Regional Diaspora Agenda lands on the East African Community table

The International Organization for Migration is supporting the East African Community’s initiative to develop a regional diaspora policy and plan of action.

The move targets to establish a strategic framework for mobilizing and integrating East African Diaspora in the regional integration process and harnessing communication links within the East African Diaspora community.

This may include assessing Diaspora-related information and proposing the ideal data sharing and protection principle among the key stakeholders.

The Arusha-based EAC Secretariat convened a meeting in Nairobi, Kenya, to conduct a desk review of existing legislation, policies, institutional structures, and coordination mechanisms on Diaspora engagement of all Partner States.

It sought to gather information from the relevant Ministries, departments, directorates in the Partner States responsible for Diaspora matters, investment promotion and Facilitation.

Made up of Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, DR Congo and South-Sudan, the East African Community plans to formulate Diaspora associations by their people living abroad.

Kenya launched the country’s Diaspora Policy back in 2014. Other countries are yet to borrow a leaf from Nairobi.

Dual Citizenship remains a headache among Tanzanians living abroad as their government remains adamant on the issue.

Now the East African Community is consulting with Partner States and other partners about what kind of information is needed from Diaspora members to facilitate their work or analysis on Diaspora contribution, and suggest how the data should be compiled and safely stored, ensuring the human rights and data protection principle.

The EAC is seeking to get views on the expectations of the diaspora on the regional Diaspora policy and what type of information to be shared as part of Diaspora registration.

The Tanzania Times learns that from the Nairobi event the community wants to conduct a regional analysis of Diaspora engagement in the East African Region.

Efforts entail relevant legal, regulatory, policy and institutional frameworks, trends, good practices, challenges, and recommendations, including a comprehensive stakeholders’ analysis to identify key role players responsible for Diaspora engagement.