A Real ‘Base’ for Senegalese Citizens Living in Italy
The Global Mechanism is seeking ways to identify, explore and promote sources of funding that are most relevant and innovative for the rehabilitation of land through the Great Green Wall, and contribute significantly to the restoration of 12 million hectares of land globally that are degraded each year.
The opening of ‘BASE’ the Support Office for Senegalese citizens Abroad, in Milan, Italy, on 30 May 2016, is a potential contribution towards investments in sustainable land management. The establishment of the office is an important step for the Senegalese government in supporting its citizens living in Italy. It is also a good example of international cooperation between Italy and Senegal, involving all the following stakeholders: the diaspora associations, international organizations, local authorities, civil society and the private sector.
The objectives of 'BASE' are:
- Inform Senegalese citizens in Italy on the investment opportunities in their countries of origin, with a particular focus on sustainable agriculture and land rehabilitation;
- Assess the economic integration problems of the Diaspora and point them to the relevant structures to facilitate the administrative procedures for the creation of enterprises in Senegal
The opening of ‘BASE’ is supported by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), through the Italian Cooperation project: "Promoting sustainable land management in areas prone to migration through innovative financing mechanisms ", as well by the municipal council of Milan and the Government of Senegal.
On 29 May, the day before the inauguration of 'BASE', the Diaspora met all government structures that support initiatives for Senegalese citizens abroad to discuss current opportunities. This platform has provided important information to Senegalese citizens abroad, indicating the most productive investments and presenting the services available to them (financial or otherwise) to implement their investment projects.
It is estimated that there are between two and three million Senegalese citizens living abroad worldwide, nearly a quarter of the population of Senegal. Because of their number and involvement in the development of the country, they have an important economic and social role to play in the stability of Senegal. The diaspora is particularly important in Italy, where 26.2% of the Senegalese diaspora lives, according to a survey "Migration and Remittances to Senegal by the World Bank" conducted by the Consortium for the Economic and Social Research of Senegal in 2009. According to the same source, Senegalese households received nearly 588.4 billion FCFA in 2011, making remittances one of the most promising innovative sources of finance, with a potentially crucial role in promoting sustainable land management and land rehabilitation.