Date: 6 November 2007
Venue: Office of the Permanent Observer of the African Union to the United Nations

This seminar will explore and discuss the roles that diasporas can play in the economic recovery and development of countries affected by violent conflict and situations of state collapse. It will look at how individuals and organizations from the diaspora can spark and support private sector development in these situations, e.g. through temporary returns and knowledge transfers, investment and entrepreneurship.

It will examine how these contributions may feed into ongoing peacebuilding and reconstruction efforts of governments, the United Nations and international donors. How can they be integrated into existing strategies for economic recovery and development? How can governments and the international community facilitate and leverage diaspora initiatives and engagement in this context?


Information note on the seminar organization (pdf)
Programme of the seminar (pdf)


Strengthening the business sector and entrepreneurship: the role of diasporas
Mr. Krishnan Sharma, Lead Economist, Private Capital Flows, Financing for Development Office, UN DESA, New York

Diaspora engagement in post-conflict Liberia
H.E. Mr. Milton Nathaniel Barnes, Permanent Representative of Liberia to the United Nations

Diaspora-donor consultations: The Haitian diaspora and the ‘Cadre de Coopération Intérimaire’
Mr. Carlo Dade, Executive Director, Canadian Foundation for the Americas (FOCAL), Ottawa

Mobilizing the African diaspora and forging strategic partnerships: reflections on the Digital Diaspora Initiative
Ms. Laketch Dirasse, President, Afri-Can TechTrans Partners (ACTTP) Inc., Ottawa

Engaging the diaspora through Capacity Building Facilities: Early lessons from Kosovo
Ms. Marta Gazideda, Project Coordinator, UNDP Kosovo

Can remittances enhance private sector development?
Mr. Arun Kashyap, Adviser, Private Sector Development, PSD/CDG, UNDP New York

Diaspora and private sector development in Afghanistan
Mr. Abdul Q. Fitrat, Adviser to the Executive Director for Afghanistan, Algeria, Ghana, Islamic Republic of Iran, Morocco, Pakistan, and Tunisia, The World Bank, Washington, D.C.

Diaspora and private-sector development in Sudan
Mr. Magdi Amin, Senior Private Sector Development Specialist, The World Bank, Washington, D.C.

Background material

The Southern Sudan Private Sector Development Project
Mr. Magdi Amin, Senior Private Sector Development Specialist, The World Bank, Washington, D.C.

Rapport Final: Conférence de Montréal avec la Diaspora haïtienne
FOCAL, Ottawa, 10-11 décembre 2004

The Kosovo Capacity-building Facility (leaflet)

Mobilising African Diaspora for the Promotion of Peace in Africa
African Diaspora Policy Centre, Amsterdam, May 2005

Cutting the lifeline: Migration, Families and the Future of Kosovo
European Stability Initiative, Berlin/Istanbul, 18 September 2006

Diaspora Circulation and Transnationalism as Agents for Change in the post-conflict zones of Sri Lanka
R. Cheran, Department of Sociology and Centre for Refugee Studies, York University, Toronto, September 2003

Related Links:

UNITAR/UNFPA/IOM Seminar on Contributions of Diasporas (May 2006)