The 20th century has been in every Rwandan mind, hence labor migration was an issue where internal and international migration in the country kept on increasing in the form of large and outflows of refugees with an emerging economic potentials.
Since the mid of 2000s, the government of Rwanda paid attention to Migrants’ economic integration and aligned its policy to migration to reach to its economic development goals.
Attracting foreign investments and immigrant workers with valuable skills as well as facilitating the return of the diaspora could be one of the key strategies to meet Rwanda’s development.
The ILO-OECD Development Centre project report released last year indicates that the presence of foreign-born workers has benefited the employment opportunities of native born Rwandan workers. It reveals that the presence of foreign workers can be positive.
This report further shows that foreign-born population contributed between 10% and 11% of total revenue towards the government’s fiscal balance in 2012, while the value of their net per-capita contribution greatly exceeded that of native born individuals.
Rwandan diaspora living abroad send home $ 181.9 Million in 2016/2017 in remittances and investments-an increase of 17% on the previous year, according to the Rwanda central Bank figures.
The money is sent to relatives of Rwandans living in other parts of the world. But Rwandans abroad are also closely linked with real estate development and business at home.
During the press briefing, early this month, Vedaste Musoni, the Chairman of the Rwanda diaspora in Bonn said Rwandans in Germany are very much concerned with country development and funding philanthropic projects.
“The support comes from the several development projects. For example, we raised Rwf 800 million to support social development activities including construction of schools,” he said.
Based on the sectoral distribution of workers and their productivity in 2012, the most recent year for data is available, immigrant workers are estimated to have contributed between 10% and 12.7% of the gross domestic product (GDP), which is much more than their share employment of 4.7%. Such positive contributions to the economy in part results from the large differences in skill levels between immigrant and native-born workers.
The vice chairperson of the Rwanda Diaspora Global Network (RDGN), on what happened behind the closed-door workshop said during an exclusive interview with The New Times that they want more workshops to seek the input of the Rwandan Community Abroad (RCA) leaders, to reach the rest of the Diaspora.
“First of all, we wanted to have a more united, inclusive, grassroots-based Diaspora and, to achieve that, we needed a workshop; to seek the input of the Rwandan Community Abroad (RCA) leaders, to reach the rest of the Diaspora. Secondly, we wanted to streamline the working relationship between our organization (RDGN) with different local institutions through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Finally, we wanted to prepare our end of year activities, which we have dubbed, “Diaspora Homecoming Month,” which will include a range of events focused on the Diaspora community members. This undertaking will be done annually in December.” He said.
He said that their aspiration toward Rwanda Diaspora development is like the rest of the country, where Rwandans abroad have also progressed. The students that left ten years ago are now working, the community has grown.
According to the National Bank of Rwanda, remittances from the Diaspora have grown from $50 million just a few years ago, to $174 million in 2014. That is more than the revenue generated from tea and coffee exports combined. But we want to do more than that, we want to be more linked to Rwanda, and have an active role in development.
The Express News