Land major incentive for the Diaspora

The findings of a long awaited survey conducted amongst Rwandans living in Belgium, has revealed that access to land is the main incentive for the Diaspora to invest or work in Rwanda. The findings were made public yesterday during the opening of the fourth Diaspora Global Convention at the Kigali Serena Hotel.
Gaston Rwasamanzi (R) Robert Masozera (middle) and Valeska Onken at the meeting yesterday (Photo F Goodman)
Gaston Rwasamanzi (R) Robert Masozera (middle) and Valeska Onken at the meeting yesterday (Photo F Goodman)

The findings of a long awaited survey conducted amongst Rwandans living in Belgium, has revealed that access to land is the main incentive for the Diaspora to invest or work in Rwanda.

The findings were made public yesterday during the opening of the fourth Diaspora Global Convention at the Kigali Serena Hotel.

The survey was commissioned by the government and the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

The main findings of the study titled “Enhancing linkages between the Rwandan government and Diaspora to promote investment and development” were presented by a Rwandan-Canadian international consultant, Dr. Gaston Rwasamanzi.

“When it comes to incentives for investing or coming to work here, we realized that access to land is the most popular and most attractive incentive for the Diaspora,” Dr. Rwasamanzi said.

Highlighting findings related to what he said were “obstacles to invest” back home, Rwasamanzi noted that lack of information came top (33%) followed by “refusal for political reasons” at 22 percent.

Access to credit (19%) and lack of organization (15%) were some other reasons.

The survey largely aims to identify: the Diaspora skills, assess investment potentials, needs of the Diaspora, and an assessment of source of information and reliability of information used by the Diaspora.

 Powerful Belgian networks undermining government efforts
The study, however, notes that the Rwandan community in Belgium “is complex and divided because of the genocide.”

“The Rwandan Diaspora lives in a country where there are powerful Belgian networks linked to the former regime who work to undermine the policy of unity and national reconciliation,” Rwasamanzi said.

In August, when The New Times first interviewed the consultant and Valeska Onken, the project coordinator for the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the two had then observed that despite the existence of 'some real militant hardliners in the Diaspora, there are also Rwandan youths with a will to be united.

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