It’s no secret that here at Project Diaspora, we love the word remittances, especially when it’s used to encourage directed investment vehicles in Africa as opposed to subsistence support. So it was with great pleasure when we got word that Tanzania is holding a conference next month to examine the role of it’s diaspora community in shaping the future of Tanzania.

According to the Africa Recruit event website:

In 2006 according to the World Bank, Remittances to Tanzania were US Dollars 100 Million. This figure excludes remittances through informal channels.

But what was more heart-warming was the push to recruit and engage Tanzania’s diaspora to be active members in the shaping of Tanzania’s future. That’s right up our alley of thinking.

The knowledge and skills of the Diaspora is an additional source of engagement for countries to tap into in building the capacity and capabilities of organisations and ultimately the country. The event is aimed at galvanising the Tanzanian Diaspora of all generations in harnessing their skills, knowledge and investment in the continued economic development of Tanzania.

It’s indeed heart-warming to see this kind of organization taking shape in the West. It encourages us here at PD even more to scour the web and promote as many diaspora-led efforts, especially in the remittance space. It’s inspiring that even though Tanzania’s official remittance tally is a shade above $100 million, it’s making enough noise and change on the ground that even HE Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, president of Tanzania has a keynote slot. Though we have yet to confirm this. I shudder to think how much of an impact these remittance numbers would make if the total neared Kenya’s nearly $600 million annual tally.

If you are a member of Tanzanian diaspora, we encourage you to attend this conference, especially in you are in Europe, there’s no excuse for missing out. Please attend. Event information is provided below and at the Africa Recruit event registration page.

The Diaspora Investment and Skills Forum

April 18, 2008

The Savoy, a Fairmont Hotel
Strand, London WC2R 0EU United Kingdom
Telephone: +44(0) 20 7836 4343

Click here for more information and to register.