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Tuesday, 22 September 2009

New era of diaspora engagement? 2nd Edition

The President has thrashed out further details of what this "new engagement" with the diaspora may look like. In a speech to Parliament last week, he confirmed earlier reports regarding the Diaspora Desk and the proposed diaspora framework :

"Mr Speaker, following the presentation by our citizens in the diaspora at the National Indaba held earlier in the year, I have decided to set up a liaison office at State House to deal with issues related to the diaspora. In addition, I have directed the Minister of Finance to work with the diaspora to facilitate their participation in growing the economy, through investment in projects of their choice. From the many meetings I have had with Zambians Abroad, I am convinced our people wherever they may be are proud Zambians and we should embrace them as they wish to participate in the building of our economy".
Speaking in New York this week, the President emphasised an area that many Zambians abroad are keen to see some improvement - land acquisition :
He [President Banda] said government was devising ways of easing the process of acquiring land, especially by Zambians living abroad. He said he has since advised the Minister of Finance and National Planning Situmbeko Musokotwane and the Minister of Lands Peter Daka to find ways of making the process of acquiring land uncumbersome. President Banda said land was very valuable hence Zambians, regardless of where they live, should acquire pieces of land for agriculture and other investment. He urged Zambians living abroad who wish to apply for land to specify where they would want to acquire land.

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