Harare – Remittance payments from Zimbabweans toiling outside their country arrive here at a rate of about USD 2 million per day. That’s more than pocket change for a people who have suffered economic hardship through recent decades. However, besides cash coming home, many of the recipients of these funds need something more: life lessons on how to best leverage that support for their households.
For that reason, IOM, the UN Migration Agency, earlier this month (03/11) concluded a two-week long financial literacy workshop for remittance-receiving households in Zimbabwe’s capital, Harare. In partnership with a local private voluntary organization, CareerAid, IOM also conducted financial literacy workshops in targeted areas of Chitungwiza and Norton. The project was supported by the Africa Caribbean Pacific – European Union (ACP-EU) Migration Action Programme under the Non-State Actor Initiative.
Building on IOM’s successful past experiences and unique expertise, the project, aimed at training 400 community leaders on financial literacy, is just one approach to promoting effective engagement between Zimbabwe and its diaspora.
“The diaspora is an important stakeholder in Zimbabwe, having contributed USD 698.9 million in foreign exchange. We thank IOM for complementing government efforts through this project,” explained Tapiwa Mucheri, Principal Economist in the Zimbabwe Diaspora Directorate in Zimbabwe.
“This initiative is critical in promoting financial independence of remittance receivers and can lead to trust by the diaspora to utilise the financial system to send money back home,” he added.
By complementing the Government of Zimbabwe’s efforts under its Financial Inclusion Strategy, the financial literacy initiative also encourages the use of formal channels of sending and receiving remittances and increase the knowledge of community members on how to effectively use the money they receive from family abroad.
‘Blessing’, a remittance receiver from Warren Park, with relatives in South Africa and the UK, said she appreciated the workshop.
“It was a great learning experience,” she said. “I acquired knowledge on budgeting and starting small businesses with what I receive from my relatives. I look forward to manage my remittances in a better way.”
This assertion was amplified by ‘Angela’ in Chitungwiza who has relatives in Australia. She explained: “Sometimes we receive money from our relatives and misuse it, knowing that we will get more in the future. From now on, I will use the knowledge I acquired from the training workshops to improve my life, taking advantage of the incentives offered by different money transfer agencies.”
The workshop revealed that remittances can positively contribute to household expenditure on health care and education and have been associated with positive outcomes for family members in these areas. The effective use of remittances will assist Zimbabwe to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Three and Four.
For more information please contact Varaidzo Mudombi at IOM Zimbabwe, Tel: +263242704285, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org