Zimbabwe’s first Diaspora Conference which seeks to participate in the recovery of the economy is underway in Victoria Falls.
The conference, which kicked off on Thursday, is the first ever of its kind to be held in Zimbabwe and brings together more than 150 Zimbabweans living in the Diaspora.
In a statement, the Development Foundation for Zimbabwe (DFZ) said the main aim of the conference is to help facilitate the formation of an institutional framework that will support effective contributions to and participation in economic recovery by Zimbabweans living abroad.
DFZ chairman Brian Kagoro said it was important for Zimbabweans to set aside their political differences and work on the development of the country.
“We are here because of our collective commitment to Zimbabwe’s development. We are duty-bound over the next three days to set aside our differences and embrace our common citizenship. This conference is not intended to be a platform for point-scoring, finger-pointing or political grandstanding,” said Kagoro.
In the past 10 years, Zimbabwe witnessed a mass exodus of its nationals with close to 4,5 million, leaving the country to settle in neighbouring countries and abroad.
Kagoro said the export of human capital is seen by some only as a loss to Zimbabwe whose public service has been severely depleted.
“However, it is also possible to see this phenomenon as the representation of the global competitiveness of Zimbabweans. It creates an internationalised cultural, social and economic resource for national development,” he said.
He said a critical mass of Zimbabweans living abroad has gained skills, experience and capital useful for potential redeployment in Zimbabwe.
Kagoro said the conference, the first in a series, was one of several initiatives to harness the potential of the Diaspora.
He said it was envisaged that the conference would contribute to a framework that will help the Diaspora contribute to the country’s development.