Zimbabwe’s efforts to effectively engage its Diaspora community are taking shape after Cabinet yesterday approved the National Diaspora Policy. Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa said the document will give direction to the strategies the country will adopt in engaging Zimbabweans living in foreign countries.“We met as Cabinet yesterday and approved the Diaspora Policy, which is being pushed by the Ministry of Macro-Economic Planning and Investment Promotion,” he said.
Last year, the Ministry of Macro-Economic Planning and Investment Promotion submitted a draft of the policy document to Cabinet for modifying.
Government is of the opinion that the Disapora community can be leveraged to boost financial investment into the country, as well as increase trade and technology and skills transfer.
Diaspora remittances to the country dropped last year from the 2014 figure of around $1,8 billion.
“Last year, as a country we got around $900 million in Diaspora remittances, but more can be achieved through a greater level of engagement.
“The document will show what strategies we are going to implement, and some of these strategies relate to harnessing the skills that the Diasporans have acquired in the respective countries where they are based,” said Minister Chinamasa.
He said the idea was at least to emulate Ethiopia, which has made significant economic progress with the co-operation of its Diaspora community.
The I-PRSP is aimed at enhancing Government efforts in fighting poverty in Zimbabwe and ensure inclusive growth, guided by the country’s national development plan Zim-Asset
He said the I-PRSP would be used as a significant component of the ongoing efforts to re-engage international financiers.
“The strategy (I-PRSP) is also a means to facilitate the ongoing re-engagement process with the international financial institutions, which is critical in mobilising financial resources for the country’s development process.
“The strategy will thus focus on practical and well-targeted measures that can be implemented in the short-to-medium term with long-lasting impacts that guarantee improvement in the welfare of our people.”
Typically, Poverty Reduction Strategies Papers (PRSPs) provide lending organisations, like the World Bank and the IMF, assurance that countries receiving aid would utilise the assistance to pursue development outcomes that have been elaborated in the PRSPs and approved by lenders.
According to the minister, the I-PRSP will be brought before Cabinet by the end of next month.
“It is our hope that the strategy will provide focus to increased funding. I stand ready to steer the final document to Cabinet by end of July this year,” said Minister Chinamasa. herald