How to get Haitian Diaspora to invest in Haiti Economy

Haiti's history has seen more or less constant upheaval from 1804, up to the recent past. Survivor of 32 coup d'etats, provisional governments, and natural disasters, the most recent set-back was the 2010 earthquake. Port-au-Prince, still a mass of rubble, has 350,000 Haitians living in tent cities today.


The Government of Haiti (GOH) is working non-stop to attract foreign investment and get its economy restored. Many development banks, non-government organizations, and investment initiatives are funding projects to rebuild Haiti. One of the richest investment resources is the Haitian Diaspora. Made up of law, education, medical, science, and information technology fields, it is a bounty of resources Haiti needs to fully recover from its destruction.

An effective way to get the Diaspora's participation is giving them dual citizenship. This is what President Martelly has done by having the Constitution amended to provide this right. But it will take more than dual citizenship to get the Diaspora's long-term investment in repairing and rebuilding projects, capitalization of small and mid-size enterprises, and development of a free public education system.

GOH needs to curry favor with the Diaspora by offering them more contact with it. They need to create a Ministry of Culture and Education, with a department of Diaspora Relations. As part of GOH's administration, the department would work to involve the Diaspora in initiatives and in cultural and history programs to connect them with their heritage and country. Forming a bond with Haiti would encourage more private investment, uniting Haitian and Haitian-Americans, in particular, in making common cause.

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