ADDIS ABABA – Ethiopia has deployed over 16,600 citizens to the Gulf States legally since the overseas employment proclamation was enacted, the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (MoLSA) said on Friday.
Most of the labor forces have largely been employed in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE, and Jordan.
The overseas employment proclamation of Ethiopia was amended in 2016 with aim to curb illegal immigration and help citizens get safe job overseas with the proper documentation.
Government’s plan was initially to deploy over 50,000 trained and skilled Ethiopians to the gulf nations.
The impact of Coronavirus has hampered the ministry from sending Ethiopians abroad, said Minster Ergoge Tesfaye (Ph.D.).
Ergoge told reports that the severe impact of Covid-19 has dented the effort to finalize the labor agreements.
Many countries, mostly in the Middle East, were anticipating the arrival of Ethiopian employees as soon as these deals were complete.
“The number of people to travel through legal documents is increasing from time to time,” said the Minster.
She, however, lamented the impact of Covid-19 which hampers “the very promising beginning of the ministry to send Ethiopians abroad for a better job opportunity and legally”.
The negotiations will continue and be finalized soon with several countries in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East.
Meanwhile, the minister has mentioned the ministry’s ongoing preparation of a draft document that would enable them to establish a national minimum wage determining Board.
The document is under discussion with various stakeholders. Once these discussions are finalized, it will be directed to the cabinet minister for approval, the minister said.
According to Ergoge, the board will be formed and tasked to conduct study and analysis over the case of minimum wage taking experiences of other countries.
The board will, eventually, propose its recommendations to the ministry and necessary government body to enable them decide minimum wage.
By Sisay Sahlu