NAIROBI, Dec.17 (Xinhua) — A United Nations official on Tuesday urged African governments to put in place incentives to boost the level of Diaspora remittances into the continent.
Siddharth Chatterjeem, UN resident coordinator in Kenya, told a Diaspora forum in Nairobi that the Africans living outside the continent are key to the economic and social transformation of the continent.
“There is need for incentives in form of tax breaks, long term bonds, guarantees and risk mitigation measures in order for the Africa Diaspora to see value proposition in investing their funds back in the continent,” Chatterjee said during the sixth Kenya Diaspora Homecoming Convention.
The three-day event brought together the Kenyan Diaspora community to review ways to enhance their role in national development.
Chatterjee noted that remittances are now emerging as a major source of foreign exchange in many African nations and in some cases has surpassed revenue sources of traditional export commodities such as coffee, tea and cut flowers.
He added that the Diaspora has the intellectual knowledge and great experience gained from outside the continent that can be utilized to catalyze economic growth in the continent.
According to the UN official, greater reforms in improving the business climate will help to lure more private investments into Africa by the Diaspora.
He noted that the continent is currently home to some of the fastest-growing economies in the world and represents an investment opportunity for the Diaspora community.