Thursday, September 22, 2016

Ethiopia: European Investment Project for Ethiopians and Refugees

The European Investment Bank (EIB) published on 21 September 2016 an article titled "EIB President Pledges Support for 'Jobs Compact' in Ethiopia Tackling Migration and Refugee Challenge."

The article describes an innovative project whereby the EIB, World Bank, British government, and other European Union states would invest $500 million to build two industrial parks that would provide employment for 100,000 persons. The government of Ethiopia has reportedly committed to offer 30,000 of the jobs to the 730,000 refugees in Ethiopia from South Sudan, Somalia, and Eritrea. Some 60,000 jobs would go to Ethiopians. It is not clear what happens to the remaining 10,000 jobs. Europe's interest in this project is to reduce the flow of refugees to Europe.

While the project has much to recommend it, it remains to be seen if it would have much impact on the flow of African refugees to Europe. There is also the delicate question as to how you select from 730,000 refugees the 30,000 who would take up permanent residence in Ethiopia.

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