Sustained high rates of emigration, particularly among the highly skilled, has resulted in a sizeable Mozambican diaspora. Based on census data between 1960 and 2000, the top destination for Mozambican migrants is South Africa, but other significant countries include Malawi, Tanzania, Portugal, Swaziland, the United Kingdom, Germany, the United States, and Spain. Although Mozambicans continue to relocate abroad, the country’s macroeconomic stability and impressive growth have created more opportunities for the diaspora to be economically engaged in their home country.
Following Mozambique’s accession as a Member State of IOM in December 2011, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MINEC) requested assistance from IOM to develop a diaspora database within the context of a broader diaspora engagement strategy. Funded by the International Organization for Migration Development Fund (IDF) and in collaboration with MINEC’s National Institute for Mozambican Communities in the Exterior (INACE), the project has four goals:
- To strengthen national institutional capacity to engage with the diaspora;
- To increase knowledge about the nature and whereabouts of the diaspora;
- To develop evidence-based long-term programmes to promote investment and skills transfer;
- To strengthen communications between the Mozambican government and the diaspora.
Activities to achieve these goals include: ‘diaspora mapping’ Mozambican communities in South Africa; launching an INACE website with an online diaspora survey; and, through MINAC, drafting and endorsing a Diaspora Engagement Strategy.