Granting diaspora special status in final stages

DODOMA: THE government is finalising legal procedures for granting special status to Tanzanians residing abroad, the Parliament was told on Friday.

Deputy Minister for Home Affairs Daniel Sillo spoke on the new development on the matter when responding to the question by CCM Special Seats MP Suma Fyandomo.

The legislator sought reasons from the government on why it is reluctant to grant duo citizenship to Tanzanians residing abroad.

The deputy minister said Tanzania citizenship is governed by the Tanzania Citizenship Act, Chapter 357 (Revised Edition of 2002) and its Regulations of 1997.

The act stipulates three types of citizenship namely: citizenship by birth, citizenship by descent and citizenship by naturalisation.

The deputy minister said, in accordance with the law, the government doesn’t grant duo citizenship to adults, save the children below the age of 18 years.

In her supplementary question, the MP asked why Tanzania is until today hesitant to allow duo citizenship despite being proven to be economically beneficial to countries that allowed the system.

“Kenya earns 4.2 billion US dollar from diaspora but Tanzania collects 520m/- only. Doesn’t the government see that allowing duo citizenship will increase government revenue?” she queried.

However, the deputy minister said upon finalisation of the procedures for granting special status to Tanzanians living abroad, Tanzanians will significantly contribute to the country’s development.

Supplementing answers to the question, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation Ambassador Mbarouk Nasssor Mbarouk said absence of duo citizenship doesn’t deny Tanzanians the opportunity to contribute to the country’s development.

“The government has decided to grant special status to Tanzanians living abroad, and fortunately enough remittances are increasing. However, when the government determines the need and importance of having duo citizenship system, we will engage ourselves in the process,” he said.

Just two months ago, President Samia Suluhu Hassan revealed that the government was in the process of finalising legal procedures regarding land and immigration issues before granting special status to Tanzanians residing abroad.

Addressing Tanzanians living in Norway and neighbouring countries during her state visit to Norway, President Samia emphasised the government’s commitment to acknowledging the importance of special status for the diaspora community.

Last year, Tanzania unveiled its intention to provide special status, particularly to diaspora inhabitants, aimed at bolstering their involvement in national development endeavours.

The proposed amendments to immigration laws are set to offer benefits such as inheritance rights and investment incentives.

During the meeting, President Samia urged the diaspora to actively support the government’s initiatives in promoting Tanzania to attract tourists, investors, and entrepreneurs, consequently fostering economic growth.

Acknowledging the diaspora’s significant contributions to the nation’s development, President Samia encouraged them to continue advocating for Tanzania by highlighting its attractions and investment opportunities.

Additionally, she emphasised the importance of preserving Tanzanian culture, including the Kiswahili language and adhering to laws and regulations in their respective countries of residence.

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