UN Official says diaspora plays key role in Africa’s economic transformation

UN Population Fund Regional Director Dr Julitta Onabanjo told Xinhua in Nairobi that remittances are important source of income.

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UN High Commissioner for refugees, António Guterres play

UN High Commissioner for refugees, António Guterres

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Africa’s diaspora is playing a big role in the economic transformation of the continent, the UN said on Tuesday.

UN Population Fund Regional Director Dr Julitta Onabanjo told Xinhua in Nairobi that remittances are important source of income for many African families.

“The diaspora therefore complements government efforts to lift many families out of poverty,” Onabanjo said on the sidelines of the First Africa-China Conference on Population and Development.

Onabanjo said that Africans in the diaspora also bring back to the continent, the valuable skills and knowledge that they have acquired in the developed world.

She said: “This pool of skilled labour can help the continent address challenges that hinder social economic development.

The director noted that remittances resulting from intra-Africa migration are also increasing.

“South Africa has a large number of African immigrants who remittances have boosted their families back home,” she added.

The director decried the deaths of Africans at the seas as they emigrate the continent using illegal means.

“Governments must put policies that will address the push factors that make Africans risk their lives as seek green pastures in other continents,” she added.

The UN official urged Africa government to put in place incentives that will reverse the brain drain especially in the medical sector.

“The continent faces a serious shortage in the health sector as skilled personnel seek opportunities in other regions,” she observed.

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