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Zimbabwe Urged to Find Innovative Ways of Tapping Diaspora Remittances

FILE: The new Series 2006 $20 currency notes, bearing the signatures of Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Anna Escobedo, treasurer of the United States, are seen at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing in Washington, Monday, Oct. 23, 2006. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Some Zimbabweans say the country should find innovative ways of utilizing millions of dollars trickling into the economy through diaspora remittances of up to $800 million annually in order to enhance social and economic development.

They say currently there is lack of trust between people living in the diaspora, government and recipients over the remittances as the bulk of the money is used for social welfare purposes for struggling Zimbabweans facing a fast-declining economy.

They argue that there is need for government to create a condusive environment for investing the funds. Zimbabweans living in the diaspora sent back home $840 million last year compared to $790 million in 2013.

For perspective, Studio 7’s Gibbs Dube turned to mobile phone businessman, Gerry Dumane living in Pennyslvania, USA, and economist Prosper Chitambara of the Labour and Economic Development Research Institute of Zimbabwe.

Dumane says while the money benefits millions of Zimbabweans, a lot still needs to be done in terms of direct corporate investment.

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