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IOM Launches Project to Engage Tanzanian Diaspora

By International Office of Migration (IOM)
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GENEVA, Switzerland, January 28, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- IOM has launched a new outreach project designed to engage Tanzanians living abroad in the country's development.

The project “Enhancing the Migration Evidence Base for the Development of Tanzania” started this week with a three-day diaspora engagement workshop to highlight the ways in which the diaspora can contribute to national development.

The event, which ends today, was attended by high-level representatives and key stakeholders from government ministries, academia, civil society organizations and research institutions.

In his opening remarks, Tanzania's Minister of Foreign Affairs Bernard Membe said that the Tanzanian diaspora now numbered some 3.7 million.

“Engaging with the diaspora and creating opportunities for the transfer of human, social and financial capital could result in enhanced development, particularly in sectors such as education and health, but also in view of expanding private sector investments in Tanzania, which would lead an increase in employment opportunities,” he noted.

The minister also highlighted the importance of creating a favourable environment in Tanzania, to enable members of the diaspora who wish to invest, and noted that allowing Tanzanians to obtain dual citizenship will be crucial to maximize contributions from the diaspora and to build confidence between them and the Tanzanian government.

The IOM project will also include the creation of a “Migration Profile” to provide better understanding and knowledge of Tanzania's migration dynamics.

The project launch follows the Government of Tanzania's request for IOM's technical and financial support to promote enhanced coordination amongst ministries on migration matters; undertake a comprehensive Migration Profile; enhance the understanding of approaches to diaspora engagement; and support the creation of a diaspora website. The project is funded through IOM's International Development Fund (IDF).