Diaspora must be involved: research

People living in the Diaspora should be allowed to participate in events such as constitution-making and elections in order to tap into their investing power, experts have advised.

Research done by the National Alliance of Non Governmental Organisations and the University of Zimbabwe, with EU funding, shows that while the Diaspora has huge potential as a source of investment, many people living outside the country feel left out.

“Efforts by the Zimbabwean Diaspora to invest back home are hampered by several factors. Political uncertainty ranks among the highest (76 % of the responses),” say the research findings. Mistrust of government among the Diaspora is also high as confirmed by 73 % of the responses. Further impediments to investment and trade include lack of information on investment and trade opportunities.

Since 1980 Zimbabwe has produced highly qualified personnel, millions of whom have migrated to the Diaspora.

“Skills and technological transfer is still at an infant stage, investment is still low and trade links between the Zimbabwean Diaspora and the home country is marginal. Further, the Zimbabwean Diaspora is not fully participating in social and political processes happening in the country,” notes the research.

The Zanu (PF) wing of the coalition government is against the inclusion in the constitution of a clause that would allow those living in the Diaspora to participate in elections and the referendum. People living outside the country are particularly concerned that they cannot effectively participate in social and political processes happening at home. For instance, they cannot vote, and their influence on parliamentary debates is nearly non-existent. Improving channels for Diaspora participation would surely encourage them to invest at home,” advises the research.

Post published in: News

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