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IOM, African Development Bank, African Union Launch $3.9 Million Project to Help Catalyse Diaspora Investment in Eight African Countries
Addis Ababa - The International Organization for Migration (IOM), the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the African Union Commission (AUC have signed an agreement for $3.9 million in grant financing to strengthen investment, human capital and philanthropic engagement from the diaspora in eight African countries.
The Tripartite Funding and Implementation Agreement signed in Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital, will support the ‘’Streamlining Diaspora Engagement to Catalyze Private Investments and Entrepreneurship for Enhanced Resilience’’ (SDE4R) project. The project will be implemented in the Gambia, Liberia, Madagascar, Mali, Somalia, South Sudan, Togo and Zimbabwe.
The multi-country project will assist the recipient countries to identify the best methods to effectively mobilize the human and financial capital of the diaspora, either to support socioeconomic development, by reviving the domestic private sector, or recovery from political or humanitarian crisis, leveraging on the expertise and networks of Diaspora groups.
“The project will stimulate business opportunities and technical support for socio-economic resilience across the continent by promoting innovative financing tools and skills transfer initiatives,” said Abdul Kamara, AfDB Deputy Director General for East Africa.
“The signing of the SDE4R project grant agreement today is an important step towards leveraging the diaspora engagement to catalyze private investments and entrepreneurship for enhanced resilience among populations, including women, youth, and rural dwellers. This intervention will help spur investments supporting the most vulnerable groups in beneficiary countries, including forcibly displaced populations and hosting communities,” added AfDB’s Kamara.
Betty Mupenda Wangozi, Acting Director of the African Union Commission’s Citizens and Diaspora Organization Directorate (CIDO), underscored the timeliness of the agreement in view of the AUC’s leading role in coordinating efforts to harness the contribution of the diaspora to Africa’s development. “SDE4R project will greatly advance the AU 2063 Agenda in the beneficiary countries,” said Wangozi.
“The project is aligned with IOM’s mandate to promote socio-economic development through migration while providing humanitarian assistance to migrants in need, including refugees and internally displaced populations,” noted Mariama Cisse Mohamed, Director of IOM Special Liaison Office in Addis Ababa.
IOM’s Mariama added that “this agreement constitutes a steppingstone for more comprehensive interventions envisioned across the African continent based on existing and scalable interventions on diaspora engagement for private sector development.”
The project is expected to benefit 10,000 people directly while another 40,000 people will indirectly benefit in communities affected by conflict, climate change and other humanitarian and environmental disasters.
The Bank approved the SDE4R project on 4 July 2023, with funding from its Transition Support Facility (TSF). IOM will implement the project over three years with strategic oversight, guidance and advisory from the African Union Commission. This project is a concrete example of a Humanitarian-Development-Peace (HDP) Nexus partnership focused on implementation of strategic frameworks and shared priorities.
An estimated 160 million Africans are in the diaspora and the nearly $96 billion they remitted back home in 2021 far exceeded the $35 billion in official development assistance that flowed into Africa in the same year.
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