Tuesday, 15 June 2010


By ROSE ATHUMANI, 14th June 2010 @ 12:00

THE government has unequivocally recognized Tanzanians of the Diaspora as among the country's economic development stakeholders and will support and facilitate their stay and return from abroad.
The Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mr Bernard Membe, whose speech was today read on his behalf by the Ministry's Permanent Secretary, Mr Sazi Salula, noted that the government will support and facilitate their stay and return from abroad.
''I would like to reiterate here that having resolved to engage Tanzanian living abroad, the government is committed to support and facilitate their stay in abroad as well as their return,'' Mr Membe stressed.
Last year, the official Diaspora remittances are estimated at 14 million USD (about 20.7bn/-), however the figure is believed to be higher. This figure was however indicated in this year's national budget.
''Those in Diaspora should be equipped to serve as agents of the image of Tanzania abroad,'' the minister's speech noted, adding that the government has noted the need to continue improving communication with Tanzanian Diaspora.
The ministry resolved to continue sensitizing people to dispel beliefs that migration is negative and to build capacity on how to effectively tap for the Tanzanian Diasporas.
The minister noted that the major challenge for Tanzanian Diaspora was development of database which would help know the number of Tanzanians living in the Diaspora.
''We need to know where they are located and what they are doing, how they can contribute to the country's development and of course what their needs are,'' he said.
In bid to have some sort of database, the ministry has been encouraging Tanzanians travelling abroad to register and keep updating their personal details at the country's diplomatic missions.
Forming an associations was also noted as another possibility that would help contribute to the database, the minister said.
''We also plan to engage other organization that work with migrants such as the World Bank, Intentional Organization for Migration (IOM) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), who have expresses support on this,'' he explained.

Mr Membe noted that the recently formed Tanzanian Association in the UK has started developing a shared online database.
The next Diaspora conference to be held in Minnesota USA early next month (1-4th July) seeks to bring together members of the Tanzanian Diaspora in USA, Tanzanian private sector and government officials and key decision makers and US investors with interest in investing in Tanzania.
Mr Alfred Nkunga, Diaspora Council of Tanzanian in America (DICOTA) country director said US has the best farmers and would be ideal in investing and spearheading Kilimo Kwanza Initiative.
He noted that among those invited include Tanzania Revenue Authority who would among other revenue issues learn from their US counterparts.
Today's meeting, whose theme is 'Shared Ownership of the Diaspora Engagement Process,' was organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

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