Following the initiation of the Zimbabwe Diaspora Home Interface Program (ZIDHIP) on July 12, 2012, in Washington D.C., similar consultations were held with representatives of the Zimbabwe Local Government Associations (ZILGA) on August 14, 2013, who agreed to participate in ZIDHIP.
Purpose and Objectives
As the apex body for the home-diaspora program, ZIDHIP’s over-arching purpose is to
- Mobilize the diaspora,
- Establish a platform for knowledge exchange between the diaspora and home-front,
- Promote investment,
- Coordinate philanthropy and support programs led by the diaspora, and ensure efforts are undertaken jointly by the two groups,
- Build capacity of the public and private sectors.
ZIDHIP’s ‘tripod institutional set-up and structure’ comprising of the state, non-state and Diaspora actors is led by a Steering Committee (SC) made up of representatives who have demonstrated interest in strengthening the home-front and Diaspora relations in order to improve the socio-economic status of Zimbabweans. At the launch, Deputy Prime Minister, Arthur Mutambara and ministers from the key ministries sat on the SC together with representatives from non-state actors and the diaspora. This arrangement has continued with the Minister of Finance now at the helm.
On the home front, participants from the inaugural meetings comprise of civil society, ZILGA, non-governmental organizations and private sector representatives who are working to mobilize support and buy-in at home. On the Diaspora side, ZIDHIP has also developed Diaspora Nodes in North America and the UK, and is in the process of formalizing nodes in South Africa and in Australasia. These nodes comprise of chapters by sector, interest, and geographic location.
The SC meets periodically to provide the policy guidelines and leads efforts to raise awareness of the critical role played the Diaspora in the development efforts of the country. The SC is in the process of identifying focal persons with requisite skills to be part of the Working Group of the Coordination Unit (CU) as needed and on request. Focal persons represent respective Government sectors and should be in a position to provide sector information to the CU as well as brief the sector on available Diaspora skills, capacity and resources as well as related decisions and actions.
Coordination Units for the Home and Diaspora Units are led by appointees Dr. Ibbo Mandaza and Norbert Mugwagwa for the Home and Diaspora, respectively. They are responsible for articulating and leading the efforts to operationalize the concept, disseminate the information, and mobilize participation while keeping the Steering Committee and other actors informed.
The North America node has formalized itself into the Zimbabwe Diaspora Network North America (ZDNNA) a model other nodes may emulate. State, non state and Diaspora comprise of the beneficiary and provider groups of institutions and individuals at home and in the Diaspora who agree to collaborate in various capacities to improve the livelihoods of Zimbabweans and the development of Zimbabwe. Both the Ministry/sector focal persons and non state actors are members of the Coordinating Units (CUs) because of the value they bring to the program, i.e. their knowledge of the sector needs, capacity gaps, rules and regulations governing the operation of the sector, market behavior and trends, etc.