Seldom are the Zim diaspora mentioned or consulted when it comes to matters of economic and/or social nation building, let alone the governance of Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe Digital News
ZimThrive, the global Zimbabwe Diaspora initiative that was arranging a Zimbabwe Diaspora Homecoming Initiative for April 2020 before the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic – has begun establishing permanent structures as it seeks to deliver on its mandate.
This to become a more effective global diaspora grouping that represents Zimbabweans flung across the globe – and to be a tourism and investment ambassador.
Speaking from his Johannesburg base, Farai Madziwanyika the ZimThrive Coordinator for Africa and Government Liaison Officer – said that the desire for ZimThrive is to become an apolitical socio-economic issues targeted vehicle through which Zimbabweans can interact, exchange ideas and experiences.
The focus would be to run a two-way channel with Harare and the diaspora, and open up the conversation.
The sheer power of the diaspora in terms of its financial capacity, exposure in various aspects of business and various diverse economies at every level as well as socially – makes this group a resource where Africans are becoming a major contributor to economic development in their home countries.
In as far as our country Zimbabwe is concerned – the diaspora is mentioned when it comes to remittances. Seldom are the diaspora mentioned or consulted when it comes to matters of economic and/or social nation building, let alone the governance of our country.
ZimThrive is consolidating the voice of the diaspora, making sure that their voice is heard and is effective. We also want to showcase the beauty that our country is as we seek to boost tourism into our beautiful motherland which is inhabited by such kind-hearted peoples.
We need to ensure as well that we participate in the economy of Zimbabwe as we bring investment opportunities from wherever we are for the benefit of us as individuals as well as our country.
ZimThrive Heads of the Regions
We want to contribute to governance issues by contributing to development and improvement of policy such as the Diaspora Policy for example.
We want to share skills learnt from far and wide, and harness our power into a formidable resource that could aid in the transformation of our economy.
As a group, ZimThrive has now established structures that see regional heads being established and advised by Mr Robert Munjanganja Snr as part of the board of trustees and headed by Mildred Munjanganja in North America, the UK and Europe by Mike Tashaya, China and Asia by Dr Sammy Sibanda, Middle East by Mucha Nyandoro, Australasia by Hazel Harrington and Africa by Farai Madziwanyika assisted in Zimbabwe by Farai Gumbi as country point man. Dr Brighton Chireka is the Healthcare Ambassador and he has been doing some fantastic advisory and consultative work with regards the Covid pandemic in the UK where he is based as well as with the Zimbabwe health fraternity.
Each region will appoint country heads who will be announced in due course as the group seeks to get closer to our fellow countrymen and women in each hotspot country in order to more effectively harness input from each region.
ZimThrive had earlier in the year signed an MOU with the Diaspora Desk within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International trade at a ceremony held in March in Harare where the two parties sought to facilitate engagement and assist ZimThrive in hosting the Diaspora Homecoming Initiative that had seen various events lined up in entertainment, business, religious, cultural and other categories.
Already the Diaspora Desk had facilitated discounted prices for National Parks, local air travel, and pre-clearance for events amongst other issues they had assisted with.
A diaspora Conference facilitated by the Desk in conjunction with the International Organisation for Migration was also on the cards where the diaspora was to be invited for face to face engagement with various Government arms.
This event though postponed to December 2020, looks likely to be moved further possibly to April 2021 as the Covid pandemic continues to wreak havoc further into the year. The final dates will be announced once the pandemic has clearly subsided and we have regained a modicum of financial stability.
“We must organise ourselves as the diaspora. We need to speak with a common voice as we seek to be part of the economic and social activity back home,” said Madziwanyika.
“It is only incumbent upon us to air our views, opinions and concerns and ensure that we do not look on but rather become involved as agents of positive developments in our home”.
This Covid pandemic has also highlighted this need as we have seen countries in which we all live as the diaspora looking out for their own first and foremost, leaving the foreign nationals to fend for themselves in most cases in such desperate times.
We have to come together. We have to discuss, agree and disagree to come up with viable solutions that will take us forward. We have one country that we as Zimbabweans belong to and no matter whether you are in Zimbabwe or in the diaspora; you have a duty and responsibility to your country as a responsible citizen.
That is the culture we as ZimThrive would like to grow and inculcate; a culture that promotes and tolerates discussion and divergent opinions. In that diversity will we find our strength.
Farai Madziwanyika is the CEO of Epique Consulting, a healthcare business advisory and financial consulting firm in Fourways Sandton, Johannesburg.
Farai can be contacted on email@example.com
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