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Global Zimbabweans: Diaspora Engagement and Disengagement

Abstract

Since 2000, migration from crisis-ridden Zimbabwe has led to almost one million people leaving the country. The majority migrate to neighbouring South Africa and Botswana, and most of the research on the Zimbabwean diaspora to date has focused on South Africa and the UK. However, the Zimbabwean diaspora is now truly global in its distribution. This paper argues that more attention should therefore be paid to Zimbabweans in other jurisdictions in the Global South and North. Zimbabweans began migrating to Canada in increasing numbers after 2000, most as refugees but also as immigrants and students. Based on a survey of the Zimbabwean diaspora in Canada, this paper focuses on their migration history, demographic characteristics and backward linkages with Zimbabwe. Given the interest in diaspora engagement in the global migration and development literature, it is important to understand the nature of these linkages in order to assess the potential for diaspora involvement in Zimbabwean development. The paper argues that under current economic and political conditions in Zimbabwe, this potential remains weak.

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Chikanda, A., Crush, J. Global Zimbabweans: Diaspora Engagement and Disengagement. Int. Migration & Integration 19, 1037–1057 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12134-018-0582-0

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Keywords

  • Diasporas
  • Diaspora engagement
  • Immigrants
  • Remittances
  • Return migration
  • Zimbabwe
  • Canada