Posted on: November 19, 2020 Posted by: diasporadigital Comments: 0

The Diaspora Flet Conference will take place virtually from 19th to 21st November 2020. The theme of this year’s conference is “GlobAL2020: Connect. Create. Collaborate.” We are therefore pleased to speak with a Moderator of the event, Hana Bacaj who shares with us her interest in Diaspora Engagement and expectations of the Conference.

Hana is an accomplished Economist & Senior Research Analyst who studied Development Economics for her Master’s Degree in the United States. She did a lot of work on international experiences focusing on migration whilst in Costa Rica for over six months. In her own words; “I did a lot of consultancy and research in Latin America and the United States. I went there to gain knowledge so that I can transfer it back to my country. That is the reason why I studied Economic Development. After finishing my studies in the US, I am glad I came back to Kosovo and now I can try to be an actor for positive change in my country. Since Kosovo has a high percentage of youth, I think it is important to have the youth coming back and making a difference in their country.”

On Diaspora Engagement

“The diaspora in most cases plays an important role in economic development and since that is also my field of study, it is of much interest to me. Beyond remittances which is what my panel at the Conference is about, diaspora engagement can also promote trade, foreign direct investment, create businesses, spur entrepreneurship and help in the transfer of knowledge and skills.

There are a lot of ways in which the diaspora can help, and so we are fortunate to have conferences like Diaspora Flet 2020 and organisations such as Germin that help link people in diaspora with people back home. Creating this link in addition to all the factors I mentioned earlier can easily promote a better economic development in the country. We are fortunate that our country has such organisations because this is not always the case in other countries.

Migration and the diaspora sometimes are seen as not beneficial by some policymakers, but this should be looked carefully because there are different types of migration. South-South migration like in the case I mentioned about Nicaraguans in Costa Rica, is basically when people from developing countries migrate not to more developed countries but rather to other developing countries. In such cases the benefits are hard to feel. Most of the Albanian diaspora is concentrated in countries such as Italy, Germany, Switzerland, and US. So, because we have a very strong diaspora there is always lots of help coming into the country.”

Expectations of the Conference

“I’m so excited to be Moderating the conference because the issue of remittances has been discussed a lot lately due to pandemics. I will be moderating an amazing set of panelists from Kosovo, Albania, as well as from the US and it is my pleasure to host all of them. The panelists are strong professionals from different institutions such as the World Bank and other reputable organisations from Kosovo and Albania.

I do have positive expectations. My country is super small, so you can easily follow what people talk about. The feedback I have gotten so far is good and lots of people are looking forward to attending the Conference. I know the team at Germin has also been working so hard to make the event a success.

I am a fulltime worker but I really want to be part of this experience and conference. Since it will be a virtual conference, I would not be able to meet each member of the panel personally as I would have loved to, however I look forward to coordinating with them soon. I am truly excited and passionate to make a change in my country!”

Register for the Diaspora Flet 2020 Conference from this link:

By: Theresa R. Fianko

Image Credit: Hana Bacaj

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