Ethiopia to close Kenyan embassy and 29 others in cost cutting measures

Ethiopia to close Kenyan embassy and 29 others in cost cutting measures
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. PHOTO | REUTERS

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on Monday announced plans to shut down several embassies the country has including one in Kenya.

Addressing Ethiopian lawmakers, the Prime Minister said at least 30 embassies and consulates should be closed as part of cost cutting measures.

According to PM Abiy, the country’s economic situation makes it unsustainable for the country to operate embassies in various nations.

He pointed out that some of the diplomats should return home and be working as non-resident ambassadors from Addis Ababa.

“With the current situation Ethiopia is in, the country doesn’t need to have as many as 60 or so embassies and consulates,” he said.

Abiy cited that the Ethiopian ambassador to Kenya could for instance be based in Addis Ababa and only make field trips to meet with officials, while following events in Nairobi through the media.

“The Ethiopian ambassador in Kenya probably meets the foreign minister once a year or in two years” he said.

The PM further proposed to have government ministers drive themselves to save the expenditure needed to hire drivers.

It is not clear how much money Ethiopia intends to save by closing embassies.

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