Diaspora, Development and Morocco
This policy paper reviews what is known about the contribution that the diaspora can make to development in the country of origin, drawing from a small but rapidly growing empirical literature on the subject. It then further examines the needs of the diaspora and the development role it can play through its organizations. The main focus of the paper is on migration and diaspora in the Middle East and North African region, comparing it with other regions where migration plays an important role. Additionally, the paper examines more closely the case of Morocco, a country which has been especially active in fostering links with its large diaspora. The paper has illustrated the many ways in which the countries of the MENA region draw benefits from their large diaspora, and also shows that Morocco is one of the main beneficiaries. Economic migration can also result in better labor market, balance of payments, trade and innovation outcomes in the country of origin, as well as increased investment and growth in the country of destination. Unfortunately, this generally favorable picture is currently heavily clouded by the massive refugee crisis that is engulfing the MENA region and spilling over into Europe, which is the main destination of economic migrants originating in MENA.