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Ethiopians Migration to Arab Countries Starving Economy

New Business Ethiopia Reporter, New Business Ethiopia

Published July 1,2013

Migration of Ethiopians to the Middle East and Arab countries is said starving flower, health and education sectors of Ethiopia, resulting in shortage of trained manpower.

This is indicated during Business Forum the private sector held with Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn of Ethiopia last week (June 27, 2013) at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa conference hall here in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Commenting on a complain raised by investors in the flower industry about the mass migration of trained employee from Ethiopia’s fast-growing flower industry to Arab countries, Prime Minister Hailemariam admitted that the migration is not only affecting negatively the productivity of flower sector as health extension workers and teachers are also migrating in mass leaving the country.

“Even though we have been increasing their wages from time to time, we couldn’t be able to stop the migration of our employees to Arab countries,” said one representative of the flower industry who urged the government to something about it to sustain the growth of the sector.

The premier noted that his government will train professionals in mass in order to supply manpower to the starving local economy to cope with the migration of Ethiopian to Arab countries, which he said is caused as a result of the return of Indians, Philippines and Bangladesh employees from the Arab countries to their homes following the economic growth their respective countries registered recently.

Most of the migrants from Ethiopia to the Arab countries are recruited as house maids while the rest are engaged in different labour activities for an average income of between 100 to 300 US dollars per month.

While the current salary range in Ethiopia for these people both by the government and private sectors remains around half of what they earn in the Arab countries, where most of the female migrants choose to face sexual assault, denial of salary, sleep deprivation, withholding of passports in these countries.

The major Middle East destinations of Ethiopians include Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman and Lebanon, United Arab Emirates.

Recently, the government of Ethiopia seem to take the issue seriously and began awareness raising campaign about benefits of working in their country Ethiopia and the dangers they face while migrating especially when they go through smugglers.

Reports show that every year over a hundred thousand of Ethiopians mainly, female and young, migrate to Arab countries thorough both legal and smugglers channels.



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