First quarter Diaspora remittances rise to US$420 million Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Frederick Shava

Wallace Ruzvidzo-Herald Reporter

DIASPORA remittances to Zimbabwe reached US$420 million in the first quarter of this year, 8,5 percent above the US$387 million during the same period last year, as diasporans continue to contribute to the country’s national development and help fund their families and family businesses.

The Second Republic under President Mnangagwa, has continued to stress the importance of the diaspora community’s contribution towards Zimbabwe’s current development agenda. 

The remittances mean that there is now a significant net inflow of foreign currency into Zimbabwe, plugging the now very small gap between export earnings and imports with a lot left over.

Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Ambassador Frederick Shava recently held a meeting with Zimbabweans living in China where he implored them to continue contributing to the country’s economic growth and stability and said a major diaspora investment conference was now on the agenda to make it easier for formal investment transfers.

“The most recent statistics reveal that diaspora remittances in the first quarter of 2023 amounted to US$420 million compared to US$387 million for the same period in the previous year. 

“The Government continues to encourage you to utilise formal channels of sending remittances to protect your hard-earned financial resources from falling into the wrong hands.

“Cognisant of the interest that you have shown in the recently concluded conference, my ministry will organise a much bigger diaspora investment conference to allow for more exhaustive and much comprehensive engagements between the diaspora and the local stakeholders. The dates of the event will be shared through our embassies in due course,” he said.

Ambassador Shava said the diaspora community’s role to the country’s current development trajectory could not be over-emphasised. In recent times, disapora remittances had grown to be Zimbabwe’s second largest source of foreign currency inflows after mining, exceeding those earned by agriculture, despite the big and rising contribution from tobacco.

The Second Republic under President Mnangagwa acknowledged the importance of the diaspora’s contribution towards national development and was committed to ensuring that the diaspora community was not left behind as Zimbabwe embarked on an inexorable developmental trajectory.

“Indeed your contribution to the economy through financial remittances to your loved ones, implementation of projects, philanthropic works and skills transfer programmes cannot be matched as is enunciated in the mantra ‘Nyika inovakwa neVene Vayo, Ilizwe lakhiwa ngaBanikazi Balo’’,” he said.

Meanwhile, Ambassador Shava also toured the Huawei headquarters in Beijing, China, where he expressed Zimbabwe’s commitment to working in collaboration with the global technology giant. President Mnangagwa also visited Huawei during his State Visit to China in 2018.

“My visit today demonstrates the importance which the Zimbabwe Government attaches to its cooperation with Huawei Company which has been pivotal in enhancing information technology cooperation between Zimbabwe and the People’s Republic of China,” he said.

Huawei’s marketing manager Ms Pao Tao said: “We invest in Zimbabwe to support the ICT talent.”

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