Government sets up National Diaspora Taskforce, applauds IOM’s support

Harare – The Government of Zimbabwe has stepped up efforts for coordinated prioritization of issues affecting Zimbabweans resident outside the country by establishing a multi-sectoral taskforce. The task force which comprises twenty government institutions had its initial meeting in Harare on the 5th of February 2019 where its objectives and mandate among other related issues were deliberated on.

Addressing the inception meeting of the taskforce, chairperson, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Principal Director, Maj. Gen. (Rtd) Thando Madzvamuse informed the taskforce that Zimbabwe had adopted the African Union approach, which added to its five official regions, the diaspora constituency as the sixth region.  Accordingly, Zimbabwe was taking a cue from countries like Ethiopia and Nigeria that have allotted special privileges to diasporas.

Maj. Gen. Madzvamuse emphasised the importance of the taskforce adding that its composition was a clear indication of GoZ commitment to promoting diaspora engagement and involvement in national development. Maj. Gen. Madzvamuse encouraged the task force to be proactive in working with diaspora communities adding that remittances were only second to gold and tobacco exports in terms of revenue generation.

“To enhance the taskforce activities, interaction with the diaspora is going to be informed by the National Diaspora Policy (NDP) adopted in 2016,” said Maj. Gen. Madzvamuse. “The task force and its function perfectly fit into the Zimbabwe Diaspora Action Plan, which was developed through funding support from the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in 2017 to operationalize the NDP,” he added.

Maj. Gen. Madzvamuse also applauded IOM for supporting the establishment of the Video Conferencing facility at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade offices. The equipment, which the taskforce was urged to familiarize with, is ready for use and diasporas will be engaged through this interactive platform. In response, IOM representative Mr Daniel Sam, re-affirmed IOM support to the GoZ, “IOM will continue to support the government to engage its diaspora as part of strengthening migration management in Zimbabwe,” he said.

It is envisaged that the establishment of the Diaspora Task Force will enhance a whole of government approach and improve coordination on the country’s engagement with the Zimbabwean diaspora community.

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