1)
- Diasporas will be mobilized and provided with the necessary support to build cultural centres and museums back home. (5.5.2)
- Support will be provided for Diasporas who plan to organize events such as Diaspora musical performances, sports, cultural events and other arts in destination countries. (5.5.3)
- A program to be named “Know Ethiopia Program-KEP”, learning Ethiopian languages and cultural participation would be designed to help youth Diaspora develop strong attachment towards their country of origin. (5.5.4)
- In cooperation with youth Diaspora abroad, youth centered Ethiopian culture, literature, art and sport programs will be encouraged; and situation for youth to act in an organized way will be facilitated. (18.104.22.168)
- A mechanism to establish monitoring and evaluation among the Diaspora policy implementing offices will be put in place for the better follow up of the policy implementation. (7.7)
Direct expected results are the creation of Ethiopian Cultural Centres overseas and Cultural organisations in Ethiopia. The Ethiopian Embassy to India started the process, creating one in Delhi, in 2013.
The long term expected results are:
- to maintain a strong link between Diaspora and Ethiopia and allow Diaspora members to feel connected to their home-country.
- to strengthen diplomatic, cultural and economic relationships with host-countries thanks to diaspora participation.
There is no identified budget line for the cultural participation of the diaspora.