President Peter Mutharika administration has been commended for the diaspora engagement policy which will woo more Malawians living abroad to regularly remit home significant amounts of foreign exchange towards personal and national development projects, with a leading daily saying in its editorial comment that it us “a move in the right direction.”
The government’s draft Malawi Diaspora Engagement Policy that seeks to encourage Malawians in the diaspora to fully take part in national development.
Cabinet approved the Malawi Diaspora Engagement Policy last year so that once it becomes operational, Malawians in the diaspora can contribute to their country.
In an editorial comment on Thursday, The Nation newspaper said all sources of foreign exchange in Malawi , including tobacco and tourism, are not performing to the expected levels.
“This is all the more reason Malawians in the diaspora could come in handy through remittances,” reads the comment in part.
The paper urges government to “move swiftly” to operationalode the policy, whose ground work started in 2012 and is spearheaded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in collaboration with relevant ministries such as Finance, Economic Planning and Development and entities.
“At the stage the country is, it needs all the forex it can get to ensure sustainable development and procurement of fuel, medical drugs and all the other essential imports,” the comment further said.
The paper also reported that Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) has hailed the diaspora engagement policy, quoting RBM director of communication and protocol Mbane Ngwira, saying in the past, the officially recorded remittances amounted to around K1.4 billion ($2 million) per month, adding that as the policy is now showing the Malawians the many ways they can benefit by remitting funds home through official channels, the amount has jumped to more than K12.1 billion ($17 million) every month from last November.
Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development spokesperson Davis Sado said the diaspora plan can be a game changer in bringing significant forex to Malawi.
The paper quoted Sado: “The plan does bring a ray of hope in wooing more Malawians to use it by utilising official remittance channels. We are likely to get better results as the plan is rolled out to more people.”
Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Emmanuel Fabiano pis quoted saying that the policy acknowledges the great potential that the Malawi diaspora has in terms of skills, investment capital, and ideas in the development of Malawian economy.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :