Programmes

The DFZ recognises that the development of infrastructure is key to any national development programme. Zimbabwe inherited a highly developed infrastructural system at independence. Nevertheless, this has deteriorated in recent years and the DFZ notes that a necessary part of the development agenda involves the reconstruction of critical infrastructure.

This requires a lot of capital and human resources. Since independence Zimbabwe has produced highly sought after graduates from universities and colleges. Their skills are presently deployed in the Diaspora. The DFZ aims to promote the repatriation of skills and the use of new technology to advance infrastructure development.

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The health delivery system in Zimbabwe has faced many problems recently. Poor access to health care has caused problems for mostly the weaker members of society. The DFZ recognises that the health sector needs to be supported actively, not just in the major city hospitals, but also the smaller health institutions in outlying areas. Support includes equipment, medicines and skills in the form of doctors and nurses. 

Zimbabwe is a net exporter of health care skills and yet its population is poorly served in this critical sector. It is important to facilitate the repatriation of skills even if for temporary periods. It is also important to promote access to medicines, including the critical HIV/AIDS drugs that are often beyond the reach of many. The DFZ aims to participate alongside other agencies and organisations working in this area to promote health sector development.

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The DFZ recognises education as the foundation for any form of development in the modern world. Indeed, Zimbabwe’s competitiveness in the global landscape is dependent on investment and development in the education system. The competitiveness of Zimbabweans in the Diaspora is as a result of excellent educational qualifications they gained during their time in Zimbabwe. It is therefore important for the DFZ to facilitate and promote education in Zimbabwe so that present and future generations can benefit just as older generations did.

The DFZ recognises the efforts by other groups and individuals and aims to complement and consolidate these efforts, drawing on the support of the Diaspora community, development agencies and other stakeholders.

Initiatives will include temporary and permanent return of teachers, lecturers and educators to work in and develop the education sector. The DFZ recognises the critical importance of new technology in the delivery of education and aims to facilitate and promote this for purposes of harnessing and deploying Diaspora skills and knowledge to institutions in-country. The DFZ aims to promote the collection of books for schools, colleges, universities and libraries in Zimbabwe. 

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The Humanitarian Fund is designed to address the short to medium-term needs of Zimbabwe, such as the provision of food, fertilisers, clothing, and medication. The fund will be developed and sustained through various fundraising activities held both in-country and in the Diaspora. Some of the proposed activities include:

  • Revival of the Mayor’s Christmas Cheer Fund
  • Collection of second-hand clothes from the Diaspora for donation to old-age homes, orphanages, children and the disabled
  • Mobile library through books, desks, chairs and other donations
  • Food drives or marathons both in and outside Zimbabwe to raise money and awareness for a specific cause
  • Agricultural improvements
  • Medical equipment and supplies collections and donations to Zimbabwean hospitals
  • “Keep our city clean” drive – getting the communities in each city excited about and actively involved in the rebuilding of cities.

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The DFZ recognises the Diaspora is a reservoir of potential leadership for development and aims to foster and promote its utilisation in the national development programme. This will include setting up and promoting a mentorship programme whereby leading Zimbabweans are assigned roles to mentor and assist potential leaders in their various fields.

The DFZ realises that the emerging first generation of Zimbabweans in the Diaspora will need to be harnessed and focused towards the development of their home country. This will be facilitated by mentorship programmes led by persons identified within the Diaspora and at home. This will include facilitating internships for young Zimbabweans in-country and in the Diaspora, utilising the platforms and spaces created by Zimbabweans who have progressed in their career paths abroad.

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It is generally accepted that Zimbabweans in the Diaspora possess a great amount of skills and experience. Zimbabwe’s education system was always highly rated and over the years the country has produced excellent human capital that is now employed in many countries across the world. It is important that Zimbabwe gains from this investment. As it is, this human capital is an invisible export for which Zimbabwe gets very little, if any, returns. 

The DFZ aims to partner with organisations, including the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), to facilitate programmes for the repatriation of skills either on a temporary or permanent basis. The DFZ notes that other organisations such as the IOM and the Council for Assisting Refugee Academics (CARA) and the UK-based ZDDI have already been involved in initiatives for skills repatriation in the higher education and health sectors and intends to complement these efforts.

The Development Foundaton for Zimbabwe will drive initiatives that impact the various sectors of the Zimbabwean economy, by encouraging active participation of Zimbabweans in and outside the country to rebuild the country through their skills and resources.