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Zimbabwe works on national migration policy

by Staff reporter
10 Oct 2021 at 05:32hrs | Views
ZIMBABWE is working on finalising the National Migration Policy, whose implementation is expected to contribute to the country's economic development agenda.

Representatives of various ministries and departments met during last week in Victoria Falls for a four-day workshop to finalise the draft policy before it is submitted for adoption by Government.

The Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage which chairs an inter-ministerial committee on migration, facilitated the workshop with the technical support from the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) Africa Regional Migration Program (ARMP) and funding from the US Department of State Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM).

This comes as the country has made a commitment to fulfilment of the Global Compact on Safe, Regular and Orderly Migration and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) thereby underscoring the importance of a holistic and coherent approach to migration governance.

Home Affairs Permanent Secretary Mr Aaron Nhepera who officially opened the four-day workshop said the Government recognizes the importance of migration as a critical development enabler.

He said historically Zimbabwe has been known as a source, transit and destination for migrants mostly from Southern Africa, but over the past two decades the country has become a source country for both regular and irregular migrants to countries in the region such as South Africa, Botswana and Namibia and other countries further afield such as United Kingdom, United States, Australia and New Zealand.

"Zimbabwe continues to face challenges of irregular migration flows involving particularly asylum seekers, unaccompanied minors and separated migrant children from the horn of Africa and Great Lakes region who transit through Zimbabwe to South Africa due to conflict and instability in their countries.

"As a result Government recognises the importance of a coherent policy response to address the challenges related to these migration flows. Government also recognises opportunities presented by a growing diaspora population in the social and economic development of the country.

Strategies have been designed therefore to tap into the potential that the Zimbabwean diaspora community presents in terms of investment in such areas as agriculture, mining, manufacturing, tourism, banking and finance among others. This is in tandem with the dictates of the National development Strategy 1 which ensures that polices are put in place," said Mr Nhepera.

He said the National Migration Policy, National Diaspora Policy and National Migration Labour Policy launched by President Mnangagwa in July are meant to address migration challenges in the country.

Mr Nhepera said the Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage was looking forward to adopting and launching National Migration Policy once it is approved, and will require technical and financial support from development partners such as IOM and United Nations to ensure effective implementation of the policy.

IOM Chief of Mission Mr Mario Lito Malanca who spoke virtually, said migration policies are essential tools for comprehensive approach to migration governance, helping build resilience, reduce forced and irregular migration, as well as facilitate safe, orderly and regular migration, and safeguards human rights.

"Allow me to congratulate the Government of Zimbabwe for the recently launched National Development Strategy 1 and I reaffirm IOM's commitment to support the Government in implementation of migration related aspects of the national development strategy for Zimbabwe's social and economic development.

"I would like to congratulate the Government of Zimbabwe on reaching this important milestone in the development of a National Migration policy for Zimbabwe that will ensure improved and well-co-ordinated management of migration in Zimbabwe. I firmly believe that migration, if well managed can contribute to the acceleration of Zimbabwe's economic growth and development. Once it's adopted, IOM looks forward to supporting the Government of Zimbabwe in the implementation of this important policy," said Mr Malanca.

He said a well-governed migration brings profound benefits to both receiving and sending countries while poorly managed migration can lead to harm, danger and insecurity. Receiving countries get productive workers while sending countries receive billions of dollars in remittances and investment from members of the diaspora and leverage on skills, expertise, contacts and personal wealth from returning emigrants.

Mr Malanca said there has been an unprecedented human mobility, in which by 2020 there were over 280.6 million international migrants worldwide, most of whom have moved in search of economic opportunity, peace and security. Of these 48.1 percent are female and 74 percent are economically active aged between the ages of 20 and 64 years.

Migration challenges require new partnerships at a societal level to identify, share risk, and to address emerging migration issues.

Source - The Sunday News
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