Ministry of Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary Mr. Chalwe Lombe says government recognizes the diaspora as key stakeholders in the country’s development.
Mr. Lombe says President Edgar Chagwa Lungu is committed to ensuring that Zambians in the diaspora fully participate in the economic development of the country.
The Foreign Affair Permanent Secretary was speaking when he received submissions from Zambians in the United States for consideration in the Diaspora Policy that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is currently developing.
Mr. Lombe explained that the Ministry had set up a Diaspora Survey that will assist in capturing data on why and how Zambians in the diaspora were not fully participating in economic development.
He added that once reviewed, the ministry hoped that the recommendations from the survey will enable government create more space for Zambians in the diaspora participate in national development.
Mr. Lombe noted that government is committed to partnering with the diaspora in developing the country adding that the purpose of the study tours is also meant to see how best they can contribute to the development of the country.
The Permanent Secretary revealed that following the collection of data to the policy, government will host a diaspora indaba in September.
The Permanent Secretary, who began his mission in the United States capital Washington DC, held a conference call where over a hundred Zambians participated. During the conference call several Zambians made submissions on the diaspora policy but also used the opportunity to pose questions on pressing issues.
Mr. Lombe who was accompanied by Zambia’s Ambassador to the USA Palan Mulonda responded to the queries that were raised.
Later, the Permanent Secretary appeared on Zambia Blog Talk radio, a radio show that caters for Zambians in the diaspora all over the world.
The delegation that includes officers from the ministries of Justice, Education, Lands Commerce and Home Affairs then met Zambians for a second consultative meeting at the Zambian Embassy in Washington DC.
The Permanent Secretary held his last consultative meeting in Atlanta Georgia, where several Zambians also made their submissions to the Diaspora policy
The key areas of discussion for the consultative meetings included remittances, dual citizenship, trade and investment, political participation and land acquisition.
First Secretary (Press and Public Relations)
Embassy of the Republic of Zambia