Government has developed guidelines and procedures for the acquisition of national documents in order to resolve challenges experienced by Zambians living abroad.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary in charge of International Relations and Cooperation Chalwe Lombe said that the Ministry has in the first phase focused on dealing with issues that facilitate the resolution of delays in the issuance of national documents such as national registration cards and passports.
Mr Lombe said that this is in order to ensure that the Diaspora was fully engaged with the country.
He said the Government’s commitment to engage the Diaspora has been exemplified through the delivery of the Dual Citizenship provision in the Constitution as well as the Diaspora Policy.
Mr Lombe said that all the information required to acquire national documents had been consolidated and the Guidelines and Procedures for the Acquisition of National Documents will be launched soon.
“We have been inundated with questions over the years on what procedures to follow when trying to obtain certain documents. We have now developed guidelines and procedures for the acquisition of national documents which is a novel idea,” he said.
The PS disclosed that President Lungu has committed to holding bi-annual indaba with the Diaspora if only they could organise themselves into a global association.
He also informed the meeting that the MFA with the support of the International Organization for Migration has engaged the Bank of Zambia, and the Ministry of Finance to commission a Remittance Study for the diaspora.
Mr Lombe disclosed this during a digital meeting organised by the Zambian Embassy in Stockholm with Zambians living in the Nordic region.
And Charge D’ Affaires at the Embassy of Zambia in Stockholm Nicky Shabolyo said that the Embassy believed that the Diaspora Policy was a well-crafted document which has covered a wide range of areas affecting Zambians abroad and has proposed workable interventions to address the various challenges.
Mr Shabolyo said this was meant to contribute to realising Government’s desire to have a policy that would facilitate the participation of Zambians in the Diaspora in the country’s socio-economic development agenda.
And speaking on behalf of the Zambian community Benjamin Musuku, based in Finland said that Zambians in the diaspora had always been interested in supporting the Zambian development agenda but that their efforts were hampered by lack of clear guidelines on how they could effectively participate.