The Ethiopian government on Monday announced plans to reduce the number of embassies it has in other countries by at least half in a bid to save costs.
In a briefing to Ethiopian lawmakers, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said the country will shut down several embassies, including one in Kenya.
Ahmed says it will aid in managing costs, with most diplomats working as non-resident ambassadors.
The Prime Ministers said the Country should not have sixty embassies and consulates in the present moment.
Instead of throwing US dollars everywhere, at least 30 of the embassies should be closed. The ambassadors should instead be hereAhmed said.
He cites the Ethiopian ambassador to Kenya saying he could be based in Addis Ababa and only make field trips to meet with officials while following events in Nairobi through the media.
The Ethiopian ambassador in Kenya probably meets the foreign minister once a year or in two yearshe said.
Abiy stressed the need for the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to undergo serious reforms.
With the current situation Ethiopia is in, the country doesn’t need to have as many as 60 or so embassies and consulates.he said.
Instead of hiring drivers, the Prime Minister further said, government ministers, will be required to drive themselves.
What we want is a person who gets wet in the mud and runs while reforming the countryhe said
Effect of the conflict
Following the conflict in Tigray, the Ethiopian government’s resources are overstretched.
Last week, it halted the offensive on the Tigray People’s Liberation Front after the war’s costs started affecting the country’s economy.
Addis Ababa admitted that the country had lost about $2.3 billion since the conflict in the Tigray region erupted in November 2020.
This cost did not factor in military spending, lost livelihood and, civilian deaths.
Injuries, as well as hours of economic productivity, were lost as civilians fled danger.
Abiy said the withdrawal of the country’s defense forces from Tigray was the right decision.
He explained that among the reasons for the government’s decision were economic and Covid-19 pressures.
However, it is not clear how much money, the Country intends to save by closing down the embassies.