Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Emmanuel Fabiano says Malawi stands to benefit from Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) once the Dual Citizenship legislation is finalised.
In December, Parliament approved the Bill but it is yet to be assented to by the President.
Speaking during the launch of the Malawi Foreign Policy and the Diaspora Engagement Policy at Bingu International Convention Centre (Bicc) in Lilongwe on Monday, Fabiano said once the law is in effect, it will enable Malawians in diaspora to invest in their home country.
The minister said: “I can foresee an increase in FDI with this policy because there are guidelines that will make Malawians abroad come and invest. Before government started engaging with diasporas, it used to collect only $37 million but last year, with the talks that were taking place, $186 million was remitted. So, with the policy we expect more.”
Over the past years, the number of persons living outside their country of birth has been increasing as more people leave their countries to seek greener pastures. The increase in the number of migrants clearly shows how crucial the management of international migration is, especially in view of the magnitude of movement of people across borders for employment.
The Malawi Diaspora Engagement Policy, therefore, sets out the initiatives and how government, its ministries and departments, civil society organisations, the private sector and Malawians, and the diaspora communities will collaborate in integrating the diaspora into national development agenda.
There are eight priority areas the policy aims to achieve to enable substantive contribution of the diaspora to Malawi including the establishment of Umodzi Network, diaspora mapping, direct investment and mobilisation of diaspora distribution financial remittance, and philanthropy.
One of the members of the diaspora, Chauncy Mopho Jere who has stayed in the United States (US) for over 30 years, said in an interview after the launch that there is need for a special desk at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs which will look into the diasporans investment interests.
US Ambassador Virginia Palmer hailed government for the launch of the two policies, saying Malawi will gain more from FDI and also create more jobs.