Ethiopia: Diaspora Policy Document


There is a new Diaspora Policy document that the Ethiopian government is circulating. In my opinion, the most important thing for this (or any other) Ethiopian government to do on this issue is to allow Ethiopians to retain their citizenship by opening the door for dual citizenship (constitutionally). This creates the necessary incentives for Ethiopians to remain engaged in events in their home country and to retain their Ethiopian identity even generations later.

Currently, the government has adopted another strategy (the Yellow card) to give certain rights to people of Ethiopian origin. I think there are serious problems with that path. To start, it essentially makes people report that they have adopted another citizenship in exchange for those rights. There is however no guarantee that these rights will not change or be taken away in the future. If the government decides to reduce or eliminate these rights at some future time, there will be no recourse to the individuals who have declared their new citizenship. This is a very big uncertainty.

Second, there is a large number of Ethiopians born to parents in Europe, the United States and elsewhere. Giving them rights of Ethiopian citizenship ensures their continued engagement in events in their country (and not just them, but their children as well).  The bulk of this involvement is likely to be economic, technological and knowledge transfer, and the benefits are likely to be very large.

There is really no reason to not allow dual citizenship. It is a much less complicated course to take. It encourages the participation of Ethiopians in their country and the potential benefits (both to the individuals and the country) are very large.


7 thoughts on “Ethiopia: Diaspora Policy Document

  1. Dito! I really don’t understand why the Ethiopian government won’t ‘legalize’ dual citizenship. There are many who’re maintaining multiple passports anonymously. Personally I have maintained my Ethiopian passport as a sole passport, and on many occasions I have gotten close to wanting to give it up for one and only one reason: because it’s such a pain to travel with it. But I think it’s absolutely asinine to take on a new citizenship as a means to simplify my travel woes. Yet my life currently calls for a lot of travel, and my passport is killing me (I have lived outside of Ethiopia for the past 18 years, been to 22 countries of which I have lived in 4 for a period of > 6 months)

    • How do you use your ethiopian passport in the airports I want to travel to Ethiopia using my ethiopian passport.

  2. implying its right because its convenient for your own purposes is wrong,,,,,I don’t think it is right to have dual citizenship….

    • Learn to use proper punctuation before sharing your nonsensical political views. I see poor people in that country most of them without any citizenship documentation. You disgust me! I hate the world for the very reason you live in it.

  3. I can say what you’re saying is very true. My own country of birth has stabbed my back and will never receive any remorse from me. What good has the government done in that country? If anyone with political power is reading this please understand that the Ethiopian government is creating resentment.

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