Oliver Kazunga, Senior Business Reporter
ZIMBABWE’S diaspora remittances are projected to increase by 30 percent to US$1,3 billion by year end from US$1 billion last year as economies from source markets recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.
An estimated three million Zimbabweans are believed to be living in the diaspora and they regularly send money back home to sustain their families.
Presenting the 2021 Mid-Term Budget in Parliament yesterday, Finance and Economic Development Minister, Professor Mthuli Ncube, said diaspora remittances and other transfers were projected to continue driving the current account balance.
“During the first-half of the year, diaspora remittances are estimated at US$746,9 million compared to US$288,7 million received during the same period last year.
“Remittances are projected to reach US$1,3 billion by year end,” he said.
The continued improvement in diaspora remittances has been attributed to the liberalisation of the use of free funds in the country and increased channelling of remittances through formal channels.
“Diaspora remittances and other transfers, which constitute the secondary income account are projected to continue driving the current account balance as was the case in 2020.
“Personal transfers from Zimbabweans in the diaspora are expected to remain steady and resilient as the economies in key source markets recover from the Covid-19 induced slow-down, allowing them to invest in assets back home,” said Prof Ncube.
Economic analysts have urged the Government to craft policies that attract Zimbabweans in the Diaspora to channel their resources beyond domestic consumption as they have a key role to play in transforming the economy.
Countries such as China and India, for instance, offer different business-oriented incentive models that enlist diaspora contributions to development.
These countries have succeeded in becoming among the leading global economies without reliance on foreign direct investment only.
Zimbabweans in the Diaspora stand a chance to participate in various sectors of the economy as well as investing in capital markets, venture capital funds and pension funds.
The country has a strong skilled and non-skilled Diaspora population mainly in South Africa, Botswana, United Arab Emirates, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and the US. — @okazunga.