The Role of the Ethiopian Somali Region Diaspora, and the Way Forward
It is well known fact that large Diaspora communities of Ethiopia live in many countries of the World. The Diaspora communities of Ethiopia do have their own role in the Development endeavors that are well underway in the Country directly or indirectly.
The Somali Regional State of Ethiopia Diaspora are part and parcel of the communities that can play their part in achieving the Growth and transformation Plan of the Country in general and that of the region in particular. As an eyewitness of the of the past and present involvement of the Somali regional state Diaspora and the remarkable achievement made in the encouragement and success story that followed under the charismatic leadership of President Abdi Muhumed Omer, I want to shed light on the current positive role of the Diaspora by comparing the past and present status of Somali Regional state of Ethiopia Diaspora.
The Somali Regional State of Ethiopia are known to be one of the largest communities in many countries but it is needless to witness that in the past, the Diaspora communities’ involvement in the development of the region was minimal or did not exist. The Involvement of the Diaspora was confined to only some remittance of money to relatives in the region. There was not any collective collaboration or personal investments of the Diaspora for they were not well aware of the ground reality of the region and the previous administrations that existed in the region ignored or did not know the paramount importance of the Somali regional State Diaspora when it comes to development and investment.
The Leadership of President Abdi Mahamoud Omer has changed the whole course and things turned the opposite. The President showed that the involvement of Somali regional State Diaspora is more than remittance of some amount of money to their relatives in the Region but are required to play their lion’s share in the development of the region.
For the first time in the history of Somali regional state, President abdi Mahmoud Omer has visited all continents of the world to convince Somali Regional state Diaspora that their role in the Development of the region is missing. The Somali Regional State Diaspora had lacked, for many years, the exact situation and true picture of the region due to lack of proper channels of genuine information that would have enabled them to come home and invest.
President Abdi, with full information of the gap between the region’s Diaspora and Region has wholeheartedly persuaded and showed the Diaspora that we are committed to make a difference and the Diaspora are true citizens that deserve to get firsthand information about their country and region. The president, in his visit to many countries of the world, also did not hesitate to tell the Diaspora that the people in the region do expect that they should come and invest in their resource rich region and play their part in the bigger development oriented policies of the Country.
The Somali Regional state of Ethiopia under the Leadership of President Abdi has given first priority in the encouragement, collaboration and creation of attractive environment to the Diaspora and a prime example of how committed the region is to the Diaspora, is the establishment of Somali Regional State Diaspora affairs Bureau. This bureau is solely endowed with a full mandate to work with the home coming Diaspora by the provision of all necessary information by creating attractive and conducive environment for them. The bureau provides guidelines and facilitates the Diaspora in getting firsthand information of the region.
The region has witnessed positive changes in all sectors of Development and Somali Regional state Diaspora has fulfilled their promises and came to the Region with large investment in many sectors among others Hotel and Tourism, Establishment of fast growing investment in Agriculture ,establishment of factories and import and export of different commodities.
As can be witnessed in the different corners of the region, this remarkable achievement has improved the economic status of many people through the creation of job opportunities. This tangible development is the result of the unselfish and generous commitment of President Abdi Muhumed Omer and the People in the Region that have joined their hands to bring true to the reality commitment.
Lastly, it is unwise to conclude this piece of writing without the acknowledgment of the achievements that the Diaspora has made and will forever make in investing the Region to make the region a place that can serve as a role model and good example to others.
The writer, Hussien Mohamed Yusuf, is a development practitioner based in the Ethiopian Somali region capital Jigjiga.