The Government of Zimbabwe is in the process of developing a National Diaspora Policy. The development of the policy is being spearheaded by the Ministry of Macro Economic Planning and Investment Promotion in collaboration with the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
The national diaspora policy seeks to provide a comprehensive framework for harnessing the immense contribution of Zimbabwean diaspora as well as the protection of the Zimbabweans outside the country. It is currently estimated that between 500 000 and 3 million Zimbabweans are residing in the diaspora. In 2014, Zimbabweans in the diaspora sent remittances amounting to over $1.8 billion which constituted at least 15% contribution to the Gross Domestic Product.
There is growing recognition that migration, if managed properly, can positively contribute towards national development. Against this background, international migration is now high on the global, regional and national policy agendas. Similarly, in recent years, diaspora or expatriate communities, have received increasing policy attention as part of the international discourse on international migration and development.
There is a growing recognition that diaspora resources can be leveraged to facilitate increased trade, investment, technology, skills, and cultural linkages between different countries. There is also a growing recognition among the governments of countries where transnational communities both reside and originate from, that the true potential of the diaspora can only be realised through policies that engage the diaspora, regulatory frameworks that facilitate, rather than hinder, the transfer of diaspora resources, their mobility, and policies that enhance the contributions of the diaspora in the countries of destination including social inclusion and integration of these communities to allow diaspora members to reach their full potential.
In order to support the finalisation of the policy the IOM Chief of Mission, Mr. Martin Ocaga on behalf of IOM pledged a contribution of $300 000, made possible by the generous contribution from the IOM Development Fund. The funding will support diaspora engagement consultative processes in South Africa, Botswana and the United Kingdom. It will also support the establishment of a national diaspora coordinating Unit within Government, under the Ministry of Macro Economic Planning and Investment Promotion. Further, IOM will support the operationalization of the diaspora policy under the funding from the European Development Fund.
IOM looks forward to support the Government of Zimbabwe through all the phases of the policy development process as well as its implementation.
See more pictures of the National Diaspora Policy Workshop held on the 26th of September 2015 here.