Tigrai Online, Sept. 20, 2014
This article is about holding a Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam Festival in Addis Abeba. We are purposing for all Ethiopians inside Ethiopia and the Ethiopian Diaspora throughout the world to organize a fundraising party for the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam in Addis Abeba in 2015.
The main goal of this gathering is to facilitate the fundraising efforts by the Ethiopian people to complete our GERD on or before the scheduled time of completion.
There has been a valuable lesson learned from the International Festival Tigrai held in Mekelle, Tigrai, Ethiopia in August 2014. Thousands of Ethiopians from all over the world came to Tigrai to participate in the festival which was held inside Ethiopia for the first time. It was a huge success for the organizers of the festival which was planned to coincide with the traditional Tigrai Ashenda Festival.
If it can be done in one sate can’t it be done in a much bigger national scale? It can definitely be done in a better and bigger scale.
A national committee preferably chaired by Dr. Tedros Adhanom, the Ethiopian Foreign Minister will organize the event. Ethiopian Diaspora sub committees will be established in major cities where many Ethiopians live around the world. Ethiopian Embassies would assist with travel and all necessary documents for Ethiopians to come to the festival.
We can call the event the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam Festival. The festival will be held from August 2015 to September 11, 2015. The idea is to make it to coincide with Kdus-Yohannes or Enqutatash, the Ethiopian New Year. The details can be worked out by the national organizing committee. Based on the decision of the organizing committees, the event can take place on a totally different day other than the Ethiopian New Year.
Ethiopians living abroad have been organizing and hosting different festivals for many reasons throughout the world. Some are sports events like the Ethiopian Soccer Tournament held every year in the United State of America and Europe. Others are social or fundraising events like the GERD fundraising parties taking place in many cities of the world.
The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam Festival will be the most historic and the biggest of all.
Roughly about one million Ethiopians live in the United States of America, even if 5% (50,000) of them came to Ethiopia it is a huge number. Now imagine each family or individual brought about $5000 dollars for different purposes. The money could be for personal expenses, to help family members, to open small business or any other reason, but it would be spent in Ethiopia. Fifty thousand people just from the USA spending $5000 dollars will be $250 million dollars spent in the local economy. You got the picture; now imagine Ethiopians coming from the entire world not only from the USA and spending some money in the country.
If the idea becomes reality the benefits will be tremendous for all involved. First of all we will raise a huge amount of money for the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam project. Ethiopians in the Diaspora and friends of Ethiopia will bring much needed hard currency to the Ethiopian economy. Thousands of businesses like hotels, restaurants, travel agencies, the tourism industry and Ethiopian Airlines will benefit immensely.
All this has to be approved by the Ethiopian federal government.
This article was inspired by Kidest Zeleke the Chairperson of Ethio Abay Development Association in Vancouver, Canada. Initiated by Kidest there have been discussions going on Tigrai Online Face book Page and Twitter between limited numbers of people for the past week. We decided to bring the idea to the public for discussion, so please share your thoughts about this blessed idea.