Sunday, April 14, 2024

Migrants vital to poverty reduction, economic development – Kasese-Bota



Zambia’s Permanent Representative to the UN Her Excellency Dr Mwaba Kasese-Bota says migration is contributing to poverty reduction and to the social and economic development in countries of origin and domicile.

This is according to a media statement released by First Secretary for Press and Public Relations
Permanent Mission of the Republic of Zambia to the United Nations, Mr Chibaula D. Silwamba.

Speaking at the panel discussion focusing on international dialogue on migration at United Nations in New York yesterday, the Zambian envoy said there was need to maximize the positive benefits of migration while minimising the negative impact.

“In the destination countries, migrants often help to fill important labour market gaps and contributes to the economic growth of the country, and they add to the cultural diversity of the host population,” Dr Kasese-Bota said.

The Ambassador said migrants are a critical source of a well-developed human resource, which could contribute towards the means of implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
She said the flow of migrants’ remittances to their countries of origin assist in social and economic development.

“Migrants who return to their home countries contribute to development by applying their newly acquired knowledge, skills and qualifications for the benefit of their families and communities,” Dr Kasese-Bota said.

The Ambassador said migrants contribute to Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and to the buildup of local private investment, as well as to the academia, among other sectors.

“Migrants bring home ideas and provide a direct connection to the practices and traditions of other societies. They are helping to sow the seed of social and political change in many countries throughout the world,” Dr Kasese-Bota.

She, however, noted that migration could have negative impact on development, especially through brain drain of Least Developed Countries (LDCs).

“Brain drain is posing a major challenge to providing basic services to the local populations in some LDCs,” the Zambian Ambassador said. “Our task is to reduce the challenges, including de-stimagisation of emigration status and reduce the costs of migration and seek ways of enhancing positive impacts.”

The Zambian envoy called for lowering of service costs of remittances and regularisation of the legal status of international migrants.

“Without a regular legal status, migrants are at constant risk of exploitation and abuse,” she said.

Dr Kasese-Bota noted that the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development reaffirmed the importance of migration to development. She called for the mainstreaming of migration in national development plans.

“It is important that the United Nations speaks as a collective voice to ensure that standards apply everywhere. We have a situation where we have migrants that come to some countries especially migrants from the south going to the north and those are given some stigmatising names. When we have migrants moving from the north to the south we call them as investors and give them some nice nomenclatures such as specialist. There is need to work on ensuring that there is coherence on how we are going to call migrants,” said Dr Kasese-Bota.

The Zambian Government is engaging Zambians in the Diaspora to continue participating national development and enactment Dual Citizenship legislation. Government is also formulating the Diaspora Policy.


  1. As an emigre I support all efforts to give some thought to this group of people. We are even confused with the different categories of migrants and often the most vulnerable tag is spread to everyone and demeaned, which is very unfortunate. A lot of migrants are well-meaning, professional men and women who are simply selling a skill just as they would back in their own countries given an opportunity. Thank you Mme Ambassador for that reasoning.

    • Speak for yourself. We’ll meaning is okay if you go to Europe or other Western country like the USA, but look how they are struggling to balance the number of entrants. Mexicans in USA, all sorts in Europe. This has caused a lot of problems and we need to look at those countries to study the negative effects. A limited number of Asylum is fine but not open wide numerous categories.

  2. Migrants are all welcomed in Zambia especially from war torn countries like Syria, Iraq & Palestine. No one should be restricted to asylum, everyone has a right to asylum.

    • What culture do you share with them. Most are Moslem and have strict way of looking at life, they would completely bring negative dynamics to a slow and leisurely people like Zambians. There is also the danger of absorbing Terrorists looking for new places to hide out.

      Stop winding people up!

  3. The problem is in balancing the numbers. Excessive migration has the opposite effect especially where there are not enough resources( I.e housing) and jobs, opportunity to do business.

    Look at Europe and it’s current abuse of migration. A country like Zambia can barely look after it’s population and has reverted to Borrowing for every aspect of running the country. We can’t think selling land to foreigners is a good way of hiking GDP it limits access to land to citizens and they become second class citizens in their own country.

    Zambians must be on guard with our wayward gov’t and the current crop of politicians, opposition included, who think they can use Western migration to generate wealth because they lack ideas to do so adequately. We really need to stop the gov’t…

    • We need to stop our gov’t putting out messages that we are wide open for massive migration so that they can get cheap accolades from international bodies. It’s not a good way to get revenue from UN and tapping into grants to aid us settle these migrants. People in Zambia do not really realise what the gov’t is doing. To their desperate thought they can promote Zambia as a place for migrants but WHEN did we have this green light sought through parliament. Who gave the gov’t the mandate to fill the country with migrants. Gov’t must ask the people and must come clean on all the money they get for migrants.

  4. UN Her Excellency Dr Mwaba Kasese-Bota has a point and well said too. Zambia needs more skilled people to combat hunger and poverty. Let Zambian government invite migrants to the country. Take in refugees from Iraq, Syria, all middle east area. These people are running away from a war they did not start.
    You ask – “what is it that we have in common with refugees?” Simple answer is human race – humanity.
    If a war started in Zambia wouldn’t you run? I would.

    Zambia can accommodate a lot of people. We took in ANC, Nambian refugees, Rwanda refugees – what is it that we had in common with the Hutus and Tutsis? Human Race..!
    Religion is not a defining cretaria for human status. They are NOT all muslems – they are mixed. Even if they were, we have a moslem group in Zambia, we have…

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