Navigation – Plan du site

AccueilNumérosvol 22. n°57Fijian Diaspora Engagement: Betwe...

Fijian Diaspora Engagement: Between Willingness and Wariness

La place de la diaspora fidjienne dans les efforts nationaux de développement : entre ouverture et prudence
Ondine Aza

Résumés

Comme de nombreux petits États insulaires en développement (PEID), Fidji a une faible superficie terrestre, un passé colonial et un taux d’émigration élevé. Ce dernier facteur explique qu’en dépit du nombre modeste d’habitants, une diaspora fidjienne est présente dans plusieurs pays. La composition de la population locale résulte des politiques de peuplement mises en place à l’époque de l’Empire britannique. L’appartenance ethnique structure les relations sociales et la vie politique encore aujourd’hui. Cet article propose de se pencher sur les mesures prises par le gouvernement du Premier ministre Fidjien, Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama, pour garder le contact avec la diaspora fidjienne, sur fonds de tensions ethniques à Fidji et de l’instabilité politique qui en découle. Peut-on observer la mise en place de politiques clairement définies ? Des allusions sont-elles faites à la multiethnicité à Fidji dans les discours à l’intention de la diaspora ? Pour apporter des éléments de réponses à ces questions, ce travail entreprend de mettre en perspective les mesures prises par le gouvernement à l’égard de la diaspora en tenant compte de l’histoire récente du pays. Il espère ainsi contribuer aux recherches sur les politiques diasporiques dans les territoires insulaires multiethniques. Plus largement, il s’inscrit dans une démarche pour comprendre le rôle dévolu aux diasporas des territoires insulaires dans les efforts de développement de leurs îles d’origine.

Haut de page

Texte intégral

  • 1 Fiji Government, “PM Bainimarama urges Fijian diaspora in Sydney to invest in Fiji”, 2019. <https: (...)
  • 2 Jeevika Vivekananthan and Phil Connors, Crossing the Divide: Pacific Diaspora in Humanitarian Resp (...)

“For years, I’ve urged our Fijian diaspora to take up their role in the great story of Fijian progress to build industries through the ingenuity of the Fijian people and to capitalise on the growth of increasingly dynamic and diversifying economy.”1
Fijian Prime minister Hon. Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama
 
“What I have been able to do (is to) organise with different Fijian organisation in Melbourne to come together for disaster relief. What I have made it very clear to each and every organisation is that the group that we form is purely to assist for that particular disaster. As soon as the disaster help is done, we all go separate ways. We will only come together as a group when the next disaster happens. There is no committee, no organisational structure set up, it is purely based on voluntary and volunteers come on board.”2
An Australian-based Fijian participant in humanitarian action

  • 3 There is no known causal relation between these two quotes but they are striking because while ref (...)

1The first quote comes from a speech by Fijian Prime minister Bainimarama in Sydney in 2019 whereas the second quote are the words of a testimony published in a report looking into the response to natural disasters of the diaspora from Pacific Island Communities. On the one hand, a government official from Fiji wishes to involve the diaspora in the national development plans, and indeed appeals to it. On the other hand, a member of the Fijian diaspora has engaged actions in favour of their country of origin but intends to do so on their terms and when they deem it necessary.3

  • 4 For a review and limits of this “maximalist” approach in defining diasporas, see Agnieszka Weinar (...)
  • 5 Nina Glick Schiller et al., “From Immigrant to Transmigrant: Theorizing Transnational Migration”, (...)

2For the purpose of this work, diaspora refers to people who live in one country but can trace back parentage to a different country (here, Fiji), regardless of the number of generations back and who still hold an attachment to the country and self-identify as being originally from there. The term “diaspora” is here defined in an all-encompassing, broad way.4 It is also closely linked to the term “transmigrant” used by Nina Glick Schiller and other sociologists who describe this phenomenon as “immigrants whose daily lives depend on multiple and constant interconnections across international borders and whose public identities are configured in relationship to more than one nation-state.”5 In practice, the interconnections can take the form of visits or keeping up to date with local happenings through personal networks or online media.

3The Fijian government’s interest in its diaspora is in line with the widely held belief that the diaspora of a country contributes positively to the country’s development. This belief is well documented and endorsed by research actors, contending that the diaspora can have a positive impact on either home countries or countries of destination or both.6 The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) recalls that trade can be a means to develop diaspora engagement7 and that “trade flows can be enhanced by leveraging diaspora networks to circumvent trade barriers and reduce trade-related transaction costs.”8 The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) adopted a similar position in a report published after the 2013 Diaspora Ministerial Conference stating that “in many parts of the world, diasporas are increasingly recognized as key actors not only in national, bilateral and global affairs, but also in the migration-development nexus.”9

  • 10 Commonwealth of Nations, Understanding the Investment Potential of the Fijian Diaspora: Results of (...)
  • 11 Jeevika Vivekananthan and Phil Connors, op. cit.

4In the specific case of Fiji, two reports published in 2018 and 2019 provide qualitative information on the Fijian diaspora that can help better understand how and why this diaspora engages, or limits its engagement, with Fiji. Fiji was one of the six Commonwealth countries for which a Diaspora Investor Survey was commissioned by the Commonwealth Secretariat “to provide robust evidence for stakeholders aiming to leverage diaspora capital.”10 The results published in 2018 gave an overview of the investment practices and preferences of the Fijian diaspora community in the UK. In 2019, The Australian-based Centre for Humanitarian Leadership published another report looking into diaspora action from Pacific Island Communities, including Fiji, in the face of natural disasters in the Pacific Islands.11 These reports are the result of initiatives from actors in countries of destination of the Fijian diaspora, in this case the UK and Australia. Such initiatives are not surprising when we think of the involvement of these two countries in development programs, the UK as a former colonial power and Australia as one of the developed economies in the South Pacific region.

  • 12 UNCSD, Rio +20, The Future We want, Outcome document of the UNCSD, UNCSD, 2012, 46, <https://susta (...)

5Given that encouraging the diaspora to play a role in development is the new zeitgeist, these reports involving Fiji do not come as a surprise either. Indeed, Fiji is a state made up of a myriad of small islands that display the characteristics of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) as presented in 1992 at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development held in Rio. They have “unique and particular vulnerabilities including their small size, remoteness, narrow resources and export base, and exposure to global environmental challenges and external economic shocks, including to a large range of impacts from climate change and potentially more frequent and intense natural disasters.”12

  • 13 Countries under this category have a GNI per capital between 4,046 USD to 12, 535 USD – World Bank (...)
  • 14 UNCTAD, Online Database, <https://unctadstat.unctad.org/wds/TableViewer/tableView.aspx, accessed o (...)
  • 15 Manufacturing includes textiles, garments, footwear, sugar, tobacco, food processing, beverages (i (...)
  • 16 Fiji Bureau of Statistics (FBS), Fiji National Accounts – Gross Domestic Product, <https://www.sta (...)
  • 17 World Bank, “Country Engagement Note for the Republic of Fiji for the period FY2015-2017”, Report (...)
  • 18 Fiji Bureau of Statistics (FBS), International Merchandise Trade Statistics 2016, FBS, 2019, <http (...)

6With a GNI of 5,800 USD per capita in 2019 according to the World Bank, it surpasses the Pacific Islands small states’ average of 4,306 and is categorised as an upper middle-income economy.13 For the period 2010-2019, the average flow of inwards FDI represented 6.5% of GDP.14 Data for 2016 indicate that agriculture, fishing, forestry and mining activities accounted for 7.7% of GDP, manufacturing15 and construction represented 13.6% and the rest, the bulk of which were services, accounted for 55.1% (the remaining 23.6% came from tax revenues).16 The trade balance in 2016 stood at -23% of GDP.17 Machinery and mechanical appliances, mineral products and vehicles, aircrafts, vessels accounted for about 45% of imports. Processed food, beverages and spirits accounted for 40% of its exports, with pearls, animals and animal products and textile accounting for approximately a further 30%.18

  • 19 United Nations, Migration Data, <https://population.un.org/wpp/Download/Standard/Migration/, acces (...)
  • 20 Michel Beine et al., “Brain Drain and its Determinants: A Major Issue for Small States”, Institute (...)
  • 21 “Highly skilled” is defined as tertiary education attainment. See Caglar Ozden and Maurice Schiff, (...)
  • 22 OECD, Connecting with Emigrants, A Global Profile of Diasporas 2015, OECD, 2015, 76. <http://dx.do (...)
  • 23 Michel Beine, Frédéric Docquier and Hillel Rapoport, “Measuring International Skilled Migration: A (...)
  • 24 IOM, Fiji Country Profile, <https://www.iom.int/countries/fiji accessed on 21 September 2023; EUDI (...)
  • 25 World Bank, Republic of Fiji: Systematic Country Diagnosis 2017, Report Report no 116491-FJ, Washi (...)

7Since 1950, the country has had a negative net migration rate. For the period 2015-2020, the net migration rate stood at -0.7%.19 Not unlike other SIDS,20 Fiji has a very high emigration rate for highly skilled workers,21 which is an additional source of vulnerability. The OECD 2015 Global Profile of Diaspora estimated that the emigration rate of the highly educated in Fiji was of 34.4% for the period 2010/11, ranking it 10th worldwide.22 Further datasets also provide time series data that show high rates of emigration for skilled individuals from Fiji calculated for 1990 and 2000.23 Traditionally, the top countries of destination for Fijians are Australia, New Zealand, the USA, Canada, the UK and, to a lesser extent, other Pacific Islands. More recently, the Middle East has also become a destination country for Fijians, according to the IOM.24 While a list of the precise profiles of high-skilled emigrants is not readily available, a 2017 report by the World Bank pointed out that the Fijian public sector experienced a shortage of skilled and technical workers such as doctors, engineers or IT specialists.25

  • 26 An index put together by German relief providers placed Fiji in the 15th position in its 2020 rank (...)

8Fiji is a country that has improved its economic development but the structure of its economy, the threat of more frequent and devastating climate disasters and the global upheaval created by the COVID-19 pandemic enhance its vulnerability.26 With very high emigration rates, in particular of skilled labour, encouraging the diaspora to get involved in local projects could be a solution to maintain development efforts. There is little doubt that converting diaspora members into investors would enable Fiji to tap into a precious means of financing national development plans. This is complicated however by the fact that a part of this diaspora was driven away by the deliberate policies of former governments, as will be explained below. Yet, in recent years, the Fijian government has expressed an interest in engaging its diaspora to contribute to local development.

9In a context still unstable because of the tensions resulting from Fiji’s history, how does the government attempt to soothe potential grievances while reaching out to diasporans who may provide valuable resources to the country? This paper assesses the challenges of Fiji’s diaspora policy in light of the specificities of its ethnic history. The historical circumstances that shaped the relation between the Fijian diaspora and its home state will be reviewed, along with an analysis of the government’s discourse and position towards the members of the diaspora.

The Colonial and Post-Colonial History of the Fijian People

  • 27 The Indian indenture system was put in place in the mid-nineteenth century within the British Empi (...)
  • 28 This analysis was made by anthropologist Thomas H. Eriksen on Mauritius and Trinidad, where an inf (...)
  • 29 Brij V. Lal, Fiji Islands: From Immigration to Emigration, op. cit.
  • 30 Naidu Vijay et al., Fiji: the Challenges and Opportunities of Diversity, Minority Rights Group Int (...)

10The circumstances leading to the existing make-up of the Fijian society and the resulting ethnic tensions are well researched and well documented topics. The first inhabitants had settled on the island long before Fiji became a British colony in 1874. For the purpose of cultivating the sugar cane fields introduced by the British, Indian indentured labourers were brought over in 1878, as part of an empire-wide initiative.27 The entirely different lifestyles, customs, physical features, cultural habits, traditional beliefs and initially, language, set the two groups apart from the onset.28 The move of then governor Arthur Gordons has been interpreted as a desire to let the indigenous population lead its peaceful, bucolic way of life, untainted, while leaving the task of cultivating the land to the newly settled Indo-Fijians.29 This was in fact an application of colonial policies that were based on a strict racial hierarchy and division of labour. Indian migrant workers had come over for the specific purpose of working the land.30 Either way, this gave rise to a situation where although indigenous Fijians had an ancestral bond to the land, the cultivation of this land was devolved to the newcomers. The newcomers prospered but were bound by a subservient relationship with the indigenous population whose members were constitutionally the legitimate owners of the land that they could lease. Once independence was obtained in 1970, the constitutions that followed entrenched the differentiated citizen status and tensions ultimately led to a succession of coups d’état in 1987, 2000 and 2006 when Indo-Fijians were perceived as gaining too much political power when they already had some form of economic success.

  • 31 Government of Fiji, Fijian Affairs (Amendment) Decree 2010, Republic of Fiji Islands Government Ga (...)

11The current Prime minister Bainimarama has an ambiguous link to these events. While he was part of the coup in 2006, his stated intention was to prevent abuses against Indo-Fijians. He has built his campaigns and public addresses on the idea that Fiji needs to become unified and that indigenous Fijians and Indo-Fijians are equally Fijians. In fact, it was under his premiership in 2009, that the word “Fijian” was officially adopted to mean “someone born in Fiji.” Prior to that decree, “Fijian” was understood to mean “indigenous Fijian” and the significant Indo-Fijian minority was identified as “Fijian Indians”. Now, the term “iTaukei” is used to identify indigenous Fijians specifically.31

  • 32 Brij V. Lal, Fiji Islands: From Immigration to Emigration, op. cit.
  • 33 Naidu Vijay et al., Fiji: the Challenges and Opportunities of Diversity, op. cit., 12.
  • 34 Ibidem; Brij V. Lal, Fiji Islands: From Immigration to Emigration, op. cit
  • 35 Fiji Government, Ministry of Finance and National, “20-Year Development Plan (2021-2020) for the e (...)
  • 36 This has led a researcher to describe Indo-Fijians as the “diaspora of the ‘Twice Banished”. See B (...)
  • 37 Ibidem.
  • 38 Ibid.

12Fiji’s negative net rate of migration over the past 50 years is not unlike other Pacific Islands. There can be multiple reasons for migration and in the case of Fiji, political instability and ethnic tensions have played a major role. At the time of independence in 1970, uncertainty as to who would effectively rule the island after the departure of the British fed fears of civil unrest.32 In addition, electoral support often tended to be along ethnic lines.33 When the 1987 elections returned votes in favour of the Fiji Labour Party (FLP) with an iTaukei leader seen as pro-Indo-Fijian and willing to enter into a coalition with the National Federation Party (NFP) largely supported by Indo-Fijians, a bout of immigration was observed, amidst fear that Indo-Fijians would be rising up the ranks and taking over.34 However, the leaders of the military coup d’état that closely followed explained that their aim was to safeguard Fiji and keep it for its rightful owners, the iTaukei. To this end, measures were taken which were presented as forms of affirmative action insofar as they were meant to redress an unfair situation where the iTaukei were kept for decades from working the land, a productive economic activity.35 For instance, ethnic requirements featured prominently in some recruitment processes. Another wave of immigration, very likely led mostly by Indo-Fijians, was registered.36 Nationalists held the ideological belief that iTaukei had birthright as indigenous people.37 But the international community condemned these coups that denied the results of free and fair elections and some of the major trading partners of Fiji, namely Australia, the USA and the UK, imposed sanctions. The economic hardships that resulted led to even more emigration. Around the year 2000, the expiration of land leases that had been granted to Indo-Fijians around independence time for a duration of 30 years was an additional driver to emigrate, amidst an international context where preferential trade treatment was increasingly under fire and sugar agreements, such as those featured in the Lomé Convention, were coming to an end.38 The political turmoil and ethnic tensions compounded by the economic uncertainly led more people to emigrate.

13When the decision to emigrate is motivated by economic reasons and the hope to get better treatment, some family members are often left behind. It is then the responsibility of the migrant to help support them. As such, members of the Fijian diaspora maintain close ties with their home country of Fiji. This diaspora can be seen as transnational citizens whose lives span across the different states they are linked to and are eager to contribute to the education of other members or to celebrations of family milestone events.39 This is visible in the average rate of remittances of 5.3% of GDP for the period 2005-2019 whereas for the period 1979-1999, remittances had averaged 1.44% of GDP.40 In 2019, remittances stood at 5.2%, which placed Fiji below the Pacific islands small states average of 7.4.41

Diaspora-Engagement Initiatives in Fiji

  • 42 See Jeevika Vivekananthan and Phil Connors, Crossing the Divide: Pacific Diaspora in Humanitarian (...)

14Policies targeting the diaspora seek to foster remittances, although very clearly, the motivation to send remittances is personal and linked to one’s family. However, they transform the diaspora members into agents who do not simply send money but can potentially improve trade relations and invest their skills, network and other resources in local development efforts, beyond the family unit. In some cases, mobilising the diaspora so as to obtain a coordinated response can help have greater leverage and impact and benefit the wider community, as in the case of diaspora response in humanitarian crises.42

15Broadly speaking, measures addressed to the diaspora either try to develop return migration or to promote other forms of involvement without encouraging relocation. According to the European Union Global Diaspora Facility, Fiji does not officially have diaspora engagement policies or institutions dedicated to the purpose of reaching out to the diaspora.43 Despite the absence of formal structures, high-ranking government officials, including the Prime minister, appeal to the diaspora and some measures taken target overseas nationals and their descendants. The following table presents some of the key initiatives (government or other) of interest to the Fijian diaspora.

Table 1. Key initiatives (government or other) of interest to the Fijian diaspora

Key government initiatives of interest to the Fijian diaspora Other initiatives targeting the diaspora that do not stem from the government
- Tax concessions for importing a personal vehicle or personal belongings for returning nationals
- Financial reform plans that include provisions to streamline remittance channels and raise awareness on their existence
- Dual Citizenship has been made possible since 2009
- Overseas nationals can vote for General Elections
- Government officials (including the Prime minister himself) are present at celebrations of Fiji Day in some cities worldwide, such as Sydney in Australia and Surrey in British Columbia, Canada)
- Sponsoring an application called “iVolavosa” which is a mobile iTaukei dictionary
-  Country-based organisations such as Fiji Britain, Fiji Disaster Relief Society of Canada, the Fiji American National Association, the French Fijian Support Association for rugby players
- “Learning my roots” 2019 Twitter campaign in the UK launched by a Fijian women’s organisation in the UK

Source: European Union Global Diaspora Facility44, Fiji Government website45

16Fiji has put in place the oft-used tax incentives targeting returning nationals in the form of duty-free import on motor vehicles and personal belongings. In order to support return migration as a way to fill in the skills gap on the local job market or to benefit from the returnees’ existing business network, the government may seek to offer the returnees comparable levels of comfort and remuneration or a significant trade-off that compensates for any loss in standard when compared to their former lives. Although returning to one’s home country may be a source of satisfaction, it is uncertain whether Fiji’s developing, middle-income economy motivates swathes of working-age members of the diaspora.

  • 46 European Union Global Diaspora Facility, Diaspora Engagement Map: Fiji, op. cit.; RBF, Personal Re (...)

17Making provisions to better capitalize on remittances is not surprising, given the role remittances play as a source of finance in developing countries. In the case of Fiji, remittances have been the second largest source of foreign exchange for the country since 2004.46 Although the causal link is not clearly established, remittances have markedly increased since the 1987 and 2000 coups when many Indo-Fijians migrated.

18The other State-sponsored measures serve to make overseas Fijians feel that they are part of an extended family by being involved in national decisions and events. They can have a Fijian passport, they can vote and they are included in the celebration of Fiji Day (independence from the UK on October 10) through local events that are not necessarily held on the official date. Additionally, they are invited to keep in touch with the local language. The emotional appeal is also very much visible in the Prime minister Bainimarama’s choice of words when speaking to the diaspora. Below are two extracts from his speeches on Fiji Day celebrations in 2015 and 2017 in Sydney:

  • 47 Fiji Government, “Speech by the Hon PM Bainimarama at the official Fiji Day Program in Sydney”, 20 (...)

[…] whether you are i’Taukei, Indo-Fijian, a kailoma of mixed ethnic background or are of European or Chinese descent, we are all now Fijians.
It is one of my Government’s proudest achievements. Because it is an absolute prerequisite for building any successful nation that everyone share the same identity. The same name.
So, Friends. We have broken down a barrier that had been erected around us for no good reason at all. We have strengthened our national identity. We have forged a more inclusive society. We have given everyone a sense of belonging. And there is a new sense of pride now in being One Nation. One Fiji. And that extends to Fijians living in other countries. You may have embraced another nationality. But if someone asks “where did you come from?” and you’re not i’Taukei, you no longer have to say “I’m Fiji-born” or “I’m a Fiji Islander”. You can say “I’m Fijian!”47
Fijian Prime minister Hon. Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama

  • 48 Fiji Government, “Speech by the Hon PM Bainimarama at the official Fiji Day Program in Sydney”, 20 (...)

No matter where I’ve gone, I’ve always shared in the same feeling of unity and joy with our Fijian family […]
Every year, these celebrations serve as a reminder of all we work for, as one nation and one people, determined to build a new and better Fiji. […]
[…] More than ever, Fiji is whole, Fiji is united and Fiji is brimming with opportunity for every Fijian. Luckily, you are a short flight away from returning to experience all of that for yourselves.
That progress has come about because we are steadily realising the vision for the new Fiji – […] A Fiji where no Fijian feels cast aside in their own country. A Fiji where no Fijian is left out of our national development and prosperity. […]
I know that many Fijians who resettled here in Sydney and throughout Australia did so because they didn’t see a future for themselves in Fiji. Many left because they had lost faith in where our nation was headed, and sought better lives for themselves and for their children. And others left because, sadly, they felt like unwelcome strangers in their own rightful home.
There are times in our history when it was difficult to see our nation’s true potential. I know that. But that is no longer the case – that is not the Fiji I lead today. The spirit of optimism that is sweeping our nation is something you can only truly understand when you experience it for yourself. […]
I encourage you to share the news and developments of Fiji with those that cannot be here today, your friends, your coworkers, and your community. By doing this, you are helping Fiji in ways that cannot be accomplished on our own.
Members of my delegation are also present and available to help anyone interested in applying for Fijian citizenship, as you know that under my Government we allow for holding of multiple citizenship. We have the Fijian Elections Office team here who can register you to vote and we have a team from the Ministry of iTaukei Affairs who can register your children in the Vola Ni Kawa Bula.48
Fijian Prime minister Hon. Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama

19Emphasis is clearly placed on belonging to one Nation beyond borders and the approach to engaging with the diaspora relies on socializing and networking. The Prime minister’s speeches emphasize that national identity has henceforth superseded ethnic identity. The initiatives sponsored by the government can be seen as a translation of these words into measures that convey an ideal of national unity.

  • 49 In 2018 General Elections, for 637,527 registered voters, 7,970 were overseas (less than 1.5% of t (...)
  • 50 Idem, 26.

20Perhaps as a way to establish his legitimacy in appealing to the diaspora, Prime minister Bainimarama recalls that the wording of the Constitution was changed under his leadership to reflect that a Fijian is someone who was born in Fiji, irrespective of ethnicity. Reaching out to the diaspora could be a calculated move to attract a source of much needed financial and technical resources. Yet some diaspora initiatives may not be without political consequences. Granting dual citizenship and the right to vote as “overseas Fijians” to members of the diaspora can be double-edged. For the time being however, the number of registered voters is insignificant.49 In addition, the procedure to register and vote is fairly complicated, involving costs related to the need to secure the services of a notary.50 Arguably, the vote of overseas Fijians is of little consequence in the final results of the elections. Taking them into account is likely to serve the purpose of fostering a feeling of belonging.

  • 51 Commonwealth of Nations, Understanding the Investment Potential of the Fijian Diaspora: Results of (...)
  • 52 According to the report published by the Commonwealth Secretariat on the Investment Potential of t (...)

21For Fiji, flows of remittances are central to the contribution of the diaspora to local development efforts. However, remittances are personal flows and they are intended for specific people. The senders decide who the recipients are. Moreover, a study that focused on members of the Fijian diaspora in the UK has revealed that respondents would more willingly get involved in local projects if they knew that their family and communities were the direct beneficiaries.51 Along with measures to better capitalise on remittances, the government could decide to have other policies aiming to involve the diaspora in nationwide projects. Yet, the current government’s initiatives do not include an overarching organisation commissioned to deal specifically with diaspora affairs. Such an organisation would coordinate action and with the resulting leverage, embark on larger-scale, national projects involving the diaspora. Instead, the existing policies to engage with the diaspora rely on creating the right informal relations and atmosphere that will convince members of the diaspora to become involved. A state-sponsored agency is also more likely to be suspected of corruption and misappropriation of funds.52

Concluding Remarks

22On one hand, the Prime minister’s speeches combined with governmental action that acknowledge the role of all Fijians irrespective of their ethnic origin in building a more prosperous Fiji, might deter high-skilled Fijians from migrating to seek opportunities formerly denied in their own country. On the other hand, the Fijian government has taken different types of measures to encourage the country’s diaspora to get involved in local development projects in an effort to transcend the complicated history of the country.

23We see furthermore that in the face of a natural disaster, members of the diaspora get together in a coordinated effort to bring help to those back in Fiji. Even in times when diaspora action does not stem from an emergency, it still targets specific projects and communities and members of the diaspora are more inclined to get involved if they know who benefits from their contribution.

24While public authorities in Fiji appeal to the diaspora, diasporans willingly show solidarity with people in Fiji and contribute to their welfare. But this is where the convergence ends. As expressed by the words quoted at the beginning of this paper, diasporans do not necessarily want their actions to stem from government-sponsored initiatives, nor do they desire a more centralised system of coordinating diaspora initiatives.

  • 53 Nicholas Van Hear, New Diasporas. The Mass Exodus, Dispersal and Regrouping of Migrant Communities(...)
  • 54 Sanja Franc, Marina Peric Kaselj, and Ivona Skreblin Kirbis, “Policies for promoting diaspora inve (...)

25Engaging with the diaspora is a complex task for any state since a country’s diaspora is far from being a homogeneous group53 and precise statistical data on the diaspora is not readily available. Fiji is no exception. There are multiple personal trajectories and reasons that account for the decision to leave the country of origin. Better prospects or family reunification could act as pull factors and political instability, economic turmoil and ethnic discrimination could be push factors. All of these, along with the different socio-economic statuses of diasporans, from highly-skilled to unskilled workers, make it extremely difficult, indeed impossible to have a one-size-fit-all approach and discourse in the hope of federating everyone. Differentiated diaspora policies applied in other countries54 are of no use in Fiji given the efforts to emphasize national unity.

26Instead, the measures and policies aimed at the Fijian diaspora are not centrally coordinated, which can seem at odds with the intention to develop a feeling of converging interests and common objectives within this diaspora. However, the words of the Prime minister to the members of the diaspora can also be understood to be an emotional appeal for national unity, the translation of which into measures does not aim to create a unified diaspora policy. The measures taken have sought to create a framework by resorting to a combination of symbolical actions and effective policies. This framework serves a clear purpose: to send the message that diaspora engagement is valued and encouraged. In addition, the existence of several national associations is conducive of a network approach involving interpersonal relations between members of the diaspora and nationals.

27This is not surprising since the input of the diaspora can prove to be valuable to a country and as such, diaspora policies could be expected to deserve national coordination to ensure maximum leverage. However, Fiji offers the example of a country where such an approach would ignore the heterogeneity of the Fijian diaspora, including its motivations and modes of engagement.

Haut de page

Bibliographie

BAHAR Dany, “Diasporas and Economic Development: A Review of the Evidence and ¨Policy”, cesifo Working Papers 8106/2020, February 2020.

BEINE Michel, et al., “Brain Drain and its Determinants: A Major Issue for Small States.” Institute for the Study of Labour Discussion Paper no 3398, 2008.

BEINE Michel, Docquier, Frédéric and Rapoport, Hillel, “Measuring International Skilled Migration: A New Database Controlling for Age of Entry”, Washington D.C.: World Bank Group, 2007, <http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/410951468147571466/Measuring-international-skilled-migration-a-new-database-controlling-for-age-of-entry>, accessed on 18 February 2021.

Bündnis Entwicklung Hilft, WorldRiskReport 2020, RUB and IFHV, Germany, 2020, <https://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/WorldRiskReport-2020.pdf>, accessed on 18 February 2021.

COHEN Robin, Global Diasporas. An Introduction, Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1997.

Commonwealth of Nations, Understanding the Investment Potential of the Fijian Diaspora: Results of the Commonwealth Diaspora Investor Survey, Commonwealth Secretariat, 2018.

DUFOIX Stéphane, “Chronique bibliographique : l’objet diaspora en questions”, Cultures & Conflits, 1999, 33-34, DOI: https://0-doi-org.catalogue.libraries.london.ac.uk/10.4000/conflits.495.

DURATALO Alumita L., “Pacific Islands Diaspora Groups and Foreign Policy”, in James Headley et al. (eds.), Public Participation in Foreign Policy, Palgrave Macmillan, 2012, 223-233.

Electoral Commission and Supervisor of elections (The), 2018 General Election. Final Report by Supervisor of Elections, 10 January 2019, <http://www.electoralcommission.org.fj/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Joint-Report-EC-SOE-ecopy-compressed.pdf>, accessed on 30 January 2022.

ERIKSEN Thomas Hylland, “Indians in New Worlds: Mauritius and Trinidad”, Social and Economic Studies, vol. 41, no 1, 1992, 157-187.

European Union Global Diaspora Facility, Diaspora Engagement Mapping: Fiji, <https://diasporafordevelopment.eu/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/CF_Fiji-v.5.pdf>, accessed on 19 September 2023.

European Union Global Diaspora Facility, A Typology of Diaspora Engagement Institutions, 2023, <https://diasporafordevelopment.eu/wp-content/uploads/2023/09/Typology-Institutions_EN-v.11.pdf> accessed on 19 September 2023.

European Union Global Diaspora Facility, Preserving Pacific cultural heritage: a triangle of diaspora engagement, 2020, <https://diasporafordevelopment.eu/preserving-pacific-cultural-heritage-a-triangle-of-diaspora-engagement/> accessed on 18 February 2021.

European Union Global Diaspora Facility, Diaspora Engagement Map: Fiji, <https://diasporafordevelopment.eu/interactive-map/>, accessed on 18 February 2021.

Fiji Bureau of Statistics (FBS), International Merchandise Trade Statistics 2016, FBS, 2019, <https://www.statsfiji.gov.fj/images/documents/Economics_Statistics/Annual_Reports/Trade-Statistics/International_Merchandise_Trade_Statistics/2016-International-Merchandise-Trade-Statistics.pdf>, accessed on 18 February 2021.

Fiji Bureau of Statistics (FBS), Fiji National Accounts – Gross Domestic Product, <https://www.statsfiji.gov.fj/index.php/statistics/economic-statistics/national-accounts-gdp>, accessed on 18 February 2021.

Fiji Government, 2019, “PM Bainimarama urges Fijian diaspora in Sydney to invest in Fiji” https://www.fiji.gov.fj/Media-Centre/News/PM-BAINIMARAMA-URGES-FIJIAN-DIASPORA-IN-SYDNEY-TO>, accessed on 18 February 2021.

Fiji Government, 2017, “Speech by the Hon PM Bainimarama at the official Fiji Day. Program in Sydney”, <https://www.fiji.gov.fj/Media-Centre/Speeches/English/HON-PM-BAINIMARAMA-AT-THE-OFFICIAL-FIJI-DAY-PROGRA>, accessed on 18 February 2021.

Fiji Government, 2015, “Speech by the Hon PM Bainimarama at the official Fiji Day Program in Sydney” <https://www.fiji.gov.fj/Media-Centre/Speeches/English/FIJIAN-PRIME-MINISTER-SPEECH-AT-SYDNEY-FIJI-DAY-CE>, accessed on 18 February 2021.

Fiji Government, “Fijian Affairs (Amendment) Decree 2010”, Republic of Fiji Islands Government Gazette, vol. 11, n73, <https://events.development.asia/system/files/materials/2023/05/202305-fij-fijian-affairs-amendment-decree-2010.pdf>, accessed on 18 February 2021.

Fiji Government, Ministry of Finance and National, “20-Year Development Plan (2021-2020) for the enhancement of participation of Indigenous Fijians and Rotumans in the socio-economic development of Fiji”, Parliamentary Paper no 73, 2002.

FRANC Sanja, KASELJ Marina Peric and KIRBIS Ivona Skreblin, “Policies for promoting diaspora investment in country of origin”, Education for Entrepreneurship, vol. 10, n1, 2020, 104-116.

GLICK SCHILLER Nina, et al., “From Immigrant to Transmigrant: Theorizing Transnational Migration”, Anthropological Quarterly, vol. 68, no 1, January 1995, 48-63.

International Organisation for Migration (IOM), “Diasporas and Development: Bridging Societies and States”, International Dialogue on Migration no 22, 2013.

International Organisation for Migration (IOM), Fiji Country Profile, <https://www.iom.int/countries/fiji>, accessed on 21 September 2023, Investment Fiji Portal, Manufacturing, <https://www.investmentfiji.org.fj/sector-opportunities/manufacturing>, accessed on 18 February 2021.

LAL Brij V., “Fiji: Absent-present and vice versa”, Fijian Studies: Special Commemorative Issue: Girmit, vol. 15, no 1, 2017, 3-10.

LAL Brij V., Fiji Islands: From Immigration to Emigration, Migration Policy Institute, 2003, <https://www.migrationpolicy.org/article/fiji-islands-immigration-emigration#:~:text=The%20first%20is%20the%20dramatic,2000%20alone%2C%2016%2C825%20people%20migrated>, accessed on 18 February 2021.

MEYER Jean-Baptiste. “Diasporas : concepts et pratiques”, in Rémi BARRE et al. (dir.), Diasporas Scientifiques, Marseille: IRD editions, 2003, 1-19.

MOHANTY Manoranjan, “Transnational Indian Diaspora Engagement and development: The transilient Fiji-Indian diaspora engagement and assimilation in transnational space”, Conference Proceedings, 2020, <https://gcids2017.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Manoranjan-Mohanty-Full-Paper.pdf>, accessed on 18 February 2021.

NAIDU Vijay et al., Fiji: the Challenges and Opportunities of Diversity, Minority Rights Group International Report, 2013, 44.

NORTHRUP David, Indenture Labour in the Age of Imperialism, 1834-1922, Boston College, Massachusetts, 1995.

OONK Gijsbert (ed.), Global Indian Diasporas: Exploring Trajectories of Migration and Theory, Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2007.

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Connecting with Emigrants, A Global Profile of Diasporas 2015, OECD, 2015, <https://0-doi-org.catalogue.libraries.london.ac.uk/10.1787/9789264239845-en>, accessed 18 February 2021.

OZDEN Çaglar and SCHIFF Maurice, International Migration, Remittances, and the Brain Drain, Trade and Development, Washington DC: World Bank and Palgrave Macmillan, 2006.

Reserve Bank of Fiji (RBF), Personal Remittances in Fiji, <https://www.rbf.gov.fj/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Fiji-Sun-Remittances-In-Fiji_241216.pdf>, accessed on 18 February 2021.

SAFRAN William, “Diasporas in Modern Societies; Myths of Homeland and Return”, Diaspora: A Journal of Transnational Studies vol. 1, no 1, 1991, 83-99.

United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD). Rio +20, The Future We want, Outcome document of the UNCSD, UNCSD, 2012, <https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/content/documents/733FutureWeWant.pdf>, accessed on 18 February 2021.

United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Assessing the Dynamics between Migration and Development in Africa, <https://unctad.org/meeting/assessing-dynamics-between-migration-and-development-africa>, accessed on 18 February 2021.

United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Online Database, <https://unctadstat.unctad.org/wds/TableViewer/tableView.aspx>, accessed on 18 February 2021.

United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Trade, Migration and Development, <https://unctad.org/topic/trade-agreements/trade-migration-and-development> accessed on 18 February 2021.

United Nations, Migration Data, <https://population.un.org/wpp/Download/Standard/Migration/>, accessed on 18 February 2021.

VAN HEAR Nicholas, New Diasporas. The Mass Exodus, Dispersal and Regrouping of Migrant Communities, London: UCL Press, coll. Global diasporas, 1998.

VIVEKANANTHAN Jeevika and CONNORS Phil, Crossing the Divide: Pacific Diaspora in Humanitarian Response to Natural Disasters, Deakin University, Centre for Humanitarian Leadership, 2019, <https://wordpress-ms.deakin.edu.au/cfhl/wp-content/uploads/sites/93/2019/10/Crossing-the-Divide_Pacific-diaspora-in-response-to-natural-disasters_Full-Report.pdf>, accessed on 18 February 2021.

WEINAR Agnieszka, “Instrumentalising diasporas for development: International and European policy discourses”, in Rainer Bauböck and Thomas Faust (eds.), Diaspora and Transnationalism: Concepts, Theories and Methods, Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2010, 73-89.

World Bank, Republic of Fiji: Systematic Country Diagnosis 2017, Report Report no 116491-FJ, Washington: World Bank, 2017.

World Bank, “Country Engagement Note for the Republic of Fiji for the period FY2015-2017”, Report no 93708-FJ, 2015, <http://documents1.worldbank.org/curated/en/653091468333012994/pdf/937080CEN0R201060Box385412B00OUO090.pdf>, accessed on 18 February 2021.

World Bank, DataBank, Personal remittances, received (% of GDP) <https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/BX.TRF.PWKR.DT.GD.ZS?locations=FJ>, accessed on 18 February 2021.

World Bank, World Bank Country and Lending Groups, <https://datahelpdesk.worldbank.org/knowledgebase/articles/906519-world-bank-country-and-lending-groups>, accessed on 18 February 2021.

Haut de page

Notes

1 Fiji Government, “PM Bainimarama urges Fijian diaspora in Sydney to invest in Fiji”, 2019. <https://www.fiji.gov.fj/Media-Centre/News/PM-BAINIMARAMA-URGES-FIJIAN-DIASPORA-IN-SYDNEY-TO>, accessed on 18 February 2021.

2 Jeevika Vivekananthan and Phil Connors, Crossing the Divide: Pacific Diaspora in Humanitarian Response to Natural Disasters, Deakin University, Centre for Humanitarian Leadership, 2019, 34. <https://wordpress-ms.deakin.edu.au/cfhl/wp-content/uploads/sites/93/2019/10/Crossing-the-Divide_Pacific-diaspora-in-response-to-natural-disasters_Full-Report.pdf>, accessed on 18 February 2021.

3 There is no known causal relation between these two quotes but they are striking because while referring in both cases to the diaspora acting in favour of Fiji, they show two different attitudes as to how this is to be achieved.

4 For a review and limits of this “maximalist” approach in defining diasporas, see Agnieszka Weinar “Instrumentalising diasporas for development: International and European policy discourses”, in Rainer Bauböck and Thomas Faust (eds.), Diaspora and Transnationalism: Concepts, Theories and Methods, Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2010, 75-76; Stéphane Dufoix, “Chronique bibliographique: l’objet diaspora en questions », Cultures & Conflits [En ligne], 33-34, 1999; Nicholas Van Hear, New diasporas. The mass exodus, dispersal and regrouping of migrant communities, London: UCL Press, coll. Global diasporas, 1998; Jean-Baptiste Meyer, “Diasporas: concepts et pratiques”, in Rémi Barré et al. (dir.), Diasporas Scientifiques, Marseille: IRD éditions, 2003, 3. Because of the multitude of reasons that underly people’s choices to relocate to a different country, we did not settle for a narrow, historical definition of diaspora, nor did we keep to the criteria proposed by William Safran when defining diasporas. Instead, we adopted a postmodern approach to conceptualising diasporas, with a broad definition that makes it possible to include as many categories as possible. In the case of Fiji, it is very likely that the more restrictive term of “victim diaspora”, as categorized by Robin Cohen, accounts for a fair share of the migration decisions in the past decades that have given existence to a growing Fijian diaspora. But this definition would not account for all migration decisions and would apply to one specific part of the population. The reasons for this will be developed hereafter.

5 Nina Glick Schiller et al., “From Immigrant to Transmigrant: Theorizing Transnational Migration”, Anthropological Quarterly, vol. 68, n1, January 1995, 48.

6 Dany Bahar, “Diasporas and Economic Development: A Review of the Evidence and ¨Policy”, cesifo Working Papers 8106/2020, February 2020.

7 UNCTAD, Assessing the Dynamics between Migration and Development in Africa, <https://unctad.org/meeting/assessing-dynamics-between-migration-and-development-africa>, accessed on 18 February 2021.

8 UNCTAD, Trade, Migration and Development, <https://unctad.org/topic/trade-agreements/trade-migration-and-development>, accessed on 18 February 2021.

9 IOM, “Diasporas and Development : Bridging Societies and States”, International Dialogue on Migration n22, 2013, 15

10 Commonwealth of Nations, Understanding the Investment Potential of the Fijian Diaspora: Results of the Commonwealth Diaspora Investor Survey, Commonwealth Secretariat, 2018, v.

11 Jeevika Vivekananthan and Phil Connors, op. cit.

12 UNCSD, Rio +20, The Future We want, Outcome document of the UNCSD, UNCSD, 2012, 46, <https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/content/documents/733FutureWeWant.pdf>, accessed on 18 February 2021.

13 Countries under this category have a GNI per capital between 4,046 USD to 12, 535 USD – World Bank, World Bank Country and Lending Groups, <https://datahelpdesk.worldbank.org/knowledgebase/articles/906519-world-bank-country-and-lending-groups>, accessed on 18 February 2021.

14 UNCTAD, Online Database, <https://unctadstat.unctad.org/wds/TableViewer/tableView.aspx>, accessed on 18 February 2021.

15 Manufacturing includes textiles, garments, footwear, sugar, tobacco, food processing, beverages (including mineral water) and wood based industries. Investment Fiji Portal, Manufacturing, <https://www.investmentfiji.org.fj/sector-opportunities/manufacturing>, accessed on 18 February 2021.

16 Fiji Bureau of Statistics (FBS), Fiji National Accounts – Gross Domestic Product, <https://www.statsfiji.gov.fj/index.php/statistics/economic-statistics/national-accounts-gdp>, accessed on 18 February 2021.

17 World Bank, “Country Engagement Note for the Republic of Fiji for the period FY2015-2017”, Report no 93708-FJ, 2015, <https://documents1.worldbank.org/curated/en/653091468333012994/pdf/937080CEN0R201060Box385412B00OUO090.pdf>, accessed on 18 February 2021.

18 Fiji Bureau of Statistics (FBS), International Merchandise Trade Statistics 2016, FBS, 2019, <https://www.statsfiji.gov.fj/images/documents/Economics_Statistics/Annual_Reports/Trade-Statistics/International_Merchandise_Trade_Statistics/2016-International-Merchandise-Trade-Statistics.pdf>, accessed on 18 February 2021.

19 United Nations, Migration Data, <https://population.un.org/wpp/Download/Standard/Migration/>, accessed on 18 February 2021.

20 Michel Beine et al., “Brain Drain and its Determinants: A Major Issue for Small States”, Institute for the Study of Labour Discussion, paper no 3398, 2008.

21 “Highly skilled” is defined as tertiary education attainment. See Caglar Ozden and Maurice Schiff, International Migration, Remittances, and the Brain Drain Trade and Development, Washington DC: World Bank and Palgrave Macmillan, 2006, 156. Given Fiji’s tumultuous political history post-independence, it is not surprising that skilled migrants form a large share of the immigrants since they have a better chance of having enough funds to leave the country in the hope of starting anew elsewhere. See Brij V. Lal, Fiji Islands: From Immigration to Emigration, Migration Policy Institute, 2003, <https://www.migrationpolicy.org/article/fiji-islands-immigration-emigration#:~:text=The%20first%20is%20the%20dramatic,2000%20alone%2C%2016%2C825%20people%20migrated>, accessed on 18 February 2021.

22 OECD, Connecting with Emigrants, A Global Profile of Diasporas 2015, OECD, 2015, 76. <http://0-dx-doi-org.catalogue.libraries.london.ac.uk/10.1787/9789264239845-en.>, accessed 18 Feb 2021.

23 Michel Beine, Frédéric Docquier and Hillel Rapoport, “Measuring International Skilled Migration: A New Database Controlling for Age of Entry”, Washington D.C.: World Bank Group. <http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/410951468147571466/Measuring-international-skilled-migration-a-new-database-controlling-for-age-of-entry>, accessed on 18 February 2021.

24 IOM, Fiji Country Profile, <https://www.iom.int/countries/fiji> accessed on 21 September 2023; EUDIF, Diaspora Engagement Mapping: Fiji, <https://diasporafordevelopment.eu/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/CF_Fiji-v.5.pdf>, accessed on 19 September 2023.

25 World Bank, Republic of Fiji: Systematic Country Diagnosis 2017, Report Report no 116491-FJ, Washington: World Bank, 2017.

26 An index put together by German relief providers placed Fiji in the 15th position in its 2020 ranking of countries threatened by disaster. See Bundnis Entwicklung Hilft, WorldRiskReport 2020, RUB and IFHV, Germany, 2020, <https://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/WorldRiskReport-2020.pdf>, accessed on 18 February 2021.

27 The Indian indenture system was put in place in the mid-nineteenth century within the British Empire to meet labour needs as slavery was abolished. The system lasted a little over eighty years and resulted in thousands of Indians settling in British colonies such as Fiji, Mauritius, Trinidad, Guyana. For an in-depth presentation of the indentured system, see David Northrup, Indenture Labour in the Age of Imperialism, 1834-1922, Boston College, Massachusetts, 1995. For a critical analysis of the different trajectories of Indian migrants in different parts of the world, see Gijsbert Oonk (ed.), Global Indian Diasporas: Exploring Trajectories of Migration and Theory, Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2007.

28 This analysis was made by anthropologist Thomas H. Eriksen on Mauritius and Trinidad, where an influx of Indian indentured labourers also changed the demographics of these islands. Thomas Hylland Eriksen, “Indians in New Worlds: Mauritius and Trinidad”, Social and Economic Studies, vol. 41, no 1, 1992.

29 Brij V. Lal, Fiji Islands: From Immigration to Emigration, op. cit.

30 Naidu Vijay et al., Fiji: the Challenges and Opportunities of Diversity, Minority Rights Group International Report, 2013, 10.

31 Government of Fiji, Fijian Affairs (Amendment) Decree 2010, Republic of Fiji Islands Government Gazette, vol. 11, no 73, 2010, <https://events.development.asia/system/files/materials/2023/05/202305-fij-fijian-affairs-amendment-decree-2010.pdf>, accessed on 18 February 2021.

32 Brij V. Lal, Fiji Islands: From Immigration to Emigration, op. cit.

33 Naidu Vijay et al., Fiji: the Challenges and Opportunities of Diversity, op. cit., 12.

34 Ibidem; Brij V. Lal, Fiji Islands: From Immigration to Emigration, op. cit

35 Fiji Government, Ministry of Finance and National, “20-Year Development Plan (2021-2020) for the enhancement of participation of Indigenous Fijians and Rotumans in the socio-economic development of Fiji”, Parliamentary Paper no 73, 2002; Naidu, Vijay et al., Fiji: the challenges and opportunities of diversity, op. cit., 13.

36 This has led a researcher to describe Indo-Fijians as the “diaspora of the ‘Twice Banished”. See Brij V. Lal, “Fiji: Absent-present and vice versa”, Fijian Studies: special Commemorative Issue: Girmit, vol. 15, no 1, 2017, 3-10, in Manoranjan Mohanty, “Transnational Indian Diaspora Engagement and development: The transilient Fiji-Indian diaspora engagement and assimilation in transnational space”, Conference Proceedings, 2020, <https://gcids2017.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Manoranjan-Mohanty-Full-Paper.pdf>, accessed on 18 February 2021.

37 Ibidem.

38 Ibid.

39 Ibid.

40 UNCTAD, Online Database, <https://unctadstat.unctad.org/wds/TableViewer/tableView.aspx>, accessed on 18 February 2021. In 1995, remittances amounted to FJD $50 million. By 2004, they had reached FJD $300 million. See Alumita L. Duratalo, “Pacific Islands Diaspora Groups and Foreign Policy”, Public Participation in Foreign Policy, edited by James Headley, et al., Palgrave Macmillan, 2012.

41 World Bank DataBank, <https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/BX.TRF.PWKR.DT.GD.ZS?locations=FJ>, accessed on 18 February 2021.

42 See Jeevika Vivekananthan and Phil Connors, Crossing the Divide: Pacific Diaspora in Humanitarian Response to Natural Disasters, op. cit.

43 European Union Global Diaspora Facility, Diaspora Engagement Map: Fiji, <https://diasporafordevelopment.eu/interactive-map/>, accessed on 18 February 2021. For a comprehensive presentation of different types of diaspora engagement institutions and policies, see EUDIF, A Typology of Diaspora Engagement Institutions, 2023.

44 Ibidem.

45 Fiji Government, <https://www.fiji.gov.fj/Home>, accessed on 18 February 2021.

46 European Union Global Diaspora Facility, Diaspora Engagement Map: Fiji, op. cit.; RBF, Personal Remittances in Fiji, <https://www.rbf.gov.fj/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Fiji-Sun-Remittances-In-Fiji_241216.pdf>, accessed on 18 February 2021

47 Fiji Government, “Speech by the Hon PM Bainimarama at the official Fiji Day Program in Sydney”, 2015, <https://www.fiji.gov.fj/Media-Centre/Speeches/English/FIJIAN-PRIME-MINISTER-SPEECH-AT-SYDNEY-FIJI-DAY-CE>, accessed on 18 February 2021.

48 Fiji Government, “Speech by the Hon PM Bainimarama at the official Fiji Day Program in Sydney”, 2017, <https://www.fiji.gov.fj/Media-Centre/Speeches/English/HON-PM-BAINIMARAMA-AT-THE-OFFICIAL-FIJI-DAY-PROGRA>, accessed on 18 February 2021.

49 In 2018 General Elections, for 637,527 registered voters, 7,970 were overseas (less than 1.5% of the registered voters). The Electoral Commission and Supervisor of elections, 2018 General Election. Final Report by Supervisor of Elections, 47. <http://www.electoralcommission.org.fj/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Joint-Report-EC-SOE-ecopy-compressed.pdf>, accessed on 30 January 2022.

50 Idem, 26.

51 Commonwealth of Nations, Understanding the Investment Potential of the Fijian Diaspora: Results of the Commonwealth Diaspora Investor Survey, op. cit., 11.

52 According to the report published by the Commonwealth Secretariat on the Investment Potential of the Fijian Diaspora, over half of the respondents to their survey listed governance (corruption and political instability) as a major concern. Ibidem, 6.

53 Nicholas Van Hear, New Diasporas. The Mass Exodus, Dispersal and Regrouping of Migrant Communities, op. cit., 76.

54 Sanja Franc, Marina Peric Kaselj, and Ivona Skreblin Kirbis, “Policies for promoting diaspora investment in country of origin”, Education for Entrepreneurship, vol. 10, no 1, 2020, 107.

Haut de page

Pour citer cet article

Référence électronique

Ondine Aza, « Fijian Diaspora Engagement: Between Willingness and Wariness »Revue LISA/LISA e-journal [En ligne], vol 22. n°57 | 2024, mis en ligne le 05 février 2024, consulté le 18 juillet 2024. URL : http://0-journals-openedition-org.catalogue.libraries.london.ac.uk/lisa/15721 ; DOI : https://0-doi-org.catalogue.libraries.london.ac.uk/10.4000/lisa.15721

Haut de page

Auteur

Ondine Aza

Ondine Aza is a Senior Lecturer in Anglophone Studies at the Université Toulouse 1 Capitole and a researcher in Island Studies. Her work focuses on the economic, social and political development trajectory of former British island colonies that are now part of the Commonwealth. Her interests lie in the different stages that these islands went through in the course of their development and in the strategies that they are putting in place in the 21st century to attain their objectives.

Haut de page

Droits d’auteur

CC-BY-NC-ND-4.0

Le texte seul est utilisable sous licence CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. Les autres éléments (illustrations, fichiers annexes importés) sont « Tous droits réservés », sauf mention contraire.

Haut de page
Rechercher dans OpenEdition Search

Vous allez être redirigé vers OpenEdition Search