Ethiopia has the admirable record of being the host of the largest number of refugees in Africa. The country currently hosts more than 700,000 asylum seekers, mainly from South Sudan, Eritrea and Somalia and that is doing quite a lot for the migrant crisis.
Of course, such a commitment to acceptance of refugees comes at no small cost to an economy that is not exactly at the top of its game. The refugees, who need to be integrated into society, will require a lifelihood to thrive in their new environment.
Unfortunately, however, many of the refugees in Ethiopia currently do not have employment rights.
The European Union, Britain (which is no longer part of the European Union after Brexit) and the World Bank have announced a new plan to help to tackle the migrant crisis in Ethiopia by creating 100,000 jobs.
The plan involves the building of two industrial parks in the country, both of which are budgeted at a total cost of $500m (£385m). Ethiopia was actually the one to propose the plan and at fulfillment, the country will be required to grant employment rights to 30,000 refugees.
Theresa May, UK’s Prime Minister, says that the project would be a model for how to support poorer countries housing large numbers of migrants. The deal to tackle the migrant crisis was announced on Wednesday at the UN summit on refugees in New York and it is to be funded by loans from the European Investment Bank (EIB), as well as grants from the UK and the World Bank.
While granting employment rights to refugees, a number of the new positions will be reserved for Ethiopia’s growing number of young jobseekers.
President of the European Investment Bank, Werner Hoyer, also said that Ethiopia is a stopping point for many of those making their way to Europe and “Initiatives and projects like this provide people with a choice to stay closer to home and an opportunity for economic growth as well.”