Diasporans form civic group

Tinashe Makichi Business Reporter
Zimbabweans based in South Africa have formed a non-profit making organisation aimed at complementing Government efforts to effectively harness diaspora funds. The harnessing of funds will be done through the Diaspora Economic Empowerment Programme to be rolled out soon. The Association of Zimbabweans Living in the Republic of South Africa chairman Richard Benhura last week said the financial contribution of Zimbabweans living in the diaspora is of great significance to the economy with 2015 figures reportedly reaching the $1 billion mark.

He said the organisation will create a unique platform for constructive dialogue between association members and authorities in Zimbabwe.

“We are happy that we managed to successfully register such a civic organisation here in South Africa for Zimbabweans by Zimbabweans. We visited the Consulate in Cape Town soon after registering the organisation, we then learnt that Zimbabwean Government was crafting a Diaspora Investment Policy,” he said.

He said the organisation is ready to complement Government efforts through the Diaspora Economic Empowerment Programme which we will be rolled out.

“The beauty is that such a programme has been initiated from here taking into account the wishes and aspirations of members. The authorities surely will have an appreciation of the member’s interests and respond with such valuable information for mutual benefit.

“Zimbabweans in South Africa have shown an overwhelming response to invest back home and we have research findings to that effect. They are interested in property, agriculture, mining manufacturing and financial businesses among other things,” said Mr Benhura.

Mr Benhura said the Consulate staff in Cape Town advised them to contact the relevant Government departments directly.

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