Ethiopia: Gambella Diaspora Delegates from U.S keen to invest in the region

Rochester, MN, January 14, 2017 (GMN) - Gambella Diaspora Delegates back to United States and pledge others to invest their time, money and knowledge wisely back home.

In December 2016, Gambella Diaspora Association (GDA) based in the United States with support of the Gambella People’s Regional State Government, led an innovative Diaspora engagement trip project entitled “Engaging Diaspora for Development.” Our trip mission to Gambella region was for the Gambellan Diasporas to strength their engagement in the ongoing development of the state by establishing good relationship with Gambella Regional government and the Federal government of Ethiopia. The trip was also meant to increase active Diaspora participation awareness in support of Gambella Regional State’s contribution to the development of a more secure, equitable, and prosperous region. This was achieved through the establishment of Ethiopia federal and Gambella region government’s network.

For those who did not travel with us, we are pleased to inform you that the Diaspora representative team has completed the mission and came back to the United States safely. It was an amazing trip with fruitful outcome. For those who were the team members, GDA would like to thank you for your willing and giving your unconditional time to be part of this historical Gambella Diaspora engagement trip. Further, the GDA team leaders would honorably thank the high ranked leaders of Gambella Regional Government and other public servants for the warmest welcoming Diaspora Representatives. The Gambella government has provided unconditional accommodation in prestige VIP guesthouses. It also worthy to mention our heartfelt thank you for regional leaders’ kind support throughout all the courageous meetings.

During stay in Ethiopia, the delegates have held meetings with various governmental leaders. Our meeting with Diaspora Affairs Directorate-General at foreign minister in Addis Ababa, Gambella People’s Regional State administrative council, and leaders from zones and districts administrative in Gambella region were very productive. At all meetings, both Gambella Region and Federal governments expressed their unreserved happiness and welcomed all diaspora to invest in any investment sector as their capacity allow. At these historical meetings, government officials and members of the Diaspora have exchanged views on critical issues of mutual concern in the Gambella region. Diaspora engagement, bureaucratic procedures, good governance, investment, peace, and security were among the key issues featured during the face-to-face encounter.

At opening the meeting with the Gambella Region administrative council members, the Gambella People’s Regional State President H. E. Gatluak Tut called on all Diaspora members to engage in the development of the region. President Gatluak addressed the Diaspora delegates and noted the very important role of the Diaspora in Gambella region’s development, and underlined the need to strengthen Diaspora engagement activities. The President underscored that the Diaspora need to partake in the region’s development by investing their knowledge, skill, and capital and benefit themselves, their fellow compatriots, and the nation at large. The President also highlighted that by maintaining a close link with their homeland, the Diaspora should play a role in image building, which he said would have direct impact in increasing the Foreign Direct Investment flow to the region.

On the other hand, the Gambella People’s Regional State Deputy President H. E. Senay Akwor called on the Diaspora to discharge their national responsibility by strengthening their involvement in investment, education, and technology transfer. The Deputy President Senay assured the Diaspora that the government is committed to ensure implementation of the Diaspora Policy, which is aimed at enhancing the holistic participation of the Diaspora in Gambella region’s development. He mentioned that the government recognizes the knowledge and experience of the Gambellan Diaspora living across can speed up the region's economic growth. Speaking about the visit of the Diaspora to different parts of Gambella region’s developmental sites, the Deputy President expressed his hope that the visit would enabled the Diaspora to look into the different business opportunities that exists in Gambella region. In addition, the Deputy President hopped the overall visit to become an opportunity for the delegates to know the reality on the ground and tell others Diaspora across the world about the progress of the region.

Gambella Regional Administrative council members and leaders from various zones and districts of the region for their part impressed the visit as the first of its kind that enabled the Diaspora to witness facts on the ground with regard to the ongoing efforts to realize development and ensure sustainable peace and security within the region. On the occasion, members of the Diaspora also expressed their keenness to contribute to their nations and the region’s development by engaging in different investment sectors.

As a historical trip, Diaspora representatives are grateful that increasing attention has been given to the potential of diaspora to impact the development of their regional state. While diaspora-driven development is often carried out informally, new opportunities for local development in the Gambella region are taking root through the power of local government. In fact, the government of the Gambella region has taken various steps to encourage Gambellan Diasporas to play active role in their regional state. The government designed varieties of service packages to encourage and support the Diaspora to invest in various sectors. The government is also modifying opportunities and policies to make them more appealing to and supportive of Diaspora investors. Although many Gambellans from abroad are currently taking active participation in various developmental ventures, these initiatives will enable more Gambellans living abroad to go and invest in their regional state.

Furthermore, it was discussed that both the Government and the Diaspora investors should work close together to resolve some bureaucratic issues through continuous discussions and cooperation. In the last few years, the government has been consistently working to create conducive environment for an active participation of the Gambellan Diaspora in the regional development process. However, the leaders admitted that the signs of bureaucratic activities still exist, and the government is committed to continuously working in addressing good governance problems that the Diaspora are facing in their investment process. Of course, Diasporas have to further intensify their efforts in the fight against poverty and join hands with the government to address problems of good governance and malpractices.

Since the government is trying noteworthy efforts to attract Diaspora investment, it is unmistakable to say that proactive diaspora engagement is encouraged for prospects socioeconomic growth. Therefore, it is a judgment time during this momentous and historic juncture where our people and our nation are making a major transformation. Diaspora Gambellans must make a correct and historic judgment in the way to stand for their region and put all their effort together to reduce puberty in the region. The time is now for Gambellan Diasporas to make a right judgment.

Hence, if anyone is interesting in investing in Gambella region or seeks more information how to contribute as the Gambella development consultant for Gambellans living in foreign countries, please do not hesitate to contact GDA executive committee. The leaders are willing to discuss any question.

Thank you for your effort to make Gambella a better home!

Development to Gambella, Gambella to Development!

Gambella Diaspora Association (GDA) Executive Committees