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Tanzania to grant special status to diaspora inhabitants by the end of 2023

Samia Suluhu Hassan, Tanzania's President, before a meeting with U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris, not pictured, in the Vice President's Ceremonial Office in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Friday, April 15, 2022. Photographer: Yuri Gripas/Abaca/Bloomberg via Getty Images
  • Tanzania is set to grant special status to its diaspora inhabitants by the end of 2023, recognizing their importance and desire to visit the nation, own land, and access financial services. 
  • Diaspora recommendations are incorporated into the special status arrangement, ensuring their voices and needs are considered in the process. 
  • Remittances and investments from the Tanzanian diaspora have seen a significant increase, with approximately Sh4.4 billion invested in homes and plots in 2022 alone.

Tanzania plans to finish the process of granting special status to its Diaspora inhabitants by the end of 2023. Stergomena Tax, minister of foreign affairs and East African Cooperation concluded the discussion on her docket's Sh247.9 billion budget for 2023–2024 by stating to Parliament that the government recognizes the importance of Tanzanians living abroad and will finish the process of granting them special status (Tanzania Non-Citizen Diaspora) by December.

“Diaspora made 10 recommendations that have been considered and will be included in the special status arrangement, but in the endorsements, there was no suggestion of divine rights,” she stated.

Dr. Tax continued by saying that the proposed special status framework takes into account the desire of the diaspora to visit the nation, own land, and use financial services.

When presenting the budget to the House earlier, she explained that the move was one of the ministry's initiatives for 2023–2024 that would allow the Tanzanian diaspora to fully contribute to the development of their home country. As the government works to build an atmosphere that is supportive of this endeavor, Dr. Tax remarked that the diaspora should be more involved in the nation's economic endeavors.

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“The ministry compiled the views of various stakeholders inside and outside the country, including from the diaspora. The views have classified issues that should be considered in the special status arrangement,” she said.

Dr. Tax remarked that there is ongoing discussion over dual citizenship in Tanzania and elsewhere. She emphasized the procedure for awarding them special status and claimed that President Samia Suluhu Hassan of Tanzania has worked hard to ensure that the diaspora gets their rights.

"If you grant dual citizenship right now when there is no national and international framework, there are those who may miss out on the opportunities that we hope to provide," she warned.

Dr. Tax claims that remittances and investments from the diaspora in the nation's social and economic sectors have risen over time.

Through National Housing Corporation, Orange Tanzania Ltd (Hamidu City Park), and KC Land Development Plan Consultant Ltd, the diaspora spent roughly Sh4.4 billion between January and December 2022 in the acquisition of homes and plots. This represents an increase of Sh2.2 billion above the Sh2.2 billion invested between January and December of 2021.

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Another development, according to Dr. Tax, is that the evaluation of the ministry's foreign affairs policy has revealed new areas that need to be covered by the strategy and has suggested new methods for putting the strategy into practice in order to take into account the present and future environments, with a focus on economic diplomacy.

Compared to the Sh208.3 billion allotted for the current fiscal year, the Sh247.9 billion that the Parliament approved for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs East African Cooperation's recurring and development expenses is much higher.

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