GENEVA, Switzerland, January 30, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ — IOM Tanzania this week organized a debate at the Colosseum Hotel in Dar es Salaam on migration from Africa to Europe. The objective was to facilitate an open dialogue on the benefits and dangers linked to migration, and the impact it can have – both positive and negative – on people’s lives.
The event brought together officials from Tanzania’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and its Department of Diaspora Engagement and Opportunities – together with representatives of international organizations and members of Tanzanian civil society and academia.
Haroun Ismaila, a Tanzanian returnee who had spent some years in Europe as an undocumented migrant, told delegates: “If you migrate without a plan, illegally, you may end up with nothing, you may lose your life. Migration can mean a new beginning, a better life, but it needs good planning. I do not see my return home as a failure – the future is bright.”
Rosemary Jairo, Director of the Department of Diaspora of the Tanzanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said that diplomatic and consular representations are there to assist their nationals abroad in need. “People should not be afraid that their fellow country people will denounce them if they register at their Embassy. On the contrary, we can assist in making their migration experience a success.”
The event took place within the framework of IOM’s Surprising Europe III project, funded by the Netherlands and the European Return Fund, through collaboration with IOM Netherlands. The aim of the project is to create a realistic image of migration to Europe from Africa to promote well-informed, regular migration.
The project has also created a TV series – Surprising Europe – which looks at the lives and migration experiences of African migrants in Europe. To see the show, go to: http://surprisingeurope.com/tv-series
The event was also linked to IOM Tanzania’s Enhancing the Migration Evidence Base for the Development of Tanzania project. As part of the project, IOM Tanzania plans to publish a study on migratory trends from, to and within Tanzania. One of its aims will be to help members of the Tanzanian diaspora to engage in the development of their home country.
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