Tanzania has embarked on an ambitious plan that seeks to increase the contribution of Tanzanians in the diaspora in the country’s economy.
This follows the successful launch of the Diaspora Digital Hub (DDH) initiated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and East African Co-operation that that will among other things act as a database for all Tanzanians in the diaspora.
Speaking during the launch event held in Dar es Salaam yesterday, the Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation Permanent Secretary Ambassador James Bwana said the Diaspora Digital Hub will not only be useful in tracking all the necessary information for Tanzanians in the diaspora but will also be useful in linking them to various services back here in Tanzania like banking and finance services, National Identification Authority (NIDA) services and Registration Insolvency and Trusteeship Agency (RITA).
“This hub will help Tanzanians in the diaspora to know the available investment opportunities back home,” he stressed.
The chairperson of Tanzania’s Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defense and Security Vita Kawawa noted that the launch of the Diaspora Digital Hub is, “a step in the right direction in enhancing the contribution of the diaspora in the country’s development process”.
The Minister for Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation Dr Stergomena Tax during the event said the contribution of the diaspora has been increasing in recent years noting that between January to December 2021, Tanzanians in the diaspora sent back home $569.3 million.
“Between January to December 2022, Tanzanians in the diaspora remitted $1.1 billion (approximately 2.6trn/-. This is not little money. We understand that some of the people in the diaspora do not use formal means to remit money back home. We are glad that we have brought on board financial institutions like NMB Bank to close this gap,” she added.
She noted that the diaspora’s contribution to the real estate sector last year hit 4.4bn/- last year from 2.3bn/- recorded in 2021.
“Tanzanian in the diaspora have also been investing in various UTT Asset Management and Investment Services (UTT Amis) schemes worth 2.5bn/-,” she added.
She said the Ministry in the past did not have a unified hub for all the Tanzanians in the diaspora that prompted various Tanzanian embassies outside Tanzania to come up with separate databases for Tanzanians in the diaspora.
“Each embassy in the past had its only database and this was a challenge in terms of service delivery. As a ministry, we saw the need for establishing a unified Diaspora Digital Hub and we are glad that the project is ready for launch today,” Dr. Tax said.
Dr. Tax during the event challenged officials from her ministry to ensure integration of the Diaspora Digital Hub with other Government systems to enhance efficiency and service delivery.
“This should go in line with a campaign to create public awareness to ensure that people in the diaspora receive all the vital information needed,” she said.
During the event, NMB Bank pledged to come up with more tailor-made products to cater for the needs of Tanzanians in the diaspora as part of its commitment to enhance financial inclusion and increase the diaspora’s contribution to the country’s development.
The remark was made by the NMB Bank chief of Retail Banking Filbert Mponzi while officiating at the launch of the Diaspora Digital Hub (DDH) initiated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and East African Co-operation that that will among other things act as a database for all Tanzanians in the diaspora.
Mponzi said NMB Bank understands that diaspora have a big role to play in the country’s development process adding that the bank will continue investing in systems to enable Tanzanians in the diaspora to stress-free banking products as part of its commitment to boost their remittance contribution.
“As a bank, we signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the ministry of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation and offered 100m/- in August last year to support development of the Diaspora Digital Hub and we are more than happy to see that project is ready for launch today. We believe that this hub will be instrumental in enhancing the contribution of the diaspora in the country’s economic development process,” Mponzi said.
He noted that as part of its commitment to offer unique banking services, the bank established a dedicated department to cater for the interests of Tanzanians in the diaspora.