Engaging Zimbabwean Diaspora in Socio-Economic Reconstruction

Posted: 
10/29/09

A meeting today organized by the Zimbabwean government and IOM in
Johannesburg, is looking to find ways of engaging the Zimbabwean
diaspora living in South Africa in the socio-economic
reconstruction and development of their home country.

An estimated 3 million Zimbabweans are believed to be living in
South Africa, a major destination for Zimbabwean migrants although
Zimbabwe has also experienced significant outflows of its nationals
to other countries.

Although many of these migrants contribute in some way to the
Zimbabwean economy by sending home remittances which represented
7.2 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product in 2007, Zimbabwean
emigration has had serious implications for the country's economic
growth and development as it has led to significant human resource
shortages in key sectors.

Funded by the European Union (EU), the meeting which is being
attended by senior Zimbabwean government officials, representatives
from Zimbabwe's private sector and civil society, donors and IOM
officials, is a follow-up to initial consultations that IOM held
with Zimbabwean diaspora representatives in South Africa.

The meeting is the first of several that the Zimbabwean
government and IOM intend to host in countries that have
significant numbers of the Zimbabwean migrants such as Botswana,
Canada, United Kingdom, New Zealand and Australia. As well as
finding ways to engage the diaspora, the meetings will create a
platform for dialogue between the Zimbabwean government and the
Zimbabwean diaspora.

They also build on earlier IOM efforts to engage the diaspora in
contributing to the future development of Zimbabwe. This includes a
programme launched earlier this year aimed at helping redress some
of the health shortages in the country by getting Zimbabwean health
professionals living abroad to return for short periods of time to
pass on their knowledge and expertise.

A website, "http://www.zimbabwehumancapital.org.zw" target="_blank" title=
"">www.zimbabwehumancapital.org.zw, has been developed
advertising employment and investment opportunities that skilled
workers, professionals as well as investors, both local and abroad,
can take advantage of.

For more information, please contact:

Nde Ndifonka

IOM Pretoria

Email: "mailto:[email protected]">[email protected]

Tel:  +27 12 432 2789 / +27 82 667 2776

or

Judith Chinamaringa

IOM Harare

Email:  "mailto:[email protected]">[email protected]

Tel: +263 4 335 044