Harare – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, on 29 November handed over video conferencing equipment to the Trade and Diaspora Directorate of Zimbabwe within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. The equipment will provide a neutral platform for sharing experiences and thoughts on diaspora engagement, policies and programmes between the government and its diaspora.

Stakeholders at the handover ceremony commended the efforts of IOM and its funding partners in supporting the government to interact with the diaspora.

 

“This equipment will enable us to interact with the diaspora for the development of the country.” Said Ambassador Chitsaka Chipaziwa, the Acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. “We will be able to interact with our people in foreign countries in real time on issues of national development,” he continued.

 

Ambassador Chipaziwa also appreciated the work of IOM and its funding partners in strengthening government capacity in promoting diaspora participation in development. “IOM through support from its funding partners has been consistent in supporting the Government of Zimbabwe on various migration initiatives including the development of the Diaspora Policy of 2016 and the establishment of the National Diaspora Directorate which is now fully functional.”

 

IOM Regional Director for Southern Africa Mr. Charles Kwenin echoed Ambassador Chipaziwa’s sentiments on the importance of engaging the diaspora for the development of the country. He emphasised the need for the government to take advantage of the video conferencing equipment to open lines of communication with its people abroad. “Many people in the diaspora have the potential to turn around the fortunes of the country,” said Mr Kwenin, adding that migration is necessary as it ensures vibrancy of economies and societies.

 

Lily Sanya, IOM Zimbabwe Chief of Mission highlighted that migration is inevitable, necessary and desirable if well managed. “I am confident that this equipment will go a long way in supporting the mutual engagement of the government and Zimbabwean citizens living abroad for the benefit of national development,” she said.

 

The Government of Zimbabwe is partnering IOM in on a number of other diaspora engagement initiatives supporting: diaspora skills and knowledge transfer in the fields of education and health through the temporary return of qualified professionals to teach at local universities and also provide medical services in local hospitals. The organization with funding support from the IOM Development Fund (IDF) project, “Strengthening Institutional Capacity of the Zimbabwe Diaspora Directorate for increased Diaspora Engagement” and the “Promoting Migration Governance in Zimbabwe” project will continue to partner and support the government of Zimbabwe to implement the diaspora policy.

For more information please contact Varaidzo Mudombi at IOM Zimbabwe – telephone +263242704285 email: vmudombi@iom.int