Malawi government has embarked on a project to enable it to forge a national Diaspora engagement strategy with President Peter Mutharika saying government is pushing for the review of the Citizenship Act so that Malawians can start exploiting the benefits of dual citizenship.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, with funding from the international Centre for Migration Policy and Development (ICPMD), has organised a consultation on Diaspora engagement with Malawians to be held in Dublin, Ireland on May 27 to 29, according to Gloria Bamusi coordinator of Diaspora Affairs.
Bamusi said Malawi is in the h process of coming up with a Diaspora Engagement Policy and the meeting will be “consultative” to Malawians in Diaspora.
Government wants to mobilise the Diaspora community for social-economic development of Malawi, according to Bamusi.
President Mutharika speaking when he opened parliament this month said the review of Citizenship Act will ensure government consider allowing Malawians to hold dual citizenship.
Currently, Malawians who take up citizenship of other countries must relinquish their Malawian citizenship.
If legalized, dual citizenship will allow Malawians who become citizens of other countries to move back and forth between the two involved countries any time they want without going through the rigorous visa process.
Meanwhile, Malawian law experts at University of Cape Town (UCT), Professor Danwood Chirwa has said the links between locals and the Diaspora can be an important asset for a poor country like Malawi.
“The Diaspora can be a link for educational and employment opportunities for people back home. It also provides a source of state revenue through remittances,” said Chirwa in comments cited by Malawi News Agency report.
He bemoaned the lack of interest from Malawi to utilize the skills of her people in Diaspora.
“We are not a serious people with serious national goals. We are a fundamentally self-interested and corrupt people, unwilling to assess our abilities and weaknesses.
“We are threatened by those that appear to be better than ourselves. Our institutions and cultures do not provide the conditions for people to realize their full potential and thus for the best among us to be allowed to work to their best potential. We are a dysfunctional society. Can this be reversed? I do not know,” wondered Chirwa.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :