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GOVERNMENT TO EASE IMPLEMENTATION OF DIASPORA POLICY

The Government has embarked on the development of Dual Citizenship Guidelines and Procedures of Acquisition of National Documents by Zambians in the Diaspora.

These guidelines which are being developed by the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Home Affairs in collaboration with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) are expected to ease the implementation of the Diaspora Policy which was launched in April, 2019.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary International Relations and Cooperation Ambassador Chalwe Lombe officially opened the meeting tasked with the formulation process on Monday 8th June, 2020. Ambassador Lombe urged the officers to develop guidelines that will facilitate the smooth and easy access of national documents, particularly Passports, Birth Certificates and National Registration Cards, by Zambians in the Diaspora.

Ambassador Lombe said the Diaspora Policy seeks to improve and maximize the engagement of the Zambian nationals living in the Diaspora in the development agenda of the country.

He noted that the increased engagement will allow the country to tap into the Diaspora investment potential, entrepreneurial skills, social remittances, professional expertise and innovation.

“These guidelines and Procedures will assist not only the applicant to submit the correct documents, but will also be very useful to the staff in our Missions abroad who process the applications on behalf of the Diaspora,” he said.

Ambassador Lombe noted the challenges previously faced regarding the attainment of Dual Citizenship and its effect on Zambian nationals’ participation in national issues after their loss of native citizenship.

He emphasized the importance of the development of the guidelines given the interest by Zambians in the Diaspora to participate fully in the country’s development agenda.

Ambassador Lombe thanked the Ministry of Home Affairs for the positive strides recorded in this area and the IOM for the continued technical and financial assistance aimed at ensuring that Zambia has a fully functional and effective  Diaspora that will ably contribute to the development agenda.

And IOM Chief of Mission Ms. Nomagugu Ncube acknowledged the Government’s positive strategic direction and initiatives undertaken towards the engagement of the Diaspora community.

Ms. Ncube noted that the development of the Guidelines and Procedures is timely and strategic as it is in line with the recognition of Dual Citizenship as enshrined in the Zambian Constitution and the global legal identification discourse.

She emphasized the IOM’s commitment to supporting the implementation of the National Diaspora Policy and Diaspora Policy Action Plan.

Ms. Ncube informed the meeting that IOM had developed a comprehensive approach centred on engaging, enabling and empowering the Diaspora and transnational communities as agents for development.

She noted the unprecedented mobility in the world, adding that the IOM is encouraged by the growing global recognition of the contribution of migration to sustainable development.

“In recent years, the international community has increasingly recognized the immense contribution that Diaspora or transnational communities make to the development of their countries of origin and destination,” said Ms. Ncube. “In this regard, governments have designed and implemented policies and institutions to strengthen relationships with their citizens abroad for local and national development. Further, many national development strategies include Diaspora engagement as a key component.”

Her Honour, Mrs. Inonge Wina, M.P., Vice President of the Republic of Zambia launched the Diaspora Policy in April 2019. Following the launch, relevant line Ministries and institutions met to formulate an Implementation Plan for the Policy, which includes the holding of this workshop.

The meeting is expected to close on Friday, 12th June, 2020.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Public Relations Unit

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