Albertan Canadians launch Development Forum of Zimbabwe

Albertan Canadians launch Development Forum of Zimbabwe
Published: 12 February 2014 (1906 Views)
With an ever increasing awareness being given to Zimbabwean issues; by people within the Diaspora, a group of motivated Zimbabweans within Edmonton Canada have begun to organize forums in which to encourage a united economic front for Diaspora investment for issues involving Zimbabwean investment.

With the Zimbabwe Government tabling new endeavors to encourage Diaspora investment within its recent budget, a huge interest is growing amongst the Zimbabwean-Canadian Diaspora as well as globally; in ways that Zimbabweans can contribute to the development of Zimbabwe beside the usual channels of remittances'.

The 15% decline of Zimbabwe remittances to $1.8 billion has led banking officials such as Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Acting Governor Charity Dhliwayo to comment: "that work is currently underway to come up with appropriate facilities to effectively harness Diaspora savings for the development of the domestic economy,".

With this vein of thought, this month of February meetings have been held within Edmonton Canada; on discussions centered on how to galvanize the local community into fostering the drive to encourage Zimbabwe investment. The implementation of the Zimbabwe indigenization act has aroused numerous questions amongst Diaspora Zimbabweans who are very keen on investing in the Zimbabwe economy.

Speaking with one of the officials for the DFZ, he listed several economic areas amongst many commonly known; that have stoked interest amongst Zimbabweans in Canada when it comes to investment:

a. The manufacturing sector including its supply chain
b. The transportation infrastructure development across Zimbabwe including its highways and power grids
c. Public private partnerships in raising capital and building effective modes of transportation within municipalities
d. Assurances of the return of investment in capital that the Diaspora raises within Canada
e. Possible investment opportunities within the Zimbabwe healthcare system including equipment procurement; and in what capacity the Government can assist this or incentivize it more.
f. Investment in the agriculture sector and how to bolster its growth whilst opening up markets within Canada


According to the minutes of their meeting held on the 1st of February, the Development Forum of Zimbabwe strongly resists any political affiliations and is strictly concerned with mainly ROI on economic and growth sustainability projects, within Zimbabwe that are assisted by Diaspora Zimbabweans.

Drawing its leadership from all walks of life within the Canadian Diaspora, DFZ is one of the ever growing organizations globally, trying to turn the economic muscle of Diaspora Zimbabweans from remittance payments to actual leveraged capital investments within Zimbabwe with the aim of turning a profit whilst bettering people back in the local communities.

A mantra of "changing the mindset of the Diaspora Zimbabwean", is said to have evolved out of the recent DFZ meetings, with a new ideology of evangelizing the Diaspora to think differently in terms of how they transfer money back to Zimbabwe.

Proper channels in which to get a hold of Zimbabwean leaders, to come out and pitch investment ideas to Diaspora Zimbabweans were also discussed. Mayors of local Zimbabwe municipalities or leaders of local Government development agencies were examples of possible sounding boards to invite to Canada in order to educate Diaspora Zimbabweans on how to help effectively inject liquidity within Zimbabwe with the help of those in the Diaspora.

Social stigma such as the misconception held by some; that those in the Diaspora left Zimbabwe to its suffering whilst going abroad to enjoy a lavish lifestyle was another issue highlighted and discussed on how to attack and refute by those in attendance at the meetings.

The economic problem, seen and discussed about this poisoned perspective; was that it encouraged a lack of trust and an antipathy against those in the Diaspora resulting in an unfavorable climate of risking investment or raising capital within Canada. Discussions are still ongoing on how to continuously challenge this bias.

The Development Forum of Zimbabwe from its current forums; sees itself as "An organization of Zimbabweans seeking to promote economic and social development in Zimbabwe."Subsequently after all leadership positions have been filled, DFZ expects to begin actively searching for funding to reach out educate, and attract Canadian Zimbabweans on how to start investing within Zimbabwe as a bloc.

They hope to work closely with other larger communities and organizations' within the larger global Zimbabwe Diaspora.  The idea of Diaspora Zimbabweans making money whist supporting their motherland is an idea that the DFZ leadership hopes will take root within Canada, with a possible galvanized investment coming out of Canada within the next few years.

Business leaders, organizational leaders and those individuals interested in participating; in the building of this economic platform can contact Mduduzi Gumbo at mduduzi25@hotmail.com, Godfrey Zimuto at jzimuto@yahoo.com, Maxwell Zhira at dfzimbabwe@gmail.com and Amandla Ngwenya at mzilaa@yahoo.com.

---------------
Tsungai Chipato is a journalist and a blogger based in Toronto Contact him @ mugaradzakasungwa@gmail.com

- Tsungai Chipato

Tags: Canada, Forums,
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