Migrants, Not Outcasts: Harnessing the Zambian diaspora

9 December 2018

This report reviews Zambia’s current relationship with its diaspora: existing initiatives to strengthen ties, as well as barriers to progress.

The primary focus of this report is the evolving relationship between the Government of the Republic of Zambia and its diaspora community. The government’s perception of its emigrant population has shifted significantly. There has been a transition from viewing them primarily as contributors to “brain-drain” to recognising their potential as valuable assets for national development.

The report sets the context for the critical role occupied by remittances in the broader African context, highlighting their significance as a source of financial support and proof of significant financial contribution by the diaspora. Zambia, with its diaspora primarily located in countries like the UK, USA, and Australia, is an important case in point.

The report advocates for the development of a comprehensive diaspora engagement framework in Zambia, bolstered by improved coordination among government agencies, regular data collection, enhanced online infrastructure for diaspora interactions, reduced remittance transfer costs, and the extension of dual citizenship and voting rights to the diaspora. These measures are deemed essential for tapping into the full potential of the diaspora community in contributing to Zambia’s economic and social development.

This report was featured as a chapter in “People on the Move: Advancing the Discourse on Migration & Jobs“- a joint report co-authored by the global partners of JustJobs Network.