Diaspora initiative plans grand reunion

Diaspora initiative plans grand reunion
Published: 15 April 2019 (203 Views)
An international initiative to unite Zimbabweans who live in the diaspora in April 2020 has been launched, with preparations underway to bring a whole month of business, sports, arts, entertainment, fashion and cultural events across Zimbabwe in April 2020.

ZimThrive, the brainchild of two Zimbabweans; USA based Mildred Munjanganja and Mike Tashaya who resides in the UK, aims to encourage Zimbabweans outside the country to gather in the southern African country at the same time, with the aim of reinforcing unity and creating a stronger and self-sufficient nation that was once the breadbasket of Africa.

"We are excited to be launching this global socioeconomic initiative in Zimbabwe, which will see thousands of Zimbabweans reunite for a whole month of celebration in our native country. We wanted a platform that will create continuous dialogue and opportunities for the Zimbabwean community abroad to interact with their country in a productive and mutually beneficial way, it will be the biggest event ever staged in the country and the first time something of this magnitude has ever been done," said Mike Tashaya.

Through its theme: 'Homecoming,' ZimThrive seeks to bring the world together to collaborate, create and innovate in areas that include tourism, business and entertainment.

It will also aim to enhance social mobility and sustainability.

Mildred Munjanganja said the ZimThrive initiative came out of a fractured heart, a heart whose one half resides in one country while the other half, its culture, heritage, language and family resides in Zimbabwe.

She said her visits back home were only to find that a multitude of family members, friends and old classmates were not at home but scattered around the globe having this same sense of separation.

"Like most people in the diaspora, our tourist destinations of choice were everywhere else in the world, South Africa, Paris, Asia but rarely Zimbabwe, whose sunsets evoke nostalgic feelings. I believe our economy could stand to benefit from our intentional attention," Munjanganja said.

She added that she wanted to divert foreign currency expenditure to the Zimbabwean economy.

The international ZimThrive resource team is working hard to put systems and processes in place over the next 12 months, working in partnership with many stakeholders both on the ground and in the diaspora to ensure that Zimbabweans around the world have a first-class experience for the grand reunion.

Tourism and Hospitality Industry Minister, Prisca Mupfumira, who recently won the Tourism Minister of the Year for Africa at the International Tourism Bourse (ITB) in Germany, has shown interest in the initiative which will give the tourism industry a further boost and are in talks to partner with the initiative with an announcement to come soon.

ZimThrive 2020 is also to be a catalyst for other business and community projects locally.

In line with driving investment opportunities into the country, ZimThrive is also working with its partners to develop the ground-breaking venture and seeks to engage with alumni from a wide range of local high schools and other institutions to draw participants.

Last year saw a positive rise for the tourism industry in Zimbabwe, with the sector recording growth of 6% from 2 422 930 in 2017 to 2 579 974 in 2018, earning close to US$1,4 billion.

The numbers are set to rise this year, with an estimate of 3 million tourists likely to visit the country.

Zimbabwe recently won an award, which recognised it as a sustainable destination.

The country was also voted as the third must-visit destination after Sri Lanka and Germany, while National Geographic has also acknowledged that Zimbabwe is one of the prime tourist destinations in the world.

Set for 1-30 April, events are scheduled to take place in key destinations that include the capital Harare, Bulawayo, Victoria Falls and Kariba.

- zbc


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