The chairman of Uganda Diaspora Engagement – UK and founder of the Uganda Convention in UK Mr. Willy Mutenza hosted a mission consisting of members of the Moldova Government and its Bureau for Relationship with the Diaspora, a representative from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and an IOM Moldova representative.
The visit was a response to the demand from government representatives to enhance the institutional capacities by learning from peers about the implementation of policies on migration and development (M&D) and mechanisms for diaspora support and engagement related to nationally identified priorities.
Moldova is a country with around 20 % of its population living abroad.
This migration profile itself represents a major strategic factor and potential risk for the country (National Development Strategy “Moldova 2020” adopted in 2012).
For the purposes of national development, it is imperative that policies and interventions promote sustainable engagement of migrants and the diaspora in their homeland’s development.
Under a Moldova government funded scheme “Supporting the migration and development component on the EU-Moldova Mobility Partnership, Moldovan Diaspora Associations benefit from Diaspora Small Grants Mechanism that assist them in strengthening communication with migrants in their host countries, as well as communication between Moldova and migrants abroad, creating service platforms for migrants in host countries and strengthening their institutional capacities.
The Moldova government has also launched a grants programme titled, Diaspora Engagement Hub.
The programme promotes innovative initiatives of the Diaspora via providing grants, as a move to a need to tap into Diaspora’s expertise, which is needed more than ever back Moldova.“
The study visit sought to support the Bureau for Relations with the Diaspora in further advancing the national M&D framework and designing a national programme for diaspora engagement and support oriented towards the active participation of highly skilled diaspora professionals in the development of their country of origin.
It also sought to support the ongoing process of integrating migration considerations in relevant policies, increase the institutional coherence and efficiency of the collaboration between the different levels of public authorities, private sector and diaspora communities, building on the lessons learned from Uganda-Diaspora’s experience concerning:
- Short term and circular migration
- Labour migration
- Reparation of pensions
- Capturing and applying the skills of returnees
- Attract graduates back to Moldova
The delegation wanted to learn directly from Uganda’s experience on
- Engaging the diaspora
- The benefits of the Ugandan convention
- Diaspora engagement of host and home government
- Challenges faced by diaspora
- Diaspora investment in home and host countries
- Engaging professional diaspora
- Diaspora philanthropy
The delegation commended the work of UDE and the Uganda convention in engaging the diaspora and that we had come highly recommended.
The meeting was also attended by Ida Horner Chairperson of Let Them Help Themselves ( www.lethemhelpthemselves.org)