Thursday, July 7, 2011 and Friday July 8, 2011 EDT
ADDIS ABABA, July 6, 2011 – A forum to discuss ways of strengthening partnerships and improving public and private sector policies in order to increase the size and quality of Diaspora-led investment initiatives in Africa holds July 7-8, 2011 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The forum will discuss policy issues on remittances, share experiences and provide recommendations leading to a concrete plan for the establishment of the African Institute for Remittances (AIR), according to Olawale Maiyegun, the Director of Social Affairs at the African Union Commission (AUC), one of the co-organizers of the event.
The “Consultative and Experience Sharing Forum on Remittances Leverage for Development” is being held within the framework of the Preparatory Project for the establishment of the AIR.
Organizers – including the World Bank, the European Commission, the African Development Bank and the International Organization for Migration - also “expect the forum to agree the structure, functions, role, funding and location of the AIR,” said Soheyla Mahmoudi, the World Bank Task Team Leader for this initiative.
“The AIR will help build stronger, more responsive and capable African public and private sector institutions; foster consultations; promote research, capacity-building and networking among members of the Diaspora and other stakeholders,” said Richard Cambridge, Manager of the World Bank’s Africa Diaspora Program.
Implemented by the World Bank, the preparatory phase towards the establishment of the AIR was launched on June 8, 2010. It is funded by a 1.67 million Euro (US$2.4 million equivalent) grant from the European Commission.
The AIR Steering Committee is led by the AUC and is comprised of the EC, IOM and the AfDB.
After launching its Mobilizing the African Diaspora for Development in September 2007, the World Bank in July 2008 provided US$487,000 in grant funding to help the AUC to strengthen its African Diaspora Program, and develop a reliable database of the African Diaspora networks and individuals.
In an effort to harness the expertise and resources of African Diaspora, the AUC has designated the African Disapora the “sixth region” of the continent.
In addition and based on global experiences, the Diaspora Remittances Investment Fund will leverage remittances to finance Diaspora-led development activities in a manner similar to exiting mechanisms in Latin America.
Attendees at the Addis Ababa forum will include senior level representatives from African countries, EU Member States, Regional Economic Communities, UN Agencies, Diaspora Organizations, Private Sector, International Partners, experts and practitioners in the field of remittances.
In Addis Ababa: Gelila Woodeneh, +011-662-7700, firstname.lastname@example.org
In Washington: Herbert Boh, +1-202-473-3548, email@example.com
For more information about the Bank’s Mobilizing the African Diaspora for Development initiative, please visit: http://www.worldbank.org/afr/diaspora
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