Ethiopian diplomatic missions hit by forex shortage

MoFA confident Ethiopia will get a seat at the UNSC

For some years now the Ethiopian private sector has been complaining about the issue of foreign currency shortage. Now, a new kid seems to be on the block – Ethiopian diplomatic missions abroad. The challenge of accessing foreign currency is now knocking the doors of Ethiopian embassies overseas.

 

This was disclosed by Foreign Affairs Minister Tedros Adhanom (PhD), while he was presenting his ministry's three-month performance report to the Foreign Affairs Standing Committee of the House of Peoples Representatives (HPR) chaired by Tesfaye Daba.

 

Explaining the ministry's budget implementation Tedros said that they opted to use 94 percent of the capital budget and 98 percent of the recurrent expenditure budget.

“We know that we were supposed to indicate a 100 percent budget implementation in our plan. However, we have faced challenges that prevented us from reporting a 100 percent budget implementation. One of the biggest challenges is that we are suffering from hard currency shortage especially for the execution of diplomatic missions in most of our embassies and consular offices,” Tedros told MPs.

 

He further explained that because of the delay of budget that they were to receive from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Cooperation (MoFEC), most diplomatic missions were forced to hold some of their projects.

 

The Foreign Minister in the meantime requested the standing committee to help resolve the problem by holding discussions with the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia.

 

“We work closely and discuss with the Bank. But since you [HPR] have the leverage, you can support us by facilitating our timely access to foreign currency,” Tedros said.

 

Despite the foreign currency shortage he has also hinted that three new embassies will be opened in this fiscal year in Morocco, Algeria and Indonesia.

 

In another development, Tedros said that Ethiopia is on the verge of becoming a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). “We have discussed the issue with the other candidate from East Africa, Seychelles. Because of our diplomatic efforts Seychelles has already withdrawn itself,” Tedros said.

 

He also added that recently Ethiopia has managed to get the backing of 186 nations to join the UN Human Right Council. “Only four countries, which we already know, did not vote us in our bid to become a member of the UN Human Rights Council.” Tedros told MPs without mentioning these four countries.

 

 

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