Malawi Government says it is facing challenges to tap from resources of the Diaspora Community as there is no credible data that can inform policy positions’ interventions.
Acting Director of Political Affairs in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Francis Mponda, said there is huge potential of Malawi Diaspora in the socioeconomic development of the country yet government cannot realize it because of lack of reliable data.
Mponda made the remarks in Lilongwe on Wednesday during the presentation of inception reports for the Diaspora Mapping and Profiling Exercise.
“It’s like wrong diagnosis and consequently wrong prescription by a doctor. Therefore, this meeting serves as an opportunity for all stakeholders to understand the proposed measures, which the Consultancy Firms are presenting to us today to meet the intended outputs,” he said.
Mponda also described the meeting as an important step in the implementation of the Malawi Diaspora Engagement Policy (MDEP) and the Diaspora Mapping and Profiling Exercise, which Malawi Government and the International Organisation of Migration (IOM) are jointly implementing.
“The outcome of this meeting has a bearing on the direction of the Mapping and Profiling Exercise and, most importantly, on Malawi Government’s future engagement with her diaspora. This entails that you have a noble duty of ensuring that the methodologies proposed by the consultants will yield the most comprehensive possible outcomes within the stipulated timeframes,” he said.
He also informed the gathering that the Malawi Government had engaged a consultant to identify skills gaps and existing investment opportunities that the Malawi Diaspora can explore.
IOM Chief of Mission, Mpilo Nkomo, commended the Malawi Government for implementing the Diaspora Mapping and Profiling Project, which he said is a plus for the country to understand the profile of her diaspora that would lead to structured engagement for development.
However, Nkomo challenged the Malawi Government to ensure that the project should not be an end in itself.
“The success of the project will be measured by the extent to which its deliverables will be utilized in the future development plans and strategies at the national level,” he said.