This press briefing has been called to inform the nation about the National Consultative Forum which the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is scheduled to host from 7th to 9th October, 2015.
The Government of the Republic of Zambia, under the leadership of His Excellency Mr. Edgar Chagwa Lungu has recognised the potential of the Zambian Diaspora in the development of the country. In this regard the government has taken steps towards engaging Zambians in the Diaspora who have demonstrated great interest in contributing to national development by investing in the various sectors of the economy. The directive by His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia that the Diaspora Policy should be in place before the end of 2015 is a clear manifestation of the Government’s desire to ensure that all Zambians in the spirit of One Zambia One Nation both in the country and abroad should be given an opportunity to participate in the development of the country.
Government has made several attempts in the past to provide a framework to engage Zambians in the Diaspora as well as to address the plight of this constituency of Zambians but these efforts have been somewhat piecemeal. It is in this regard, that the Patriotic Front government through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs embarked on the process of formulating the Diaspora Policy in a comprehensive manner and with utmost resolve.
The Roadmap to the formation of a policy document has so far involved three stages:
- Undertaking of study tours to countries within the continent which have widespread experience in Diaspora Policy formulation such as Ghana and Kenya
- Undertaking of study tours to selected countries with large numbers of Zambian population such as United Kingdom and the United States of America to solicit for inputs for the Diaspora Policy
- The third stage is the National Diaspora Consultative Forum which will take place in Lusaka next week from 7th to 9th October, 2015.
Discussions regarding the policy will focus on many areas including:
- Dual Citizenship;
- Political participation;
- Participation in the economic development of the country; and
Participants in the National Consultative Forum will include stakeholders such as Diaspora Associations, Parliamentarians, Non-Governmental Organisations, the International Organisation for Migration and the Private sector. The information that will be gathered during this Indaba will be used in the formulation of the Diaspora Policy which the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Steering Committee composed of various line Ministries and institutions are currently seized with.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs wishes to invite members of the public to participate in the process of formulating the Diaspora Policy by presenting their views, comments, observations and questions using the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Facebook page, Diaspora Zambia. Feedback from the Zambian public should highlight ways or strategies which the government can use to encourage diaspora participation in the development of the country.
Allow me to take this opportunity to thank the private sector in Zambia and the International Organisation for Migration for their invaluable support towards the hosting of this National Indaba. It is our hope that they will continue to partner with us at the implementation stage.
I THANK YOU AND MAY GOD BLESS ZAMBIA
HON. HARRY KALABA, MP, MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS