Source: IOM keen to assist Zim on Diaspora remittances | The Herald July 6, 2017
Innocent Ruwende Senior Reporter
The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) is committed to supporting Government in Diaspora engagement to ensure effective participation of Zimbabweans living outside the country in national development. Speaking at a workshop for the development of the National Diaspora Engagement Action Plan, IOM chief of mission Ms Lily Sanya said Diaspora engagement was a process which required a sustained effort, especially to support Diaspora investment, entrepreneurship endeavours, social remittances and knowledge transfers.
“Government support could be in the form of capacity building, business networking and legal protection, hence the need to have a Government strategy,” she said.
“A Government strategy would require identifying goals, mapping out the Zimbabwean Diaspora communities wherever they may be, building relationships and trust between the Diaspora and the Government and ultimately mobilising the Diaspora to contribute to sustainable development.”
Ms Sanya said the wealth of Diaspora can also be tapped for development through issuance of Diaspora bonds.
She said IOM was implementing the 11th European Development Fund project titled: “Promoting Migration Governance in Zimbabwe.”
“One of the key components of this project is Diaspora mobilisation for development. Within the project, there are some initiatives to engage the Zimbabwean Diaspora,” she said.
In a speech read on her behalf, Ministry of Macro-Economic Planning and Investment Promotion Permanent secretary Dr Judith Kateera said Government was aware of the immense value and contribution of its Diaspora to the national development process of the country.
“Beyond the remittances from abroad, our Diaspora represents social, economic, intellectual and political capital, a pool of knowledge and expertise which must be harnessed for immense benefit of the country,” she said.
“My ministry, with the support from the IOM Development Fund, developed and adopted a national Diaspora policy, established a Zimbabwe Diaspora Directorate and embarked on Diaspora engagement meetings in the United Kingdom, Canada and South Africa.”
Dr Kateera said the action plan would outline the Diaspora policy priority areas, strategic objectives, concrete activities too be undertaken, responsible line ministries and institutions, timelines and indicative resources required.
Last year, Government unveiled the National Diaspora Policy, which will put in place mechanisms and an institutional framework to receive Diaspora remittances aimed at supporting targeted productive ventures in the country.
The crafting of the National Diaspora Policy is being spearheaded by the Ministry of Macro-Economic Planning and Investment Promotion in collaboration with the IOM.