Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the International Organisation of Migration Launch the Diaspora Engagement Project

On Thursday, 11th February, the UN Resident Coordinator, Ms Nathalie Ndongo-Seh, participated in the virtual launch of the Diaspora Engagement Project.

On Thursday, 11th February, the UN Resident Coordinator, Ms Nathalie Ndongo-Seh, participated in the virtual launch of the Diaspora Engagement Project; spear-headed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM).

The launch was attended by Her Excellency, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Head of IOM, Ambassadors, leaders in business, the media and invited guests.

The Project aims to facilitate and encourage meaningful communication between the Emaswati diaspora and Government, for the economic and social development of the Kingdom of Eswatini.

“It is time to take pride in the Diaspora made of Emaswati who are not only changing or improving the lives of many others who reside in this nation but continue to fly the Eswatini flag high in different countries. This is the first time that a Diaspora Engagement is being initiated in Eswatini: as the UN, we are delighted to partner with the Government of Eswatini to implement this initiative that will contribute to the social and economic development of this nation,” stated the UN Resident Coordinator.

The implementation of the Diaspora Engagement Project comes at an appropriate time, during the COVID-19 pandemic:  “As we remain in this last Decade of Action to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, the implementation of a Diaspora Engagement Project comes at a pertinent time to ensure that nobody is left behind,” continued Ms Ndongo-Seh.

Effective engagement will require determined efforts, constant and innovative outreach, as well as collaborative strategies to encourage involvement of the diaspora in national socio-economic projects. Thus, the Project will commence with a ‘Diaspora Skills-Mapping’ exercise, to identify gaps and opportunities with Emaswati abroad, as well as establish online diaspora engagement platforms, a Government database and Diaspora Forum.

The UN Resident Coordinator highlighted the significance of the Emaswati Diaspora, in saying: “In 2019, Emaswati received a total of E1.78 billion in personal remittances. This invaluable economic contribution by the diaspora to our nation cannot be underestimated.”

“I would therefore like to commend Her Excellency, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, for her visionary leadership in organizing this first diaspora engagement initiative, setting up a diaspora unit within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, recognising the invaluable potential of the Emaswati diaspora and the need for constant and innovative outreach with the community.”

Written by
Author
Erin Kennedy
UNV Communications and Advocacy
RCO
Erin Kennedy
UN entities involved in this initiative
IOM
International Organization for Migration