World Bank (Washington, DC)

16 May 2012

Mauritius: Country to Host High-Level Forum On Harnessing Diaspora Resources for Africa's Development

press release

Washington, D.C. — As part of the ongoing dialogue about the connection between migration and development, the Mauritius government, the World Bank's Africa Region and its African Diaspora Program (ADP) are co-organizing a High-Level Forum (HLF) to be held in Port Louis June 14-15, 2012.

The forum, "Harnessing Diaspora Resources for Development in Africa," is one of three international events planned in Mauritius in preparation for the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) summit to be held in November 2012. The forum will build on the outcomes and achievements of the first HLF held in 2008, as well as the GFMD roundtable on "Supporting Migrants and Diaspora as Agents of Socioeconomic Change."

"This high-level forum will give us a chance to work with global stakeholders to identify strategies for Diaspora mobilization and engagements that are best suited to Africa and Africans in the Diaspora," said Dr. Kofi Anani, senior operations officer for the African Diaspora Program, and the World Bank's Task Team Leader for the forum. "We hope that by working together, we will be able to generate some innovative approaches to leveraging the African Diaspora's energy and talents."

African government officials, development partners and private sector stakeholders are invited to participate in the forum to take stock of the many practical actions taken to harness Diaspora resources. It is also an opportunity for participants to learn from each other's experiences and identify potential areas for collaboration and cooperation as they consider innovative new tools and products that could support greater Diaspora engagement in their countries and the development impact of remittances.

These activities will contribute to the African Union's Post-Summit meeting on the Diaspora in Abuja in September 2012, setting the stage for more effective collaboration amongst stakeholders. Developing common policy interventions and strategies to leverage Diaspora resources in order to support Africa's economic development will be a major focus at the Abuja meeting.

Organizers expect that this HLF will produce proposals for designing regional and country engagement policy frameworks and public-private partnerships. The proposals will identify products and services to enhance the impact of remittances, while also utilizing Diaspora skills more effectively in development programs. They will also delineate a common approach to institutional reforms and policies to support the proposed initiatives, with a particular focus on how to effectively engage the Diaspora and the private sector as development partners.

Since its creation in 2007, the GFMD has played a leading role in tackling the complex link between migration and its impact on development by helping governments explore opportunities to collaborate with one another, development partners, and the private sector.

As chair of the GFMD, the Mauritian government has further promoted inter-African dialogue on migration and development, including the important role the Diaspora can play in Africa.

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