Source: Govt launches National Diaspora Directorate | The Herald September 13, 2016
Enacy Mapakame Business Reporter
GOVERNMENT has launched the National Diaspora Directorate as part of efforts to enhance engagement and the participation of Zimbabweans in the diaspora in the national development agenda.
This is in line with the National Diaspora Policy that was launched last September to boost remittances from Zimbabweans living abroad.
This will also enable the country to benefit from over three million Zimbabweans scattered across the globe by creating linkages and promoting investments opportunities back home.
Speaking at the launch, Macro Economic Planning and Investment Promotion Minister Dr Obert Mpofu said Government had identified the need to widen its focus and expand diaspora participation in the country’s economic turn around strategy.
The diaspora community has contributed through remittances for consumptive purposes leaving a gap for investment into productive sectors.
In the six months to June 2016, diaspora remittances amounted to $387,9 million, an amount 15 percent lower than $457 million received in the same period last year.
Now, Government, guided by the NDP plans to redirect remittances from consumptive expenditure into the productive sectors of the economy and help create jobs as well as drive economic growth.
“The Diaspora has a huge untapped potential which should be taken advantage of. Government in collaboration with the IOM (International Organisation for Migration) came up with a diaspora policy to create an enabling environment conducive for investment promotion. The Diaspora Directorate will have a dedicated database grammes to enhance dialogue with the diaspora for investments back home. The initiative also seeks to minimise the negative effects of brain drain the country suffered over a decade ago following an economic meltdown. Dr Mpofu noted the need to harness and maximise the potential of Zimbabweans living abroad to contribute to the country’s transformation agenda while at the same time meeting their expectations through a mutually beneficial partnership.
“The country faced serious migration challenges when professionals left the country in pursuit of better economic opportunities. Our thrust was to stem the flow of migration to minimise the negative impact of the resultant brain drain on the economy, while at the same time seeking to maximise the benefits from those of our nationals who had gone abroad and were likely to return,” he said.
Dr Mpofu added Zimbabweans living abroad could bring a wealth of knowledge from international exposure and therefore are key in the development strategies of the country.