Diasporas vow to strengthen spirit of Pan-Africanism



ADDIS ABABA – Ethiopian Diasporas and fellow Africans as well as friends of Ethiopia who came to the country expressed enthusiasm to strengthen the spirit of Pan-Africanism, the core tool to overcome global challenges facing Ethiopia and the continent at large.

The Ethiopian Diaspora Agency and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) held a symposium on Pan-Africanism yesterday.

In her keynote speech, MoFA State Minister Ambassador Birtukan Ayano said changes in leadership in Ethiopia have never changed Ethiopia’s commitment and loyalty to African causes. As a founding member of the League of Nations and African Union, Ethiopia has a proud history of fighting colonialism in its different features.

Noting some Western countries have been exerting undue pressure on Ethiopia under the pretext of human rights violations, the state minister indicated that the country is grateful to Africans and people of African descent for the solidarity they have continued to show in times of its needs. “Although Ethiopia was frequently dragged to the Security Council almost every month by some forces, it was the Africans and friends of Africa that rescued us from unjustified attacks.”

She also stressed Africans should celebrate their success for meeting some of the ideals of Pan-Africanism, citing resistance movements against racial discrimination, colonialism, and neo-colonialism.

Ethiopian Diaspora Agency Deputy Director -General Mohamed Endris (PhD) said for his part that the government is taking notice of Diaspora’s potential contributions in building the country’s image, economic development and others. Acknowledging  the importance, the government takes big steps in developing Diaspora Policy, building institutions dealing with Diaspora matters and designing systems to increase Diaspora engagement.

The deputy director-general noted that the Diaspora got momentum and made #NoMore movement with the spirit of pan-Africanism and marked the solidarity among Africans in defending Ethiopia’s dignity and opposing neo-colonialism aspirations. “Despite all the efforts that have gone we need to focus on concerted and coordinated energies that could bring meaningful impacts.”

Meanwhile, Assistant Professor at Addis Ababa University Center for African and Asian Studies Samuel Tefera (PhD) presented a paper titled ‘Pan-Africanism and Engaging African Diaspora in Development. In his paper the academician pointed out that some foreign powers employed fighting terrorism and controlling piracy as a pretext to intervene in internal affairs of sovereign states and as a mechanism to regime change.

Samuel further highlighted that Africa has been challenged by money laundering and corrupt officials and the academia and civic society organizations are too weak to speak out loudly about societal problems. The Diaspora need to serve their country as ambassadors, engage in citizen diplomacy like the #NoMore movement and invest in energy, trade, infrastructure and other strategic areas.

Sharing the above, South African Soweto Parliament President Nhlanhla Lux said that Ethiopia has always been a strong supporter of peace and freedom in Africa and it has also played a great role in the struggle against neo-colonialism and unwarranted pressures on Africans. “In the past Ethiopia played iconic role in fighting apartheid by standing together with the people of South Africa. We Africans need to support each other and stand by the Ethiopian side in the fight against those who are attempting to impose their colonial ambition and trying to undermine the sovereignty of Ethiopia.”

The January 12/2022

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