ZAMBIA SEEKS TO EARN MORE FROM CITIZENS ABROAD
By Ben Kangwa
Published on Aug 09 2012
AS governments the world over continue to earn from their citizens in The Diaspora, the Zambian government is repositioning itself to find ways of tapping into the vast savings and remittances of its thousands of citizens in the outside world. When Kafula Nkweto left his homeland in Matumbo village of Chinsali district in what is now Muchinga Province to seek opportunity in the USA, his widowered father and two of his siblings stayed behind. That was way back in 1977 and today, some 35 years later, he is the only lifeline for the family. He recalls the struggles he faced as he tried to finish secondary school and how his uncle, who is a miner in Luanshya, the Copperbelt Province, had been retired and was not in any better position to send money to Matumbo village for basic necessities to keep the family going. As an adult, “I wanted to find a way to help my father and my brothers and sisters with things like clothes, food and school,” says Mr Nkweto, who now works at a multi-national food chain store in Seattle, Washington State. He usually sends between US$100 (about K500,000) and US$150 a month from his monthly income to sustain his father, brother and sister. “Life is hard here but I consider it my responsibility to send money to my family,” he says. Every day, money is earned by millions of people who have left their homes to find safer or more prosperous lives in other countries. Some of these earnings are sent home as remittances to family members, resulting in a multi-billion dollar annual flow of money around the globe and contributing significant amounts to some nations’ economies. SAVINGS
It is estimated that the annual savings from The Diaspora from developing countries total as much as US$400 billion. It would be a mistake to assume that all of the funds remitted go into consumption by the recipients. There is ample evidence to show that the money flows into...
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