Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
July 6,2021 — On Monday the Ethiopian Federal government announced a plan to cut 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 close a number of embassies amounting to 30 across the region and internationally in order to manage costs, with most diplomats working as non-resident ambassadors.
“Ethiopia shouldn’t have 60 or so 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 here,” Prime Minister Ahmed said.
The Prime Minister said the Ethiopian ambassador to Kenya, for example, 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 years” he added.
The prime Minister urges the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to demonstrate serious work on this matter.
“With the current situation Ethiopia is in, the country doesn’t need to have as many as 60 or so embassies and consulates,” he emphasized.
The Prime Minister further said, instead of hiring drivers, the government officials will be required to drive their own cars.
“What we want is a person who gets wet in the mud and runs while reforming the country,” he concluded.
For the last seven months Ethiopia has been engulfed by the internal conflicts which continues going on so far and engaged regionally also with conflicts resulted from the filling of Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) which is regarded as slap on the face by Cairo citing its historical lion share on Nile water as stipulated in the 1929 Nile Water Agreement.
With Ethiopian cornered at both internal and external fronts as Tigray regional government recaptured their region and the Egyptians are encroaching through neighboring countries i.e. Sudan and South Sudan, closing down embassies could be another slap on Ethiopian foreign policy.