South – South Cooperation : Governments of Ghana and Eswatini to join Efforts in Boosting Diaporas Contribution in Local Development

22 June 2021

Accra – From 7 to 11 June 2021, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) facilitated a technical visit of a delegation from the Government of the Kingdom of Eswatini (GoE) to Ghana, to exchange good practices on diaspora engagement and remittances with key representatives from the Government of Ghana (GoG) and the private sector.

The study visit was organized in partnership with the Eswatini Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and other relevant stakeholders, to support the Government of Eswatini in enhancing its engagement with the Emaswati in the diaspora to reap their potential for social and economic development of the country.

Leveraging the diaspora’s social, cultural, financial and human capital for national development, is a common goal of both governments and will contribute to the attainment of internationally agreed development goals, including the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Global Compact for Migration. Both Governments acknowledge the importance of harnessing the valuable potential of its diaspora for national development.

Ghana is one of the countries well known to  have done well in engaging it’s diaspora for the social and economic benefits of the country. A remarkable experience being the diaspora contribution to local economy. Despites the COViD-19 impacts on global economies, remittances to Ghana shot by 5% to UD$ 3.6 billion in 2020 and Ghana was ranked second behind Africa’s most populous nation benefiting significantly from diaspora remittances flows.

The delegation met with officials from IOM Ghana; Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Reintegration; Diaspora Affairs, Office of the President (DAOOP); Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations; Ministry of Finance; as well as from the Centre for Migration Studies at the University of Ghana, Ghana Investment Promotion Centre, a remittances company, Zeepay, and a business development center, Innohub.

The delegation representatives learnt about the ‘Year of Return’ diaspora initiative implemented by the Government of Ghana in 2019, and gained a better understanding of some of the good practices, experiences and lessons learnt from Ghana’s engagement with its diaspora.

Head of the Delegation, Jennifer Neves, Under Secretary – Administration, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, said: “We came to learn from one of the giants when it comes to diaspora engagement, and we are leaving with a wealth of knowledge. We have built networks and we are grateful to know that we can come back for advice in the future. With Government in the driving seat, we are confident that we can bring to life what we have on paper.”

The Eswatini delegation comprised of officials from the Prime Minister’s Office, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Ministry of Labour and Social Security, Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Ministry of Commerce, Trade and Industry, Ministry of Agriculture, Central Bank Eswatini, Royal Eswatini Police Services, CANGO, SWAMMIWA, Business Eswatini, as well as two IOM Eswatini officials and IOM Regional Thematic Specialist, Jason Theede, based in Pretoria.

The study visit catalyzed the strategic partnership between the two countries by enhancing their South-South cooperation relationship, spanning across two regions of the African continent, thereby fostering regional integration as stipulated in the African Union (AU) Agenda 2063.

The visit was organized within the framework of an IOM Development Fund project which is implemented by IOM in partnership with the Eswatini Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and other relevant stakeholders.

Add IOM Eswatini has already started supporting the the Government of Eswatini's toward engaging the Diaspora for socio economic benefit. Activities involved the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and included an engagement workshop held in South Africa, with Emaswati diaspora residing in South Africa. The event was attended. by Eswatini Honorable Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Honorable Minister of Economic Planning and development, Honorable Minister of Commerce Trade and Industry, who was Head of Delegation.  The purpose of it was to brief Emaswati diaspora in South Africa on the diaspora engagement initiative. The main objective of the event was to interact with Emaswati diaspora, learn about their aspirations and their potential interest in engaging with different entities in Eswatini to actively be involved in the social and economic development of the country.

 

For more information, please contact Thembie Matsenjwa (Project Assistant) at IOM Eswatini Tel: +26876964378 Email: tmatsenjwa@iom.int; and Eric Kwame Akomanyi at IOM Ghana Email: eakomanyi@iom.int