‘Made in Ethiopia’ movement to embolden local manufacturers, promote Ethiopia’s product

goEthio

As the nation’s long-lasting and cherishing history indicates, Ethiopia and Ethiopians have passed through multifold challenges. The country has forced to confront both internal and external enemies thorough out its history. However, the mystery, how the nation could overcome that number of problems, remains as a closed book for many entities, for the fact that it is perceived as one the poor countries that can do little in defending its interests. The truth all should understand in this regard is the unprecedented unity among its citizens via putting aside their internal disagreements when their country faces any existential threat.

Few weeks ago, the Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD) called one million Ethiopians and friends of Ethiopians to come and celebrate the Ethiopian Christmas or Genna in Ethiopia and make futile the fake news about the nation’s insecurity. Surprisingly, from the very moment the call, a great number of Ethiopians and friends of Ethiopians from all corners of the world and all walks of life have accepted the call and booked for air tickets to meet their beloved ones in the country and show their support to their country no matter what the situation is.

In several occasions, many stakeholders explained the political, social, and economic advantages of the Great Homecoming Challenge, where the Diasporas put their hands in every meaningful issue that concerns the Diaspora community. It is said that the very important aim of this homecoming challenge is to prove the westerns wrong perception expressed through their fake news and false alarms on the current unrest in the country. Ethiopian Diasporas have used the fake news as a blessing to show their firm stands through backing the nation in every aspect it expects from them.

Moreover, this challenge has brought plenty of advantages in terms of social and economic scenes. It is seen that Diasporas coming home have changed the course of activities in various ways. Even the government has organized different events in numerous places throughout the country to engage the Diasporas in to the events and take part.

The Diaspora communities in different continents have done not only accepting the homecoming challenge and came home, but also have contributed what they have in cash and in items. To show their part alliance, it is reported that the Diaspora has sent billions of dollars within short period of time. This didn’t include the Diasporas contribution on their way to their homeland. Many of them have carried items including medical facilities for those who are living in the war affected zones. To illustrate, on last Sunday, the Diasporas were gathered at Minelik Palace on the ‘Great Ethiopian Homecoming Dinner’. At this event, government has collected 800 thousand USD directly from ticket sells.

In the nation’s business arena, however, there is great imbalance between import and export in which the import trade surpasses the export in a remarkable amount. As the country imports more than what it exports using different channels, Ethiopia mainly imports lots of goods including machineries and hi-tech products that consume its large amount of hard currency. On the contrary, it exports mostly agricultural products such as coffee, oil seeds and minerals among others that earn relatively low hard currency though they are very genuine and accepted in many markets.

Taking the advantage of the Diasporas homecoming to relieve this problem, various events have been organized here in Addis and other parts of the country of which one is ‘Made in Ethiopia Great Homecoming’ bazaar and music concert with its objective of promoting made in Ethiopia products to the Diaspora and let them buy local products.

According to the Ethiopian Diaspora Agency Facebook account, the bazaar and music concert was started on Monday January 10, 2022 at Friendship Park. This expo is also open at Entoto Park and Ethio- Cuba Friendship Park. It is reported that Ethiopian products are displayed, including leather and leather products, flowers, spices, metal products and others. In addition, banks introduced their new services that are designed especially for the Diaspora. The exhibition and bazaar also created rooms for trade integration.

Having stayed with one of the local media, Participants and local manufacturers have given comments about the ‘Made in Ethiopia’ expo. The manufacturers said that they have provided value added products to their special customers, the Diaspora. Participant and manufacturer Seid Abdela said that he displayed different gems such as opals, emeralds, and amazonite which are collected from various sites that he processed mixing with other gems like silver and gold.

The other participant, Ashagrie Admasu, on his part said that his product is value added Yirgacheffe Coffee. He remarked that, he could introduce his products well. The Diaspora is purchasing his coffee products. He is optimistic that the Diasporas who came home will take his products with them and promote it to the areas they reside, when returning back.

Likewise, Alemtsehay Sisay, participant and manufacturer who brought traditional clothes has also opined about the expo. She said that she produces different clothes with the national flag colors including table runner ups. “I would like to thank Ethiopian citizens, because they have started putting trust in Ethiopian made products and picking them. They also know the difference between local made and other products. We, the manufacturers are responsible to provide quality products so that the buyers start feeling proud of our products. People usually ask about our products and their quality, we need to be sure that we can meet the standard and produce quality products to the community and to the international market,” she remarked.

‘Made in Ethiopia’ organizer and Dunamis Social Entrepreneurs CEO, Yetemare Aweke, for his part remarked, the tremendous impacts of the expo. He highlighted that when the Diaspora comes home, it is advisable to visit and take part in local products. It will be good to compare and contrast the ongoing changes in the country with its previous situations. The Diaspora can buy and use these products. Further, the Diaspora can take the products to different parts of the world and create trade ties with the outer world. This kind of expo could reveal the real situation in the country that if the local manufacturers can produce these products in the desired quantity and quality; it proves that the rest of the world will also feel comfort to buy the products. This in turn enables the country accelerates its export business and narrow the gap between import and export, the entrepreneur added.

“Besides,” Yetemare pointed out: “If we really love our country, one of the best ways we should take to the nation to the next level will be buying at least one made in Ethiopia product. Therefore, government should dedicate a national week and a national day as ‘Made in Ethiopia’ in order to buy, use, promote, and be proud of the local products.”

Participant and manufacturer, Seid further said that all Ethiopians should be proud of their products. If the community supports and starts buying the local products, there will be many employees under their umbrella, so that the community is helping those employees indirectly.

To wrap up the above idea, in times of pressure and state of emergency, Ethiopians are unique in standing together for their only and beloved country. Thus, using local products is one of the ways to support the whole development of the nation. Citizens will be proud of their country, when they start using their own local products in front of the world. That is what currently is happening in Ethiopia. The ‘Made in Ethiopia’ expo is a breakthrough for the local manufacturers and their products, it was learned.

BY DANIEL ALEMAYEHU

THE FRIDAY 21 JANUARY 2022

Leave a Reply