Malawi needs to do diaspora mapping
Malawi needs to do diaspora mapping and profiling in order to effectively engage people living outside the country in development processes, Head of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) Malawi office, Mpilo Nkomo, has said.
Nkomo made the remarks yesterday in Lilongwe at Crossroads Hotel during a national consultation workshop on global compact on safe, orderly and regular migration.
He said that the country stands to benefit from diaspora mapping and profiling since the initiative would provide a better platform to meaningfully engage Malawians living in the diaspora.
Nkomo said the mapping and profiling exercise could be executed by using partners or consultants to shop around the globe to trace Malawians living outside the country.
“Countries such as Ethiopia, Nigeria, Kenya and Eritrea have done the mapping and profiling strategies and it has worked effectively for the benefit of people in diaspora and their countries in terms of initiating development agendas,” he said.
Nkomo said the challenge most countries face in order to fully engage people living in the diaspora is the case of dual citizenships.
“We have noted that most people are forced to change their nationalities due to a number of reasons which make them hide their real identities,” Nkomo said.
Regional Policy and Liaison Officer for IOM based in Pretoria, Naomi Shiferaw, said the issue of remittances has been high on the agenda of diaspora communities who, she said, face a number of challenges when they want to transfer funds back home.
A Malawian-based nurse in the United Kingdom, Abagail Banda, complained that the country was delaying in responding to the issue of accepting dual citizenship.
“My friends are enjoying the benefits of having dual citizenship while we, in Malawi, are still not adhering to demands of the changing world. I am holding a British passport now but whenever I am travelling in Malawi I need to pay $75 for visa to enter to my own country and this pains me greatly,” she said.
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