By ABDULWAKIL SAIBOKO, 23rd June 2011 @ 12:00, Total Comments: 0, Hits: 3344
PLANS are underway to register the Tanzanian Diaspora in a centralized database in order to identify and offer them the chance to participate in building the country's future.
In Dar es Salaam on Thursday, the acting Director of the Diaspora Engagement and Opportunities in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, Ms Bertha Somi, said that the exercise would begin soon.
"We have already forwarded our request for financial assistance to the World Bank in executing this project.
''They have shown interest in lending a hand and we are expecting to start the registration exercise as soon as possible," said Ms Somi in an exclusive interview.
She, however, cautioned that the registration process was a tricky one as some Tanzanians living abroad did not like to register themselves with their respective embassies as required.
''The preliminary work has been completed and we have met with Tanzanians living abroad and explained to them the importance of registering in the database.
''In fact the ministry has spearheaded the formation of Tanzanian diaspora associations in many countries,'' she said.
Ms Somi said that the idea behind the move is to ensure that the Diaspora become goodwill ambassadors to their country by bringing in foreign investments.
"Many of those we have met have challenged the government to create an enabling environment by offering dual citizenship and investment incentives here in their motherland," she said.
Ms Somi said some Tanzanians had returned home and established numerous investments, although so far there is no perceptible records in place on how much the investments were worth.
''In early July we are going to hold a meeting in Arusha that will assemble ex-Diaspora and other stakeholders to discuss the importance of ex-Diaspora investments in the country," she said.
She said the the Arusha meeting was being organized by the government in collaborating with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the European Union (EU).
Most African countries encouraging their Diaspora to invest in their homelands and Tanzania is not an exception.
According to the World Bank, in 2006 the transfer of funds to Tanzania by foreign nationals was 100 million US Dollars. The figure excludes transfers through informal channels.
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