26 April 2014

Tanzania: People Living in the Diaspora Want Recognition in New Katiba

Dodoma — TANZANIANS living in the Diaspora are proposing the new constitution specifically spells out and recognises their contribution in building the economy of the country.

They say this would also require government to consider dual citizenship, so that people in the Diaspora can effectively take part in building the economy of the country.

Contributing in the Constituent Assembly (CA), Mr Kadari Singo - who represents people in the Diaspora, said that there are about three million Tanzanians living in the Diaspora, but their contribution to the economy is insignificant.

He urged that it was important for members to rethink fears they have and add dual citizenship as a constitutional provision, an idea he said would have several advantages to the country's economy. He said due to various obstacles it is not easy to remit funds from abroad.

"The Diaspora host leaders from Tanzania and these leaders know that we are from Tanzania, but when we come back home, it seems like we are not part of this country," said Mr Singo. He said according to available statistics, Tanzania's Diaspora remittances accounts only between USD 10 and 35 million per annum.

He said the amount is small compared to what other African countries like Kenya, Uganda, Lesotho and Nigeria remit. "They collect significant revenues and play a bigger role in scaling up economic development in their respective countries," he said.

"Tanzania needs to look on how it can improve economy by involving people who have been living in the Diaspora," said Mr Singo.

He cited examples from other African countries, noting that Nigeria receives USD 61 billion from the Diaspora, Kenya USD 1.7 billion, Uganda USD 910 million while country like China receives USD 60 billion in remittances.

He said Tanzania should reduce tax exemptions of companies and other organisations, in a bid to improve revenue collection for funding various economic development programmes.

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