Norwegian aid and diaspora’s contribution to the development of the homeland


The case of ethiopia

Monday 2. September 2019, 17:00 until 19:30

Venue: Kverneland

Host: Ethiopian Norwegian Professional Organization (ENPO)

Entrance: Free entry

Proponents a dependency theory has focused on international migration as reinforcing unequal resources distribution causing “brain drain” which aggravates underdevelopment. However, it is frequently forgotten how highly skilled professional migrants as a diasporic community could contribute to the poverty alleviation and developmental process of their homeland. Ethiopian diasporas are usually active concerning their homeland and willing to return, yet they have played a limited role in the development of their own homeland.

This seminar highlights the impact of established diaspora on the reduction of poverty, and identifies ways in which policy interventions, especially from donors of official development assistance, might strengthen that impact. The new policy interest in Ethiopia reflects a broader concern with globalization, and specifically the very recent appreciation of the volume of remittances to developing countries by emigrant workers and their descendants. Remittances, however, are far from being the only vehicle for diaspora influence on the incidence of poverty in their home countries. For Ethiopia the diaspora are a could be a major source of foreign direct investment (FDI), market development (including outsourcing of production), technology transfer, philanthropy, tourism, political contributions, and more intangible flows of knowledge, new attitudes, and cultural influence. The quality of information, much less hard data, about Ethiopian diaspora influences in these dimensions is in general very poor, posing a serious challenge to policy development.

Diaspora-based development efforts are a powerful development resource, but they are not a substitute for donor resources, or for economic policies conducive to pro-poor development. The benefits and unique strengths of both diaspora groups (keen cultural awareness of communities of origin, ease of working in both cultures, trust of communities of origin, better awareness of specific needs and/or potential pitfalls, long term personal commitment to projects and communities) and international development agencies (larger funding capacity, professional/technical expertise and experience, efficiency through economies of scale, credibility) can all be magnified through effective collaboration.

Ethiopian Norwegian Professional Organization (ENPO), established in 2018 in Oslo has begun to organize professionals and academics amongst nearly eight thousand immigrants of Ethiopian origin in Norway in order to contribute for the development of their homeland. ENPO believes that developing nations will experience more rapid and consequential development if there were more strategic transnational brain circulate, which is an alternative model to brain drain. ENPO aims to engage Ethiopian-Norwegian professionals and academics educated in Norway in order to contribute to the development of the Ethiopian economy by transferring technology, innovation, and socio-economic development. ENPO believes that strategic collaboration between the diaspora and Ethiopia will favorably affect technology transfer and investments.

ENPO’s first public seminar will take up discussions about the impact of established Ethiopian diasporas on lifting in their homelands out of poverty, and attempt to identifies ways in which policy interventions, especially from donors of official development assistance, might strengthen that impact.



16:45-17:00        Coffee & tea

17:00-17:15        Welcome: By managing director Dr. Shegaw

17:15-17:30        ENPOs programs and projects by project coordinator Alene Tesfamichael

17:30-18:30        Keynote speaker:

Mr Erling J. Ølstad, Honorary Consulate of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia

Ayalew G. Desta. CEO of IBA Norway and Ethiopia

Dr. Arvid  Hogganvik

18:30-18:45        Dr. Abyot Asalefew Gizaw

19:00-19:15        Mingling


No entrance fee