Thupeyo Muleya, Beitbridge Bureau
THE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade has started engaging Provincial and Devolution Ministers to identify opportunities and promote investment in the country by Zimbabweans in the Diaspora.
The programme is being done in line with national diaspora and devolution policies which seek to promote economic development from grassroots level.
The Ministry’s Chief Director, Economic Co-operation, International Trade and the Diaspora Directorate, Mrs Beatrice Mtetwa said they had also started decentralising to provincial level.
She said they were now deploying Foreign Affairs officials to work with provincial governments to ensure that nobody is left behind when it comes to national economic development matters.
Mrs Mtetwa who is leading a team from her office visited Matabeleland South on Tuesday, where she exchanged notes with provincial heads of Government departments led by the Minister of State for Provincial Affairs, Cde Abednico Ncube.
“The deployment of foreign affairs officers has started and we hope to have covered all the 10 provinces in the next year,” she said.
“We recognise the Zimbabwe diaspora community as an important constituency to drive national economic development and hence we want to have our officers working with provincial governments. This is being done in the spirit of devolution our Government is rolling out to ensure that nobody, no place is left out on the development agenda”.
She said the ongoing national outreach programme will help them build a database of available investment opportunities.
This, she added, will then be marketed or shared via the embassies and consulates and through various diaspora communities’ representatives.
“Our idea is to get information on whatever activities they are doing in the diaspora and to appreciate what they are doing at home no matter how little the projects. As a Government, we value the importance of our fellow countrymen who are contributing a lot in terms of remittances and infrastructure development in their respective areas of origin,” said Mrs Mtetwa.
She said in some areas, Zimbabweans living in the diaspora had done a lot in investing in education, health, water, and sanitation facilities.
The official said the process of marketing the country as an investment destination of choice was ongoing.
She said already the Government was reviewing the national diaspora policy to fit into the vision of the New Dispensation.
“The other objective is to continue interfacing with our citizens those in formal and less formal arrangements to make sure we have their challenges and help them.
We want to have nobody left behind. We need to give them confidence. We want to appreciate what they are doing as the Government of Zimbabwe, no matter how small a project,” said Mrs Mtetwa.
Minister Ncube said already the province has seen investments in retail, agriculture, and infrastructure project championed by those in the diaspora.
“We are open for investment and are calling sons and daughters from our province to take advantage of this Government thrust and plough back to their communities and create jobs, and grow economies,” said Minister Ncube. — @tupeyo