The Minister of Local Government, James Musoni, yesterday, addressed the UN Ministerial Policy Dialogue on the implementation of sustainable development commitments as well as new emerging challenges to pave way for next year’s global summit on sustainable development.
Musoni chaired a panel of African Ministers and experts during the two-day African Regional Preparatory conference organised by the UN office in Addis Ababa in preparation for the summit slated for Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in June 2012.
During the conference at the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) which was opened by the Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, Musoni spoke about migration and youth employment in Africa, sharing Rwanda’s experience.
“Mindful of the fundamental economic role played by migrant business persons, Rwanda has facilitated business people and workers where they are issued with long term resident permits, with a possibility of permanent residence after five years and eventually acquiring citizenship,” Musoni told the delegates.
“This creates a sense of stability to foreigners. For the Rwandan Diaspora, they can acquire dual nationality or permanent residency which makes them maintain ties with their homeland and creates a good environment for them to invest in their country of origin”.
He told the conference that Rwandans in the Diaspora who have lost their nationality due to citizenship in other countries, are not only facilitated by the government to acquire dual citizenship, but there is also an office which facilitates them to get travel documents that allow them to travel back to Rwanda and invest.
As a result of favourable migration policies, Musoni said that financial remittances from Rwandan immigrants have increased boosting the country’s revenues and also enhanced the country’s capacity in terms of human resource and skills.
He also noted that both the host and recipient countries should ease the transfer process of remittances for migrants to make them more affordable as they benefit both countries through interest rates or taxes.
Prime Minister Zenawi called on African countries to unify and come up with the African position during next year’s summit and to speak with one voice, if Africa’s position is to be heard.
To do so, he said, Africans need to develop effective and realistic strategies to serve Africa’s interests.