Diaspora Newsletter - English

*Pour la version francophone, cliquez ici! 

Brief Introduction


At the International Organization for Migration (IOM), we aim to contribute to a better understanding of the links between migration and development while building bridges between host and home societies. Based on decades of experience in this area, IOM is aware of the potential of diaspora communities for what concerns their expertise, commitment and cultural affinity with their country of origin.


IOM Belgium and Luxembourg fully supports the global 3E strategic approach of enabling, engaging, empowering diaspora communities who want to maintain and improve dialogue across borders. In this framework, IOM is reinforcing diaspora related activities in Belgium and Luxembourg. To expand IOM’s network and to strengthen transnational communities, several projects mainly targeting African countries* are initiated and supported. The focus of these projects is on the mobilization of skills, remittances, resources and knowledge in order to boost sustainable socio-economic development.

With this newsletter, IOM Belgium and Luxembourg would like to set up a dialogue with you and create a platform for debate that will benefit all. We hope to increase awareness and opportunities by bringing together different actors interested in diaspora engagement. Additionally, IOM Belgium and Luxembourg would also use this opportunity to share its experience and knowledge gained through projects implemented globally. At the same time, this platform will be used to launch calls for cooperation for those who are interested in participating in one of IOM projects and want to have a cross-border impact. 

*These include Morocco, Senegal, Mali, Guinea, Burkina Faso, Benin, Niger, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique and the Palestinian Territory.





In the spirit of IOM’s 3E Strategy for Diaspora and with the financial support of the Belgian Development Cooperation, IOM Belgium contributed to a project on Empowering Female Diaspora Associations to Strengthen their Role in the Development of Countries of Origin.

Although IOM Country Office in Belgium has been involved in other diaspora projects, a gender-specific approach towards diaspora was rather innovative. Eleven African diaspora women’s associations residing in Belgium were selected to participate in a tailored capacity-building program. The training modules supported the women in increasing the visibility of their associations, as well as strengthening their role and capacities as effective agents in projects supporting the development of their countries of origin. In these interviews, the participants explain what they have been doing. You can also take a look at this short video highlighting the project’s success stories!

IOM Belgium and Niger


In March 2019, IOM Belgium organized a mission to Niger to gain a better insight into several collective and community-based projects, such as an irrigation project in Toro. During the mission, IOM Belgium also attended a Job Fair in Tahoua organized by IOM Niger, the local incubator CIPMEN and the University of Tahoua, which united thousands of visitors including diaspora members.


More recently, on 5 October, IOM Belgium attended and spoke at the Rencontre des Nigériens d'Europe to explain IOM’s involvement in Niger, and the relation between migration and development.

 Diaspora in Belgium and Germany to support health and education sectors

in Rwanda


Like many countries in Africa, Rwanda has a large number of nationals living abroad and playing an important role in Rwanda’s socio-economic development. Together with IOM Rwanda, IOM Germany and IOM Belgium and Luxembourg are coordinating various activities linking Rwandan diaspora members in Belgium and Germany to their home country. By supporting the temporary relocation of 30 skilled diaspora members that will transfer their skills during their stay through training sessions, IOM aims to strengthen the Rwandese education and health sectors. The ultimate aim is to create ten innovative pilot projects by establishing synergies between the diaspora and the Rwandese trained professionals. Click here to learn more about those activities!


Interested Rwandan diaspora members are encouraged to register for the upcoming info session in Brussels (Date to be determined!)!

Interested in investing in one of the pilot projects?  Contact IOM Belgium.  




Diaspora Engagement
to support the public sector in Mauritania


In June 2019, IOM organized meetings in Brussels, Frankfurt and Paris for the members of the Mauritanian diaspora residing in the Benelux, France and Germany, within the framework of the project “Support to Circular and Temporary Migration of the Mauritanian Diaspora”. The initiative aims to temporarily move 20 qualified diaspora members to support of capacity-building and skills development of public institutions in their country of origin. After the event, 37 diaspora experts coming from Belgium, Germany and France expressed their interest as potential candidates. In the coming months, IOM will follow up on the activities of selected Mauritanian diaspora members.