Re-Thinking Diasporic Engagement From Dislocation and Resistance to Pan-Africanism Solidarity and Economic Transformation
by Tinashe L. Chimedza
The 21st century has been summed up as the ‘century of migration’. With that migration has come an increased level of diaspora communities across the globe. That diaspora sent about US$529billion to their countries of birth according to the World Bank (2018). In Zimbabwe, the increased migration has led to diaspora citizens remitting between US1.5b to US$ 2 billion with millions estimated to be living outside the country. In three sections this paper lays out ways of thinking about the diaspora, conceptualizing their contribution and points to some preliminary framework and specifies precise policy reforms that have been lacking from the Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP). The first section surveys the ideas around the concept of diaspora and how this has changed overtime from the ‘back to Africa’ movement, through the Pan-African liberation project to the modern 21st century movements. The second section presents five areas as points of re-thinking how the diaspora can be engaged with and these are: (I) radical intellectual enquiry, (II) PanAfrican solidarity, (III) resistance against ‘dangerously globalized capitalism’ (commodification of life), (IV) re-imagination of citizenship and (V) cultural renaissance .The third, and final section outlines, for Zimbabwe, five policy interventions: (I) diaspora engagement in Governance, Representation and Political Participation; (II) platforms to facilitate Economic Investment, Entrepreneurship and
Skills Development; (III) engaging in Professional, Academic, Cultural and Research Exchange ; and (IV) building of Regional, Continental Global Partnerships and (V) supporting Citizen initiatives . The paper argues for a broad conception of diaspora to include all people of African descent for re-connection to the historic project of PanAfrican solidarity, liberation, social and economic justice and deliberately places women and young people as its dynamic, creative and driving impetus.
From Resistance to Liberation: Amistad, Garvey, Du Bois to Rhodes Must Fall
With regard to our Fatherland and Motherland, sweet Africa, which is laden with her bounteous wealth, ready to bestow them on the scattered seed of Ham, I have lived there for three years and have had a taste of the refreshing waters that flow through her wonderful streams. Africa! Oh bleeding Africa, with her children crying out against oppression, must be set free at any cost…Cheer up, noble leader! cheer up! the sky is signalling; reinforcements are fast appearing, and victory will be ours ere long. Let me remind you once more not to forget my offer as I am very anxious to do something for the benefit of my race ( Letter to Marcus Garvey, Printed in the Negro World, 6 August 1921.
The diasporic history is torturous but also very fertile. And when diaspora is mentioned in relation to Zimbabwe one has to quickly re-read this intellectually in the broadest sense of things. It is a history that spans the entire globe either through involuntary and voluntary dispersal going back to the middle passage which scattered people of African descent to the four corners of the world. From Latin America, through the Caribbean and into the ‘belly’ of the Western world but this has to ambitiously include the way African people continue moving across borders within the continent. The common experience of Black people either through the horrors of slave trade, the vagaries of colonialism, white settlerist-laagers, apartheid bantustans exploitation, and imperialism stirred the international solidarity that mid-wived Pan-Africanism. This solidarity was especially evident when African Americans were battling racism in the US and when continental Africans battled with colonialism. This is why it was common to have African nationalist leaders in Harlem and also have Pan-Africanist leaders like Du Bois, Maya Angelou, George Padmore and a lot more live in Ghana and others move permanently to Zimbabwe and Kenya. In Ethiopia diaspora returnees were granted 500 acres of land. But the threads of this solidarity continue running right from the revolt on the Amistand and the ties that bind are still present in movements like Rhodes Must Fall, Fees Must Fall, De-Colonize the University, and Black Lives Matter.
The Black Diaspora is still contending with troubled times from the heart of the conceptual west (US, Europe, Australia) and much of the Caribbean Islands. Perhaps the most potent of this troubled belonging is the rise of white supremacist-nationalist thinking in which a President can loudly say that a US American citizen ‘must go back where she came from’8. Scholar and activist Professor Ibram Kendi has portrayed fully the state of affairs of how racist ideas were embedded into the national psyche of the US:
When we look back on our history, we often wonder why so many American did not resist slave trading, enslaving, segregating, or now mass incarcerating. The reason is, again, racist ideas. The principal function of racist ideas in American history has been the suppression of resistance to racial discrimination and its resulting racial disparities. The beneficiaries of slavery, segregation, and mass incarceration have produced racist ideas of Black people being best suited for or deserving of the confines of slavery, segregation, or the jail cell. Consumers of these racist ideas have been led to believe there is something wrong with Black people, and not the policies that have enslaved, oppressed, and confined so many black people (Kendi, 2016:19)
Professor Kendi then followed up this analysis with almost a manifesto of ‘how to be anti-racist’9.
Elsewhere across the Atlantic, specifically in the UK, there has been contestations around the ‘windrush’ generation and this revealed the underbelly of race, belonging and identify questions that follow the Black Diaspora. Research is emerging of how descendants of the middle passage in Latin America are grappling with structural exclusion which often affects women more differently and acutely. In Brazil for example, racial profiling remains a present day threat to black bodies (Perry, 201310). But the Black Diaspora is even in more trouble in Africa especially considering that there is more transnational movement of people across the borders within and across Africa than into Europe, US or other places. In some places in the Middle East domestic workers imported from Africa are reported to be working in near slave conditions and some reported to be trapped as sex slaves. The haunting pictures of young men and women kept in prisons (and auctioned in Libya); the young men and women dying trying to cross the Sahara; the young crossing into Latin America then trying to make their way to North America, and the young men and women whose bodies are founding floating trying to make it to Europe mark a very troubled migration route out of Africa. In Zimbabwe a passport has become a prized possession.
Capetown/Johannesburg: Jonathan Ball Publishers, also Booysen, Susan (2015) Fees Must Fall Student Revolt, Decolonisation and Governance in South Africa, Wits University Press: Johannesburg.
- Bellafante, Ginia (2019) The N.Y.C Roots of Trump and ‘Go Back Where You Came From’, New York Times, July :
New York. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/07/18/nyregion/nyc-trump-racism.html
- Kendi, Ibram (2016) Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America, Nation Books:
New York and also (2019) How to Be an Anti-Racist, Random House: New York.
10See in general, PERRY, K. (2013). Black Women against the Land Grab: The Fight for Racial Justice in Brazil.
Minneapolis; London: University of Minnesota Press
This state of affairs was summed by a poet Warsan Shire when she said ‘no one leaves home unless its the mouth of a shark’.
2.0 Anchoring Diaspora Engagement: Some Preliminary Principles
Before outlining the specific policy interventions that can build a platform for sustainable diaspora engagement this article argues that there is need to set out some principles that inform the framework of that engagement. This article points to five of these principles that are drawn from the historical ways in which Africans have engaged with each other broadly but mores specifically the principles are a derivative of lessons learnt from over 500 years of people to people solidarity.
Firstly, it is important that the engagement is informed by and draws ideas from the tradition of radical intellectual enquiry that was characteristic of the era in which Africans sought to be freed from slavery, colonialism, racial prejudice and imperialism. The Black and African diaspora archive is a rich tapestry of radical intellectual enquiry – this goes back to and through Marcus Garvey, William Du Bois, George Padmore, Martin Luther King and Angela Davies. One has to read Walter Rodney (born in Guyana) but did much of his intellectual work in Tanzania on How Europe Underdeveloped Africa and interestingly Walter Rodney could lecture in the bellum of imperialism but was deported from Jamaica in response to which he wrote Groundings With My Brothers. In the recent scheme of things the “#Black Lives Matter”, “#Rhodes Must Fall” movements have harvested ideas from that radical intellectual tradition.
Immediately after independence there was a huge movement of African-American intellectual and ordinary people who moved into Africa and for some time the intellectual exchanges flourished. Fort Hare in South Africa, Fourah Bay in Ghana, University of Ibadan, University of Dar (famously called the ‘Hill’), Makerere University and the University of Zimbabwe. The University of Zimbabwe provided some safe haven for intellectuals across the continent especially after establishing the Zimbabwe Institute of Development Studies (ZIDS) which was then launched by the then Prime Minister of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe, but has since withered . The national political class secure in capturing the state for their comprador projects has always been uneasy of the radical intellectual enquiry. Pat McFadden was called all sorts of things and accused of being a lesbian in Zimbabwe and deported (Mail and Guardian, June 199915. So was Shadreck Gutto. In Zambia they recently kicked our PLO Lumumba for being a ‘security threat’. His sin was to question the ‘mega deals’ between Zambia and Chinese companies. So in thinking about diaspora engagement it is important to lay out this radical intellectual and literary tradition and the ways it has ‘spoken truth to power’.
Secondly, it is important that this engagement of the diaspora be based on the critical building of Pan-African solidarity and again the historic fight against slavery, against colonialism and against apartheid pointed to the importance of this solidarity and what it can practically achieve. Any project that seeks to engage the diaspora and in this case beyond the Zimbabwean diaspora has to be rooted in the fertile and dynamic tradition of Pan-African solidarity. This solidarity runs through from its expressions in Marcus Garvey’s Universal Negro Improvement Association (UNIA), through the bellum of Europe (Pan-African Congresses, the Black Writers
Conference), in the US anti-racism struggles and then into the continental tradition right into the
Organization of African Union’s ‘liberation committee’. Researchers have focused on how this Pan-Africanism evolved over time often with contradictions but always focused on liberation16. This Pan-African tradition would perhaps be best manifested in the way other African countries hosted, trained, and resourced national liberation movements.
Thirdly, it is necessary not only to question but also challenge the western model of modernism which has been globalized under what called ‘disaster capitalism’, but simply put is the commodification of all life as we know it17. As far back as the 1960s Frantz Fanon was warning that we have to let go of the modernism of Europe and the conceptual west especially in his clarion call in The Wretched of the Earth. Fanon was not alone and here is Aime’ C’esaire challenging the modernism of Europe:
They throw facts at my head, statistics, mileages of roads, canals, and railroad tracks . I am talking about thousands of men sacrificed to the Congo Ocean? I am talking about those who, as I write this, are digging the harbor of Abidjan by hand. I am talking about millions of men torn from their gods, their land, their habits, their life-from life, from the dance, from wisdom. I am talking about millions of men in whom fear has been cunningly instilled, who have been taught to have an inferiority complex, to tremble, kneel, despair, and behave like flunkeys. They dazzle me with the tonnage of cotton or cocoa that has been exported, the acreage that has been planted with olive trees or grape vines. I am talking about natural economies that have been disrupted harmonious and viable economies adapted to the indigenous population–about food crops destroyed, malnutrition permanently introduced, agricultural development oriented solely toward the benefit of the metropolitan countries; about the looting of products, the looting of raw materials (Aimee Cesaire, 1950)
It is in Africa that early 1980s intellectuals challenged the vagaries of neo-liberalism especially the policies of structural adjustment. It was only in 2008 that the Western world was jolted to start re-thinking about the destructive power of the unregulated corporate greed often ideologically presented as ‘free markets’. This re-thinking capital, life and re-production has a serious implication in the way human life is placed at the centre of development and not ‘endless growth’.
Fourthly, there is need to re-imagine and re-constitute the concept of citizenship. In the modern day to re-ignite radical intellectual enquiry, to build solidarity, to resist disaster capitalism also means to radically re-think and re-imagine the concept of citizenship. Citizenship, access to a birth certificate, a national ID, a green card, a passport and other such nation-based concept of belonging are the hallmarks of the Westphalian state, which is to say it was birthed in the conceptual west designed to conquer, to divide and to exploit. Once Africa was liberated some virulent type of ‘populist nationalism’ started being fanned almost in furtherance of the colonialapartheid state practices which created and armed the Bantustans in South Africa for example. Africans once liberated forgot that nationalism was a necessary aberration that had to super-ceded by Pan Africanism. Witness what then happens, Zimbabwe de-Africanizes the anthem to make it
‘nationally authentic’; in South Africa the violence becomes macabre and others respond with violence against property in equal measure.
Its not only South Africa. Zimbabwe has some of most anti-refugee regimes in Africa which is focused on repatriation and discourages integration into the community (Chikanda, and Crush, 2014). It is not unheard of in Zimbabwe for refugees, mainly African, to be locked up in security maximum prisons. In some parts of Africa they doubt another person’s belonging on the basis of the shade of blackness and this has been a recurrent cause of social conflict in South Africa. Cosmos (2010) has argued that the origins of xenophobia is to be found in ‘post-apartheid nationalism’ and further argues that the ‘politics of xenophobia’ are related to ‘state propagated ideologies (2010:13). After one of the spats of horrendous violence, Julius Malema, leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) had to state angrily that “This country belongs to Africans. Self-hate. It must come to an end. If it means making the EFF lose vote for that let it lose votes…. This country belongs to Africans the same way Nigeria belongs to South Africans. Nigeria is South Africa. We are Zimbabweans’ (April 2019).
In Zimbabwe they rounded up, arrested, harassed and expelled Mozambicans and in urban areas some are still referred to as ‘makarashu’, ‘mabhurandaya’, ‘mubwidi’ and so on marking them almost perpetual ‘outsiders. Within this context it becomes important to get Africans and the Black Diaspora to re-think and re-constitute citizenship in an emancipatory way. Ghana has led this process by having the Right of Abode clause which has facilitated the return of almost 3000 from the US. But even that has been slowed down by bureaucratic bungling. In Ethiopia some diaspora families were granted land in Shashamane but even there this has not been without problems. African governments are willing to cede hundreds of thousands of acres, if not in the millions, but are very slow to set aside land for the Black Diaspora to establish a home.
One of the elements that is often given short shrift is the importance of cultural renaissance. And here again there is a long history in which black radical intellectuals have argued and acted against what Aime Cesaire, in Discourses on Colonialism (1950) called the ‘wiping out’ of culture:
I am talking about societies drained of their essence, cultures trampled underfoot, institutions undermined, lands confiscated, religions smashed, magnificent artistic creations destroyed, extraordinary possibilities wiped out (1950:43)
And this indictment on how culture is pulverized in order to make the colonial subject a ‘new man’ one has to turn to Amilcar Cabral, Thomas Sankara, Frantz Fanon, and also to Ngugi Wa Thiongo who has returned to this topic time and time again, firstly in Decolonising the Mind and also in Moving the Center – and he was imprisoned in Kenya and he left. In the Black diaspora other scholar activists have argued for and practiced forms of cultural resistance centered around what has been called Afroccentricity.
The second section of this paper has explored some preliminary principles that are needed preceding the discussion of very specific policy interventions in Zimbabwe. These preliminary principles provide a framework of thinking about the broader history and context, this has ambitiously ranged from the radical intellectual enquiry tradition; the need for Pan-African solidarity; the resistance against what has been called ‘dangerously globalized capitalism’; and the need of a cultural renaissance which rejects and subverts the way imperial history has edited out and sought to de-humanize. The third and final section of this paper specifically deals with the several ways in which Zimbabwe can re-think the contemporary diaspora engagement policies in order to move from a transactional framework to a broader more meaningful paradigm of engagement and to include all people of African descent.
3.0 The Zimbabwean Context: the ‘migration waves’ and its re-configurations
Zimbabweans have mass migrated especially after the political economy crisis from the end of the 1990s and worsened by the recurring political turmoil especially related to elections. Other researchers have called it ‘an exodus’ (Crush and Tevera, 2010) and noting the scale of that exodus Crush et el (2017) called it a ‘large scale out migration’ because of the political economy crisis summed up as a descend from ‘liberation to authoritarianism’ (Dorman, 2017). The diaspora has also changed over time and has developed complex ways to cope with their dislocation from ‘home’ and several studies have traced these changes27. The migration has also seen Zimbabwe losing qualified health professionals (Chikanda, 2005, 2006, 2011).
Various studies have already been done in this area and have shown a high interest by the diaspora based citizens to actively participate in political and economic development in Zimbabwe. A study by NANGO and IDS recommended the following: (1) facilitation of the free participation of the Diaspora in the political and socio-economic processes in Zimbabwe (e.g. allowance to vote); (2) provision of more information on the investment, market and trade situations; (3) Strengthening of institutions dealing with the Diaspora issues; (4) Provision of investment and trade incentives and; 5. Permission of all legal migrants in the host countries to engage in economic activities (Masiiwa & Doroh, 2011). The government initiated different policy initiatives especially around the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) like Homelink
(housing, foreign currency exchange and financial investments) and have indicated that they will issue diaspora bonds in the future. However, that policy is highly transactional and focuses on the diaspora as cash-cows rather than citizens with constitutionally guaranteed rights. In other instances however African governments have been hostile to the diaspora often labelling them ‘sellouts’ (Iheduru, 2011). The current government previously actively blocked dual citizenship and opposed voting by the diaspora and this often increased tensions between the diaspora and the government.
4.0 Surveying Government Policy and Opposition Attitudes to Diaspora
In terms of politics the ruling party and the opposition have been very keen to engage the diaspora with different strategies geared towards divergent goals. Historically the nationalist liberation movements (represented now by the ruling political class) had an active solidarity base in the 1960s and partly in the 1990s however this has dwindled significantly. The ruling party has often seen the diaspora as a source of transactions (remittance, taxes etc) and in the 2018 election manifesto ZANU PF committed to ‘facilitate the decent and professional home-return of Zimbabwean in the diaspora while providing with resettlement and investment incentives’. The ruling political class has not been without disagreements over dual citizenship and voting rights. While the government has been initially hostile to the diaspora often viewing them as opposition allies this has changed over the time and the Government of Zimbabwe finalized a Diaspora Policy in 2016. The policy was aimed at ‘mainstreaming and integrating the Diaspora in national development’ and the objective is to tap into the ‘diaspora investment potential, their entrepreneurial skills, expertise and recognizing them fully as actors and contributors to the national developmental discourse’ (GOZ, 2016:6). This policy was further mentioned in the Transitional Stabilisation Programme (TSP) where the government says it commits to facilitate investment, remittances and skills flow from the diaspora (GOZ, 2017)
Others like Nick Mangwana, who ran a column called ‘Views from the Diaspora’ argued that the ‘people have spoken’ after the Constitutional reform process argued ‘dual nationality is an irreversible side-effect of globalization’ (Herald May 2015). After the November coup of 2017 which removed longtime leader Robert Mugabe there has been a change in the political class’ attitude. In a speech at the Heroes Acre, the new President made an appeal to the diaspora to be engaged in national development, stating that ‘Fellow Zimbabweans, I wish to conclude by appealing to you all including those in the diaspora to draw inspiration from the heroes and heroines by building bridges of unity, peace and freedom, patriotism and economic prosperity (The Zimbabwe Mail, 13 August 2019).
The opposition especially going back to Morgan Tsvangirai has presented a wider recognition of the role that the diaspora can play. As Prime Minister Morgan Richardson Tsvangirai said that the MDC would ‘implement mechanisms to guarantee the Diaspora vote and harness the skills and capital held in the Diaspora to develop this country’. The new leader of the MDC Alliance has toured meeting the diaspora and appointed a diaspora intellectual as his spokesperson. Furthermore the opposition leader has regularly requested diasporas to come and invest at home (Pasura, 2014). Other citizens have carried on with political and social activism has varying from independence news sites (like NewZimbabwe.com, Nehanda Radio ) while other groups like Zimbabwe Vigil (UK) have mounted ongoing protests against the political class for decades outside the Zimbabwe embassy. Citizens have tried incessantly to make sure that the Constitution of 2013 can give effect to the political representation and participation. This has included a petition to the Constitution Court before the elections in the case Shumba & Others v Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs & Others. This was the second case in which the courts rejected diaspora voting after the Bukaibenyu v Chairman, ZEC and others. The Constitutional Court rejected the application meaning as the law stands in Zimbabwe’s diaspora is not allowed to vote.
5.0 Global/African/Zimbabwean Impact: From Households to Investment Companies
Diaspora populations continue to play an important role in socio-cultural changes and importantly economic development. Remittances from the diaspora have become a large focus especially considering that ‘in 2019, annual remittances to low and middle income countries are likely to reach $550billion’ and that in 2018 that figure was around US$529 billion’ (WB, 2019: vii). Global financial institutions like the IMF, WB and continental institutions like Africa Development Bank and the Africa Union are increasingly focusing on the role of the diaspora.
The World Bank initiated The Global Knowledge Partnership on Migration and Development
(KNOMAD)44. The Africa Union appointed a Diaspora Ambassador and as highlighted above the IMF and the WB pay close attention to the flows of migration and remittance flows into Africa. In the case of Zimbabwe specifically the remittances flow now constitute almost 10% of the GDP as highlighted below.
Source: World Bank (2019): Estimates of Inflow Remittances into Zimbabwe
Considering the unofficial ways and goods/services this figure is estimated to be way higher than this. And as highlighted above the government initiated a Diaspora Policy in 2016 and other policy initiatives initially managed by the RBZ. These policy intervention include but are not limited to (i) Housing, (ii) the rehabilitation of NRZ through the DDG group, and the government has also taped into diaspora trained intellectual capacity (e.g the President’s Advisor Dr Pettina Gappah, Nick Mangwana, Janah Ncube in the President Advisory Committee (PAC)). Generally however this engagement has remained largely transactional and needs to be re-thought, reimagined and broadly re-focused so that it becomes grounded in solidarity rather than only exchange and trade of goods and services. Simply put, diaspora engagement has to be meaningful and this paper points to the strategies below that can be adopted.
5.1 Governance and Political Participation
Firstly, it is important for the Zimbabwean diaspora to be part of the political processes and the first point of reform is to make sure that the Constitutional protection of dual citizenship is liberally extended to include the right to vote and even in certain cases of representation. Zimbabwe will not be the first country in this direction. Other countries (over 100) allow and facilitate diaspora voting while other countries (Algeria, Mozambique, Tunisia etc) allow for a political representation of the diaspora in their parliaments. By building platforms of political participation the country can cement the feeling of belonging that goes with political participation and this will be as a matter of right and not privilege. In the case of Zimbabwe this political representation will mean a Constitutional amendment that creates ‘overseas constituencies’ for a certain threshold of citizens abroad. The political process itself, of contest, mobilization and representation, will create deep roots of links and relationship that are strong and more lasting.
This process will mean the political class in Zimbabwe need to re-think the way it views citizenship and start viewing transitional civil society organizations not as ‘anti-government’ platforms and instead see these as platforms of citizenship engagement. Political representation can be complemented by other platforms like a Global Diaspora Advisory Council that can advise government on diaspora issues and where possible help develop programs that enhance diaspora relations. As part of this diaspora engagement policy the government can utilize foreign missions to actively support diaspora community events. Across the globe, from South Africa, United Kingdom and Australia, diaspora based citizens have established community organizations that are playing an important role for community engagement. The government can actively support this through (i) small community grants, (ii) participation of our embassies and (iii) giving national orders of merits to distinguished citizens abroad.
5.2 Economic Investment, Entrepreneurship and Skills Development.
Secondly, is the building of platforms to facilitate Economic Investment, Entrepreneurship and Skills Development. The second pillar of the diaspora engagement policy will be focused on facilitating Diaspora Economic Development, Entrepreneurship and Investment. Officially the diaspora is remitting close to US$2billion to Zimbabwe on an annual basis. This figure could be very much higher when informal (unrecorded) remittances are considered and other goods/services are considered. Beyond the remittances the diaspora community has also been actively investing in Zimbabwe mainly developing property, transport businesses, farming businesses and mining business. The biggest example diaspora investment is the Diaspora Infrastructure Development Group which has been working on a US$400million deal to re-build the railway network in Zimbabwe. Yet it seems these deals have not been spared the usual government bureaucracy as the deal signing has not led to an execution of the investment even one year after it was signed.
In other countries diaspora bonds have become an increased source of investment funds especially in infrastructure development. Successful examples include the following: Zimbabwe can learn from both successes and failures. Israel has been selling diaspora bonds for over half a century (32.4billon), India followed suit in the 1990s (Us$11.3billion) (Ketkar and Ratha, 2007). In Africa Nigeria raised US$300million (160% subscription). But there has also been failures like the case of Ethiopia. In this case the government has success stories and failure to study from and the major setback has been regulatory challenges in the targeted countries and perceived political risk and uncertainty. However, as the amount of remittances increase in the case of Zimbabwe this is a great opportunity to attract investment into areas like energy generation that has almost collapsed especially if the government is willing to pay a lot of money to import energy from countries like South Africa, Mozambique and as far as the Democratic Republic of Congo.
5.3 Professional, Cultural and Research Exchange
Thirdly, is deliberately engaging in Professional, Academic, Cultural and Research Exchange with the citizens in the diaspora. One of the impressive characteristics is that the diaspora has built a very rare and diverse set of skills and expertise some of which is not easily available here at home. There is need to actively support the development of a program of skills and expertise exchange supported by the government. Under this program universities and colleges in Zimbabwe will be supported to bring in overseas based Zimbabweans for limited periods to actively participate and support ongoing teaching and research projects. But this can also be extended to support the private sector to bring in experts who can support research and development in the private sector and this can include experts in information technology, engineers and other areas.
The government can build partnerships with other organizations like the UNDP, CODESRIA and so on who have been involved in these projects elsewhere. Under the program eligible private companies and civil society organizations can apply to government for support to bring expertise in particular fields and working with regional, continental and global institutions that have expertise in the area of Diaspora and Development. These institutions will include but not limited to the United Nations Development Program, International Organisation of Migration, European Union, SADC and African Union.
5.4 Supporting Citizens Based Initiatives
One emerging area is that citizens are already building citizen to citizen networks of solidarity in Zimbabwe. This has often been used by citizens to avoid state bureaucracy, red tape and possible abuse of resources. When Zimbabwe’s eastern highlights was hit by a tragic Cyclone in 2019 citizens across the world rallied on social media and on fundraising platforms. Using crowdfunding and social media citizens were able to fundraise at least US$100,000.00 and this has been used to build school classrooms, furnish classes and build facilities like toilets. An interesting element has been that these initiatives are radically transparent.
But the story is wider other citizen initiatives are intervening in health services (fundraising for hospitals), in schooling initiatives (supporting scholarships for kids at universities) and other local community initiatives like book donations (example includes Aussie Books for Zimbabwe). There are other initiatives beyond this like Dr Terarai Trent’s building schools, Lawyer Nyaradzai Gumbozvanda who has been building community based support systems for vulnerable young women. Broadly these citizen to citizen initiatives can be bolstered by government in various ways especially where there are successful and can be used as learning platforms for the local community development.
5.5 Institutional and Legislative Reform: Making the Policy Work
Fifthly, to make these initiatives functional, sustainable and accessible the political class needs a raft of institutional and statutory reforms that give expression to the policy reforms. In the first place it means reforming the Electoral Act to facilitate diaspora voting; secondly it means the promulgation of a Diaspora Engagement Act of Parliament; thirdly the building of a bureaucracy (like in Ghana) which is resourced to give effect to the policy directives and Diaspora Engagement Directorate within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade to be the focal point of diaspora engagements.
6.0 Whither the Black Star Line:
Angela Davis, Muthoni Wa Kirima, Naledi Chirwa and into the Future.
The article deliberated the broad historical connection that the diaspora has had with Africa and argued that contemporary diaspora engagement has to be married to the Pan-African project which aimed, in many practical ways, in building solidarity abroad but also aimed at transcending the ‘colonial/administrative’ boundaries set in imperial Europe. But there is also an urgent need for re-thinking solidarity especially in an era in which nationalist populism is on the rise and those that want power are easily whipping up a virulent sentimental nationalism which looks inside and is anti-internationalist. In order to push back against this virulent nationalist populism the paper identified several ways in which to re-imagine diasporic engagement; (I) radical intellectual tradition; (II) Pan-African solidarity in the global sense of things; (III) resistance and liberation from ‘dangerously globalized capitalism’; (III) the re-imagination of citizenship and perhaps disembedding this from the Westphalian framework and (V) the deliberate fertilization of cultural renaissance.
Following on these preliminary principles the article then identified five core areas and elaborated on how these can be worked on in Zimbabwe: (I) Governance, Representation and Political Participation; (II) secondly, is the building of platforms to facilitate Economic
Investment, Entrepreneurship and Skills Development; (III) thirdly, is deliberately engaging in
Professional, Academic, Cultural and Research Exchange; and (IV) fourthly, is the building of Regional, Continental Global Partnerships . Ultimately, as demonstrated by the diaspora response to Cyclone Idai, the citizen is in fact asserting their agency in building practical solidarity with the people and the advent of technology has made these connections easier and makes it possible that the Black Star does not wither into the western archive. And the necessary reminder will be from two women: Angela Davis arguing that Freedom is a Constant Struggle and more recently, in Zimbabwe to be specific, Panashe Chigumadzi’s arguments in These Bones Will Rise Again.
What is often forgotten is that the Marcus Garvey’s Black Star Line project was also an economic project and economic autonomy has since then percolated through the diaspora contestations and the Pan-African liberation project. That strand of thought is to be found through the 10 point plan of the Black Panther Party; it runs through the Arusha Declaration, the seminal speech by Kwame Nkrumah in 1963; the ZANU Leadership Code of 198455; the Freedom Charter in South Africa, the AAAF SAP and more recently the Rhodes Must Fall and Black Loves Matter have tried to capture this historic continuum. This article has argued that the concept of diaspora has to be approached and grappled with from a broad historical, structural, intellectual and solidarity context precisely in relation to the heroic project of Pan-African liberation, de-colonization, de-settlerization and transformation, by doing so Zimbabwe’s engagement with the diaspora becomes more meaningful.
 World Bank (2019) Migration and Development Brief 31, World Bank and KNOMAD: Washington.
 Estimates vary into the millions as some migrants use unauthorized entry points. See Crush, Jonathan & Chikanda, Abel & Tawodzera, Godfrey. (2015). The Third Wave: Mixed Migration from Zimbabwe to South Africa. Canadian Journal of African Studies. 49. 363-82 (accessed 19.09.2019)
 See the following: Hill, R.., Dixon, J., Rodriguez, H., and Yuen, A., (2016) The Marcus Garvey and Universal Negro Improvement Association Papers, Volume XIII: The Caribbean Diaspora, 1921-1922, Duke University Press.
 See in general, Jones, Howard., (1987) Mutiny on the Amistad: The Saga of a Slave Revolt and Its Impact on American Abolition, Law, and Diplomacy, Oxford University Press This was since made into a movie by Steven Spielberg.
 See the following; Chantiluke, R and Kwoba, B (2018) Rhodes Must Fall: The Struggle to Decolonise the Racist
Empire, London: Zed Books; Habib, A (2019) Rebels and Rage: Reflecting on #Fees Must Fall,
 Warsan, Shire (2015) Home. https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/home/article27608299 (accessed 28 August 2019).
 See Rodney, W., (2018  How Europe Underdeveloped Africa, Verso: London/New York and (1969 ) Groundings with Brothers, Verso: London/New York.
 For the intellectual tradition of the Zimbabwe Institute for Development Studies (ZIDS), see: Raftopoulos, Brian (2016) Zimbabwe Institute of Development Studies (ZIDS): The Early Context of Sam Moyo’s Intellectual
Development, Agrarian South: Journal of Political Economy, Volume 5, Issue 2-3, August and December.
 See, in general, Fanon, Frantz (1963) Wretched of the Earth, Grove Press: New York. 15 Staff Reporter (1999) Feminist Doc Turned on by Controversy, Mail and Guardian, 11 June. https://mg.co.za/article/1999–06–11–feminist–doc–turned–on–by–controversy. Accessed 15.08.2019 16Mkandawire, Thandika (ed.) (2005). African intellectuals. London/New York: CODESRIA/Zed Books. 17 Klein, Naomi (2007) Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, Knopf: Canada.
 See, in general, Neocosmos, Cosmos (2010) From ‘Foreign Natives’ to ‘Native Foreigners’ Explaining Xenophobia in Post-apartheid South Africa, Citizenship and Nationalism, Identity and Politics. Dakar: CODESRIA
 EFF Press Conference on Xenophobia in South Africa, April 2019.
 Dovi, Efam (2015) African-Americans Resettle in Africa, Africa Renewal (April) United Nations: Washington https://www.un.org/africarenewal/magazine/april-2015/african-americans-resettle-africa
 Cesaire, A. (1972) Discourse on Colonialism, Monthly Review Press: New York [translated by Joan Pinkham]
 See Thiongo, Ngugi (2013) Moving the Centre: The Struggle for Cultural Freedom, James Currey: London; Decolonizing the Mind: The Struggle for Language in African Literature, Ngugi Wa Thiongo told his ‘gulag experience’ in Wrestling with Devi: A Memoir, New Press (2018).
 Asante, MK (2001) Afro-centricity: The theory of Social Change, Chicago: The People’s Publishers
 Crush, Jonathan and Tevera, Jonathan Ed. (2010) Zimbabwe’s Exodus. Crisis, Migration, Survival, IDASA: South Africa; Crush, J., Tawodzera, G., Chikanda, A., Ramachandran, S., & Tevera, D. (2017). South Africa Case Study: The Double Crisis – Mass Migration From Zimbabwe And Xenophobic Violence in South Africa (pp. 1-93, Rep.). Vienna:
International Centre for Migration Policy Development and Waterloo and Dorman, Sarah Rich (2017) Understanding
Zimbabwe: From Liberation to Authoritarianism, Oxford & New York: Oxford University Press and Hurst 27 See McGregor, J. and Primorac, R. (2010) Zimbabwe’s New Diaspora: Displacement and the Cultural Politics of Survival, Berghahn Books: New York: Oxford
 Chikanda, Abel (2006), Skilled Health Professionals’ Migration and Its Impact on Health Delivery in Zimbabwe Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies, 32, 667-80; Chikanda, Abel (2005), Nurse Migration from Zimbabwe :
 See Masiiwa, Medicine and Doroh, Best (2011) Harnessing the Diaspora Potential for Socio-Economic Development in Zimbabwe: Investment, Trade and Participation in Political Processes, Harare: NANGO and IDS
 Iheduru, Okechukwu C (2011) African states, global migration, and transformations in citizenship politics, Citizenship Studies, Volume 15, Number 2, pp181-203.
 ZANU PF (2018) ZANU PF Election Manifesto for 2018
 Government of Zimbabwe (2016), Zimbabwe Diaspora Policy: Harare.
 Government of Zimbabwe (2016), Zimbabwe Diaspora Policy: Harare.
 Government of Zimbabwe, (2017) Transitional Stabilisation Programme Harare: Ministry of Finance and Economic Development.
 See The Zimbabwe Mail, 13 August 2019.
 Morgan Tsvangirai Speech at the launch of the MDC 2013 Election Manifesto
 See Pasura D. (2014) The Diaspora and the Politics of Development. In: African Transnational Diasporas. Migration, Diasporas and Citizenship Series. Palgrave Macmillan, London
 Kuhlmann, J (2013), Transnational Diaspora Politics: Cross-Border Political Activities of Zimbabweans in the United
Kingdom, Leipzig: Leipziger Universitätsverlag and Betts, A., and Jones, W. (2016) Mobilising the Diaspora: How
Refugees Challenge Authoritarianism, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
 See Bukaibenyu v Chairman, ZEC, the Registrar-General of Voters, the Minister of Constitutional and Legal Affairs and the Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs & Ors CC-12-17.
 World Bank (2019) Migration and Development Brief 31, World Bank and KNOMAD: Washington.
 World Bank (2019) Migration and Development Brief 31: Recent Developments and Outlook, Washington DC: World Bank.
 Ketkar, Suhas L and Ratha, Dilip (2007) Development Finance vs Diaspora Bonds: Track Record and Potential, World Bank Policy Research Working Paper 4311.
 Famoroti, Michael (2017) The Potential of Diaspora Bonds in Africa, LSE: London.
 See https://www.gofundme.com/f/zimbabwe-cyclone-relief
 Davis, A (2016) Freedom in a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine and the Foundations of a Movement, Chicago: Haymarket Books. and Chigumadzi, P (2018) These Bones Will Rise Again, London: Indigo Press.
 See Newton, H. (1980) War Against the Panthers: A Study of Repression in America, University of California, Santa
 TANU (1967) Arusha Declaration
 See also Kwame Nkrumah (1963) Africa Must Unite, London: Hainemann. 55 ZANU (1986) ZANU Leadership Code, Harare
 Freedom Charter developed at Kliptown in South Africa.
 UNECA (1989) African Alternative Framework to Structural Adjustment Programmes for Socio-Economic Recovery and Transformation(AAFSAP), United Nations Economic Commission for Africa: Addis Ababa.