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The Role of Rwandan diapora in Development of country

Rwanda, as most countries in the world, has its Diaspora its nationals living abroad and these Rwandans of the Diaspora are probably playing a role in the development of their country of origin. This role may be achieved through financial transfers or remittances, technology, knowledge and skills transfers, etc. However, as the Diaspora’s contribution may be made in different ways, my research intends specifically to assess the contribution of remittances from the Diaspora to the national developmentof Rwanda.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs took advantage of the opportunity that a number of Rwandans living abroad are home for holidays to reach out to them on ways they can be involved in national development and also gain insights into challenges they might be facing. Among the major ways that Rwandans living abroad can be involved in the country’s development include:

Investments in the country

Despite sending money into the country to their family and friends in millions of dollars, the Rwandan diaspora community does not investment as much in the country.

Lucky Philip, the Senior Investment Promotion Officer said that diaspora’s investment are considerably low. He called on them to seek to invest some of their remittances saying it would have long term impacts on development.

Among the top areas that the diaspora can find ready and viable investment opportunities include; non-plastic packaging, construction materials, textile and garments, value addition of food products (fruits, vegetables, tea and coffee) and modern agriculture at Gabiro Agribusiness Hub Project.

These opportunities Phillip said would have major impact on the economy including reducing trade deficit and creating jobs.

Special Umuganda

While Rwandans in the Diaspora might not be able to take part in monthly communal services, there are avenues for them to volunteer their expertise and funds in community initiatives.

The Minister for Local Government Anastase Shyaka said that the government is working on an online platform that will see the members of the diaspora able to contribute their skills, finances and expertise.

The initiative is likely to see the Diaspora bring in specialty skills and expertise relevant in the country that are otherwise not available locally.

Saving in local schemes

Members of the diaspora were also tipped on saving in local schemes and the Rwanda Social Security Fund which would allow the savings be invested locally hence more impact in development.

By savings in local schemes and social fund, the funds can be invested in capital intensive initiatives avoiding the need for government and local corporates to borrow externally.

Rwanda Social Security Fund Director-General Richard Rusabe said that there are ways for members of the diaspora to remit their savings in local pension funds thus enabling them access pension when they retire in Rwanda.

He also cited convenient initiatives such as Ejo Heza, a savings scheme that accommodates all categories of Rwandans; employed and self-employed.

Contribution to Agaciro Development Fund

Rwanda’s sovereign wealth fund, Agaciro Development Fund, which has since grown to Rwf184 billion ($200 million) as it December 2018, is a key way for the diaspora to contribute to national development.

The fund’s Chief Executive Officer Jack Kayonga said that in recent years, contributions by members of the diaspora to the fund has dropped significantly.

He called on the diaspora to be involved in the quest to achieve self-reliance, maintain stability in times of shocks to the national economy and help accelerate Rwanda’s socio-economic development goals.

Citizen participation

Tito Rutaremara the head of Rwanda Elders Advisory Council said that being outside the country does not mean being left out in involvement in national development. He challenged members of the diaspora to be involved through the various ways of citizen involvement adding that there is no little contribution.

Combating Genocide denial

Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr Vincent Biruta called on the Rwandans abroad to continue being active in curbing genocide denial  and ideology which he said is still prevalent in some part of the continent.

It’s by through facts, that Rwandans can curb denial and ideology which is kept alive through media and social media platforms as well as conferences and summits.

Rwanda’s diaspora is often termed as the country’s sixth province with a critical role in the country’s development.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday took advantage of the opportunity that a number of Rwandans living abroad are home for holidays to reach out to them on ways they can be involved in national development and also gain insights into challenges they might be facing.

Among the major ways that Rwandans living abroad can be involved in the country’s development include:

Investments in the country

Despite sending money into the country to their family and friends in millions ofdollars, the Rwandan diaspora community does not investment as much in the country.

Lucky Philip, the Senior Investment Promotion Officer said that diaspora’s investment are considerably low. He called on them to seek to invest some of their remittances saying it would have long term impacts on development.

Among the top areas that the diaspora can find ready and viable investment opportunities include; non-plastic packaging, construction materials, textile and garments, value addition of food products (fruits, vegetables, tea and coffee) and modern agriculture at Gabiro Agribusiness Hub Project.

These opportunities Phillip said would have major impact on the economy including reducing trade deficit and creating jobs.

Special Umuganda

While Rwandans in the Diaspora might not be able to take part in monthly communal services, there are avenues for them to volunteer their expertise and funds in community initiatives.

The Minister for Local Government Anastase Shyaka said that the government is working on an online platform that will see the members of the diaspora able to contribute their skills, finances and expertise.

The initiative is likely to see the Diaspora bring in specialty skills and expertise relevant in the country that are otherwise not available locally.

Saving in local schemes

Members of the diaspora were also tipped on saving in local schemes and the Rwanda Social Security Fund which would allow the savings be invested locally hence more impact in development.

By savings in local schemes and social fund, the funds can be invested in capital intensive initiatives avoiding the need for government and local corporates to borrow externally.

Rwanda Social Security Fund Director-General Richard Rusabe said that there are ways for members of the diaspora to remit their savings in local pension funds thus enabling them access pension when they retire in Rwanda.

He also cited convenient initiatives such as Ejo Heza, a savings scheme that accommodates all categories of Rwandans; employed and self-employed.

Contribution to Agaciro Development Fund

Rwanda’s sovereign wealth fund, Agaciro Development Fund, which has since grown to Rwf184 billion ($200 million) as it December 2018, is a key way for the diaspora to contribute to national development.

The fund’s Chief Executive Officer Jack Kayonga said that in recent years, contributions by members of the diaspora to the fund has dropped significantly.

He called on the diaspora to be involved in the quest to achieve self-reliance, maintain stability in times of shocks to the national economy and help accelerate Rwanda’s socio-economic development goals.

Citizen participation

Tito Rutaremara the head of Rwanda Elders Advisory Council said that being outside the country does not mean being left out in involvement in national development. He challenged members of the diaspora to be involved through the various ways of citizen involvement adding that there is no little contribution.

Combating Genocide denial

Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr Vincent Biruta called on the Rwandans abroad to continue being active in curbing genocide denial  and ideology which he said is still prevalent in some part of the continent.

It’s by through facts, that Rwandans can curb denial and ideology which is kept alive through media and social media platforms as well as conferences and summits.

Rwanda’s diaspora is often termed as the country’s sixth province with a critical role in the country’s development.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday took advantage of the opportunity that a number of Rwandans living abroad are home for holidays to reach out to them on ways they can be involved in national development and also gain insights into challenges they might be facing.

Among the major ways that Rwandans living abroad can be involved in the country’s development include:

Investments in the country

Despite sending money into the country to their family and friends in millions ofdollars, the Rwandan diaspora community does not investment as much in the country.

According to the Department of Statistics of the National Bank of Rwanda,within the four recent years, Diaspora has remitted around USD 25.01million in 2006, USD 98.50 million in 2007, USD 63.31 million in 2008 and finally USD 88.13 million in 2009. From these data, it appears that the year 2006 recorded a small amount of remittances in comparison with other years, and the reason seems to be an absence of a mechanism to capture informal transfers as well.

Lucky Philip, the Senior Investment Promotion Officer said that diaspora’s investment are considerably low. He called on them to seek to invest some of their remittances saying it would have long term impacts on development.

Among the top areas that the diaspora can find ready and viable investment opportunities include; non-plastic packaging, construction materials, textile and garments, value addition of food products (fruits, vegetables, tea and coffee) and modern agriculture at Gabiro Agribusiness Hub Project.

These opportunities Phillip said would have major impact on the economy including reducing trade deficit and creating jobs.

Special Umuganda

While Rwandans in the Diaspora might not be able to take part in monthly communal services, there are avenues for them to volunteer their expertise and funds in community initiatives.

The Minister for Local Government Anastase Shyaka said that the government is working on an online platform that will see the members of the diaspora able to contribute their skills, finances and expertise.

The initiative is likely to see the Diaspora bring in specialty skills and expertise relevant in the country that are otherwise not available locally.

Saving in local schemes

Members of the diaspora were also tipped on saving in local schemes and the Rwanda Social Security Fund which would allow the savings be invested locally hence more impact in development.

By savings in local schemes and social fund, the funds can be invested in capital intensive initiatives avoiding the need for government and local corporates to borrow externally.

Rwanda Social Security Fund Director-General Richard Rusabe said that there are ways for members of the diaspora to remit their savings in local pension funds thus enabling them access pension when they retire in Rwanda.

He also cited convenient initiatives such as Ejo Heza, a savings scheme that accommodates all categories of Rwandans; employed and self-employed.

Contribution to Agaciro Development Fund

Rwanda’s sovereign wealth fund, Agaciro Development Fund, which has since grown to Rwf184 billion ($200 million) as it December 2018, is a key way for the diaspora to contribute to national development.

The fund’s Chief Executive Officer Jack Kayonga said that in recent years, contributions by members of the diaspora to the fund has dropped significantly.

He called on the diaspora to be involved in the quest to achieve self-reliance, maintain stability in times of shocks to the national economy and help accelerate Rwanda’s socio-economic development goals.

Citizen participation

Tito Rutaremara the head of Rwanda Elders Advisory Council said that being outside the country does not mean being left out in involvement in national development. He challenged members of the diaspora to be involved through the various ways of citizen involvement adding that there is no little contribution.

Combating Genocide denial

The Rwandans abroad to continue being active in curbing genocide denial  and ideology which he said is still prevalent in some part of the continent. It’s by through facts, that Rwandans can curb denial and ideology which is kept alive through media and social media platforms as well as conferences and summits.

Emma-Marie Umurerwa

emmadukunda@gmail.com

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