Tanzania: Diaspora Should Take Keen Interest in Development

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Kikwete obama_2605021bTANZANIA is now in the process of setting up the Diaspora Initiative, in a move designed to harness human and financial resources outside the country for social and economic development.

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According to UN reports, there are about three millions Tanzanians scattered in various parts of the world and many of them are reported to be willing to contribute effectively to the welfare of their motherland.

The Prime Minister’s Office in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation is organising the Tanzania Diaspora Homecoming Conference, Expo & Gala Dinner 2014 to be held at Serena Hotel in Dar es Salaam on August 14 and 15.

Many countries throughout the world are having systems for continued communication and links with nationals living the Diaspora. Those in the Diaspora support their home economies through various means such as financial remittance and investments in different sectors of the economy.

Records with the International Migration Organisation (IMO) show that there are over 3 million Tanzanians scattered in different parts of the world. President Jakaya Kikwete has on many occasions sought opportunities to meet Tanzanians living abroad in most of his foreign trips.

During the meetings he often briefs the Tanzanians in the Diaspora on developments at home and informs them on investment opportunities available in the country.

According the the World Bank, Tanzanians living in the Dispora remitted home some US$415 million (about 685bn/-) in 2013, which is a small amount for more than three million people.

In the neighbouring Kenya remittances inflows remained resilient in the 12 months to June 2014, despite several incidences of unrest in the country that saw the figure growing by 13.22 per cent to USD 1,357 million from USD 1,199 million in the year to June 2013.

The 12-month average flow during the same period sustained an upward trend to peak at USD 113.1 million from an average of USD 99.9 million. An official with the Prime Minister’s Office stated that the conference will showcase jobs, property, schools, products, services, investments and end entrepreneural opportunities in Tanzania.

The conference, according the official’s statement added, would also provide help, advice and information the move home and setting in. It is reported that every year between the months of July and September, thousands of Tanzanians from the Diaspora come home and spend summer vacations with their families and friends.

It for this reason that the proposed Tanzania Diaspora Initiative wishes to promote, nurture and sustain a mutually beneficial relationship with the visiting Tanzanian Diaspora for National Growth and Development in all aspects.

According to organisers, the conference will discuss investment opportunities in priority areas, market penetration, product branding, packaging and international standards for export industry. This forum will not only facilitate a networking linkage but it will also stimulate investments that fast track economic growth.

It is an opportunity to bring together ideas and knowledge on how Tanzanian investments can be improved. The organisers insist that invitation of the forum is not only focussing to those with money and ready to invest in the country but also those with knowledge and ideas which they can share with local entrepreneurs. Also invited are Tanzanian professors and doctors teaching or working in the Diaspora.

There are many Tanzanian professors and doctors working in Europe and Americas, as well as several countries closer home including Botswana, South Africa, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland.

Reports have it that some experts in the Diaspora were encouraged to come home and secured lucrative and high profile jobs in industry, government regulatory authorities and even ministerial posts.

It is hoped that the government and the private sector will collaborate effectively in mobilising such important resources that Tanzania has in the Diaspora to facilitate their homecoming and participation in national development.

-Tanzania Daily News

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