Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has sought to open his country to foreign investment since assuming office last year Photo: AFP/File

Ethiopia to send 50,000 workers to UAE

By Monirul BHUIYAN

Ethiopia will send 50,000 people to work in the United Arab Emirates, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed announced Monday, as the Gulf country looks to expand its influence in the Horn of Africa.

"Ethiopia is planning short-term measures to reduce unemployment in Ethiopia and to cope with the increasing job demands of our people," Abiy told parliament in the capital Addis Ababa.

"One of these short-term programmes is sending our skilled labour to foreign countries," said Abiy, who has sought to open his country to foreign investment since assuming office last year.

He said that under the deal 50,000 workers would be sent to UAE in the 2019/2020 fiscal year, and discussions were being held to send 200,000 over the next three years.

The workers would receive training in various sectors, including driving and nursing, earn higher wages and "boost their capacity", Abiy said.

Discussions are underway about similar agreements with Japan as well as European nations, Abiy said.

He added that Africa's fastest-growing economy would be aided by a young skilled workforce that was trained abroad.

The UAE has recently pressed for closer ties with countries in the Horn of Africa, helping to mediate along with Saudi Arabia a historic peace accord between former enemies Ethiopia and Eritrea last year.

The UAE and Saudi Arabia are hoping to broker peace in the region, in a sign of the growing importance the Gulf nations put on eastern Africa as they battle Iran-backed Huthi rebels in Yemen.

Last year, the UAE pledged to invest $3 billion in aid and investment in Ethiopia.

© 2019 AFP

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

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yeah i don't know if this is a good idea

1 ( +1 / -0 )

One would only hope that an outside agency either from the EU or UN will monitor such a vast movement of labour, to make sure that those Ethiopians are treated fairly, ie: living and working conditions and a decently constructed wage structure. The middle east has got a bad reputation for treating immigrants unfairly, with little recourse for any infringements caused to the immigrants. So many horrendous stories have emerged over the past several years, companies making the laborers work long hours, low pay and unsanitary living conditions. In some cases, especially in domestic service there have been many cases of abuse, beatings and even the loss of life, middle eastern governments don't care when these problems arrive, for them life is cheap. For the Ethiopian government, it eliminates the unemployment problem and also allows for remits to be sent to families which in turn supports the Ethiopian economy, so they also don't care about the well-being of their fellow country men and women. The philippine government addressed the problem by withdrawing many of their citizens, after many cases of domestic worker abuse. Indian and Pakistani construction workers were also effected, especially in Qatar in the preparations for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Unfortunately many immigrants worldwide do not get the respect they deserve, while trying to improve theirs and the families lives.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

In light of other regional things, Libya’s treatment of other African nations and the track record of how Africans are treated in the Middle East, what self respecting leader who cares about his/her fellow citizens would do that. A terrible idea, indeed!!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Agree this could backfire badly though the intention is good. It doesn’t need an outside agency, all it requires is for the Ethiopian government to do its job and provide effective support for its expats and monitor that the UAE keeps its agreements. They have a strong hand as the UAE is seeking to gain acceptance and influence, which it will fast lose if there are a stream of horror stories flowing back from the expats.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The UAE have vast numbers of foreign workers, just like Dubai. In the case of Dubai even the toilet cleaners send home gold biscuits (They save money and buy gold in the shape of a biscuit )

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If they sent any to Europe, as the article suggests may happen, a large portion wouldn't return and the Europeans would be socially hamstrung in efforts to track them down and deport them.

The Turks who went to Germany in the 60s are a case in point. They were only supposed to stay to 2 or 4 years. But many broke the rule, and human rights lawyers jumped to their defense to subvert German law. The Turks today are a sub class, whose educational level, income, etc are below national standards, with many living in ethnic enclaves.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

they treat workers and laborers as slaves, that they can do anything what they want to them.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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