Malawians living abroad will from now keep abreast and contribute to the development of the nation following government’s establishment of a Diaspora desk that will encourage them to invest back home with the money earned overseas.
Established under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Diaspora desk is aimed at creating a direct investment link through which money will be sent to Malawi by Malawians and foreign nationals of Malawian descent who relocate temporarily or permanently to foreign countries.
Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Patrick Kabambe said :“There is significant potential and benefits of Malawians in Diaspora to provide foreign exchange, skills and capital transfer into the country. As such, there is need to recognize such citizens that are living in the oversee countries and in the process tapping the resources and money which they can bring into the country and put them in use for development.”
According to Kabambe, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will use the Diaspora desk to contact all Malawian nationals oversees through the country’s embassies in respective countries, and tell them about the new initiative, its opportunities and how they can invest while abroad.
He emphasized the need for the country to find ways of encouraging people living abroad to start investing in different projects.
“Malawi is one of the highly overpopulated countries in Southern Africa and if there are people who want to relocate to oversee countries for different reasons then we have to encourage and support them as it is source of foreign exchange to the country.
“Government in countries like Nigeria and Kenya encourages its citizens to go abroad and make money which is sent back home to their relatives and invested in different developments to ensure themselves and their family a better life. As such, there is need to appreciate and create a positive mindset that the country can also benefit a lot economically through Malawian citizen that are in Diaspora,” said Kabambe.
BBC conducted a survey recently which revealed that money contributed by Africans living in Diaspora is more than the aid which is given to African countries.
The desk only awaits financing from the next budget for it to start working, according to Kabambe.