Three Diaspora Zambian Women are headed to the United Nations in New York to add their voices to the cause of getting the Diaspora unto the Agenda of the United Nations High Level Dialogue on International Migration and Development.
Chibwe Henry and Justina Mutale will be travelling from London, while Mambwe Kamanga will be flying in from Atlanta Georgia to New York.
The trio will attend the General Assembly Informal Interactive Hearing in preparation for the High-level Dialogue (HLD) on International Migration and Development, which will take place at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on Monday, 15th July. They will also attend the Preparatory Civil Society Meetings preceding the Interactive Hearings on 13th and 14th July, which is organised by the International Catholic Migration Commission (ICMC) in New York.
Most Diaspora Africans are perceived by their home countries as being economic refugees who clean the streets of their host countries, despite the rising number of Diaspora entrepreneurs, social investors and policy advocates. However, these three Zambian women are a clear example of proactive representation of Diaspora engagement at high level decision-making.
Chibwe Henry is the Founder & CEO of Diaspora for African Development (DfAD), a non-profit organisation that aims to contribute to Africa’s sustainable and social economic development through harnessing the potential of the African Diaspora for Development. She is also the Co-Chair of the Diaspora Working Group of the ENOUGH FOOD FOR EVERYONE IF Campaign.
Justina Mutale is African Woman of the Year 2012 and Founder & CEO of POSITIVE RUNWAY: Global Catwalk to Stop the Spread, an HIV/AIDS response campaign that aims to bridge the gap in the global efforts to stop the spread of HIV/ADS.
Mambwe is Founder & President of International Style Inc. which works with African-American celebrities to reconnect with their motherland and to contribute to the development of the African continent. She is also vice-president of POSITIVE RUNWAY.
Their organisations, DfAD and POSITIVE RUNWAY have partnered to work on development issues to incorporate Diaspora Zambians and other Africans in the Diaspora through their outreach work and by creating links for the Diaspora between their home and host countries.
Both DfAD and POSITIVE RUNWAY are also part of the ENOUGH FOOD FOR EVERYONE IF Campaign, a coalition of 200 UK development organisations working to end world hunger by appealing to the G8 to revise policies related to Tax Avoidance, Land Grabs, AID and Transparency. Chibwe and Justina were part of the Diaspora delegation that visited No.10 Downing Street, the office and official residence of British Prime Minister, to hand in a letter to Mr. David Cameron to deliver to the G8 stipulating the demands of the Diaspora.
In the USA, Mambwe has been working with African-American celebrities to get them to invest in Africa and to contribute to the economic development of the continent. She has also been working with government departments, such as the United States Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to find synergies in transferring knowledge and technologies to Zambia to help with the prevention of HIV/AIDS in her home country. More recently, Mambwe was among several high level Keynote Speakers to mark American Independence Day on the Fourth of July in the USA.
At the UN, the ladies aim to raise awareness and the importance of the African Diaspora as agents of Africa’s socioeconomic change, and as inputs of skilled labour and bridge builders between countries of origin and destination, who also help to stimulate not only economic activity, but transfers of knowledge and cultural and social norms. Their participation will focus on the theme: Human Development, Diaspora Action; (1) Ensuring migrants’ and migration’s rightful place on post-2015 development goals and (2) Engaging migrants and Diaspora as entrepreneurs, social investors and policy advocates in development.