BY BEWKET ABEBE
Members of the Diaspora, above, registering for the 40/60 housing scheme at the Urban Management Institute. Though registration ended this past Friday, a new enrolment period is planned for October 2013. Diaspora registrants will then be able to complete the entire process in Ethiopia’s embassies.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) and the Ministry of Urban Development & Construction (MoUDC), together with the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia (CBE), are finalising a new strategy following the controversies surrounding the registration of Ethiopian Diasporas in the 40/60 housing scheme, last week.
The registration for the 40/60 housing scheme for the Diaspora community, ran from August 12 to August 23, 2013. It was marked by numerous challenges, caused by a lack of guidelines to identify qualified Diaspora for the registration.
The strategy is expected to help determine who qualifies as a member of the Diaspora, remove double registration issues and identify those who are avoiding paying in foreign currency. In addition, it will enable Diaspora members to register in embassies and consulates, according to an official from the Diaspora Affairs desk at the MoFA.
This new registration period for the Diaspora community is expected to start on October 11, 2013.
So far, during the registration that ended this Friday, August 23, 2013, Diaspora members could either register in person, or send a legal representative to the CBE.
“We have been trying to stop this, so as to make the registration consistent,” claimed Mohamed Woleye, an expert at the Diaspora Affairs desk of the MoFA.
The new registration process will allow the Diaspora to register directly with their respective embassies.
Prior to that, however, the new strategic document will be presented to ambassadors and other concerned bodies so that they can fill any gaps based on observations at their embassies, according to Mohamed. During the past registration process, the number of Diaspora members seeking to prepare the documents giving legal representation in Ethiopia overwhelmed the embassies and consulates.
Those who have already registered through their legal representatives will have the right to either remain registered, or to cancel the first registration and newly-reregister in their respective embassies.
“Though I have not yet received the exact data from the branches, registration was being undertaken as expected,” said Ephrem Mekria, communications director at the CBE’s head office. In the first three days of the registration period only, 3,000 Diaspora members were registered.
Registrants from the Diaspora community are expected to save 145 dollars for a one-bedroom unit, 223 dollars for a two-bedroom and 344 dollars for a three-bedroom, respectively, each month. Those who can pay in full, on the other hand, are expected to pay 8,700 dollars, 13,380 dollars and 20,640 dollars for one, two and three bedrooms, respectively.
Out of the 50,000 houses to be built in the 40/60 housing scheme, 10,000 are planned to be completed and transferred during the 2014/15 fiscal year. The construction of the houses in the sites selected for this project has only begun in two of the eight sites: Sengatera, in Lideta District, and Crown, in Bole District.