The East African Community (EAC) is considering setting up a diaspora desk that will focus on facilitating East Africans living in the diaspora to invest and trade in the region, the regional bloc said in a statement late Monday.
The statement issued by the EAC headquarters in Tanzania’s northern city of Arusha said the bloc is also currently developing a diaspora engagement strategy that will provide a framework for interacting with the diaspora community.
The statement said the setting up of the diaspora desk and the diaspora engagement strategy was announced by the EAC secretary general Peter Mathuki during the East Africa 17th Annual Trade and Investment Conference. The meeting saw hundreds of East Africans residing abroad explore areas of investment and deliberate on solutions to overcome investment and trade challenges.
According to the statement, the diaspora community highlighted a lack of trust in local financial institutions as one of the challenges deterring investment in East Africa.
Mathuki responded by urging them to establish financial institutions such as an EAC diaspora bank, to be located in one of the EAC’s member states where they can access credit and transact business, said the statement.
The statement said the inflow of funds from the diaspora has been on an upward trajectory in recent years. Enditem