By Fidelity Mhlanga & Elizabeth Dumbreni | From News Day
The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) sees diaspora remittances nearly doubling to $1,5 billion on the back of innovative financial approaches, a key step in addressing the liquidity challenges besetting the economy, a senior central bank official said yesterday.
Diaspora remittances were $837 million in 2014.
Speaking to delegates at the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce (ZNCC) conference RBZ deputy governor Kupukile Mlambo said the country needed to be innovative in its approaches and tap into diaspora remittances as a source of capital.
He said the economy was facing challenges such as lack of access to capital, large external debt burden and subdued foreign direct investment flows.
Mlambo said to attract more money into the economy, the apex bank was willing to deal with reducing costs of remitting funds in the country.
“If we can harness $1 billion to $1,5 billion remittances only from the diaspora a year we will be making progress. We are working with Homelink since it’s the biggest agency so that they reduce the costs of sending money and then others will follow the bandwagon,” Mlambo said.
Mlambo said to tap more diaspora funds government needs to develop a comprehensive diaspora policy as well as promote linkages with key industry organisations like ZNCC, Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries and forge partnerships with development partners like the World Bank and the African Development Bank.
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