Ethiopia Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is planning to send some 50,000 Ethiopians to United Arab Emirates (UAE). According to him, the plan is geared to alleviate unemployment in the country.
According to Arabian Business website, Prime Minister Abiy said “Ethiopia is planning short-term measures to reduce unemployment in Ethiopia and to cope with the increasing job demands of our people.” “One of these short-term programmes is sending our skilled labour to foreign countries,” he added.
A total of 50,000 workers would be sent to UAE in the 2019-2020 fiscal year. The workers would be trained in things like driving and nursing, so they can earn higher wages, Abiy said.
The plan also includes sending more people in the next three years, up to 200,000, according to the Ethiopian government.
The UAE has been expanding its reach to neighboring countries in Africa lately. Last year, the UAE pledged to invest $3 billion in aid and investment in Ethiopia.
In addition to United Arab Emirates, talks are also underway with Japan as well as European nations to send Ethiopian workers.
It is unknown to what extent sending 50,000 to 200,000 people will help in addressing the unemployment situation in the country. Most developing countries have tackled unemployment in their respective countries through internal job training and job creation opportunities, including supporting the private sector to create jobs by establishing good busines environment. Ethiopia ranks very low (160 out of 190) in annual surveys on Ease of Doing Business by world bodies, chiefly due to governmet red tape, corruption and poor regulatory practices. Data shows, the ease of doing business in Ethiopia progressively worsened from 2010 where it stood at 104, to the present rank of around 160. The Ethiopian government is entirely to blame for such deteriorated business climate in Ethiopia.
Since comig to power more than a year ago, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has never been short of bold
proposals. However, according to many, the reality of implementing things on the ground as envisioned is far from satisfactory.
Several countries in Asia have a sizeable portion of their population working in Arab countries, including India and Philipines. However, these are not state-organized mass migrations as Prime Miniter Abiy Ahmed is envisioning here. Rather, they are mostly foreign employment opportunities conducted through recruitment agencies and private parties.
There has been many horror stories in the past, about mistreatment of Ethiopian workers in Gulf countries, including rapes, beatings and murders. Some were thrown off high rise buildings. Many have been deported back home for one reason or the other.
Such state-sanctioned worker programs should reduce such incidents.