Zambia’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom His Excellency Mr. Muyeba Chikonde has said that the Zambian Government recognises the importance of developing and nurturing a strong and positive relationship with its citizens in the Diaspora.
During the official launch of the Diaspora Connect at Zambia House recently, the High Commissioner said Government acknowledges the value that could be derived from engaging with the diaspora as partners in development.
“The Government of the Republic of Zambia recognises the importance of developing and nurturing a strong and positive relationship with its citizens in the Diaspora. Although in the past, migration has had negative connotations with terms such as “brain drain” more recent studies have shown that those that migrate can be harnessed as a resource for national development for their countries,” he said.
He said Zambia has had its fair share of remittances with the greatest contribution coming from the United Kingdom, Southern Africa and the United States but that the current levels of remittances could be higher.
Mr. Chikonde said the potential of the Zambian Diaspora to contribute towards national development has been inhibited by among others things, the High cost of remittance, the lack of comprehensive information and lack of an engagement framework that would allow Zambians living abroad to activity participate in national development including acquisition of property, private investment, philanthropic development projects and skills transfer programmes.
“To this end the government is developing a diaspora Policy with the overall objective to integrate the Zambian Diaspora in the developing agenda by creating an enabling environment and platform for effective participation. Some of the specific policy objectives include the promotion of trade and investment and facilitation of access to land,” he said.
He said Ms. Natasha Chiumya of Folotiya & Chiumya Legal Practitioners have come up with a concept of a tailor made service to assist the diaspora to safely invest in property back home called Diaspora connect which was launched last week.
His Excellency explained that Diaspora Connect is a streamlined service specifically tailored to the needs of the diaspora that address many of the inhibitions.
He said in implementing the Diaspora policy government will seek to work with different stakeholders, particularly the private sector, in providing various mechanisms to encourage economic participation by the diaspora, the government is encouraging initiatives such as Diaspora Connect which is a collaboration of property developers, financial institutions and the law firms Folotiya & Chiumya, to provide a single property solution to the diaspora.
Issued by: Abigail Chaponda, First Secretary- Press and Public Relations
7th September 2016