GOVERNMENT will next year find ways of enhancing diaspora earnings which reached $1,8 billion last year from about three million Zimbabwean adults living outside the country.
Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa recently told a workshop on a survey titled; Making Access Possible (MAP) Diagnostic conducted in Zimbabwe, that Government will enhance the policy on diaspora earnings.
MAP is a comprehensive market assessment of retail financial services. Its purpose is to assist the Government to identify key priorities and opportunities to extend access to financial services.
The MAP framework has been developed in partnership between Cenfri, FinMark Trust and the United Nations Capital Development Fund.
More than half of the remittances from the diaspora are coming through informal channels and Government hopes with a comprehensive policy the earnings could flow through the formal banking system.
The MAP Diagnostic survey estimates that about 3,3 million Zimbabwean adults, both skilled and non-skilled, are living mainly in South Africa, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and the United States.
Last year, Diaspora remittances amounted to over $1,8 billion which constituted at least 15 percent contribution to the Gross Domestic Product.
“We are going to come up with a policy on how to enhance diaspora remittances into the country,” said Minister Chinamasa.
The MAP Diagnostic survey showed that diaspora remittances are not the only earnings not going through the formal banking channels.
It says that declining income and employment also depress use of formal financial services.
There has been growing recognition that migration, if managed properly, can positively contribute towards national development. Against this background, international migration is now high on the global, regional and national policy agendas.
In recognition of the immense contribution from the diaspora Government has unveiled a draft National Diaspora Policy aimed at putting in place mechanisms and the institutional framework to receive diaspora remittances towards targeted productive ventures in the country.
The National Diaspora Policy seeks to provide a comprehensive framework for harnessing the immense contribution of Zimbabwean Diaspora as well as the protection of citizens outside the country.
Some of the objectives of the policy include developing mechanisms for dialogue and partnership with Zimbabweans abroad, establishing the necessary institutional mechanism for coordination and administration of issues affecting Zimbabweans abroad.
According to the International Organisation for Migration, in recent years Diaspora or expatriate communities have received increasing policy attention as part of the international discourse on international migration and development.
There is also growing recognition that diaspora resources can be leveraged to facilitate increased trade, investment, technology, skills, and cultural linkages between different countries.