Have you thought of what could be the roles of the African diaspora in their home countries? Well, Africans in diaspora play substantial roles in rejuvenating the continent. However, most African governments downplay the bits and pieces these diasporans can do to ignite changes within their home communities. Claim Your List Of 10 African Books To Read.
Only a few African governments see their nationals overseas as a real asset that could be catalysts of change. This government’s blind spots constrain them from maximizing the full potential networks of the diasporans, hence leading to constraints of migration of the citizenry in so many respects.
The subtle increase in most African economies is attributed to the mounting inflow of remittances the diasporans send to their home countries; for instance, Nigeria’s remittances grew about forty percent in 2021.
However, aside from the remittances, the diasporans have roles to play in African politics, socialization, and economics; given their advantaged positions and exposure, these Africans can incite innovative ideas, disseminate information, and innovative business and trade practices that, when tapped into will facilitate development in Africa.
Most of these diasporans reside in top powerful countries like London, and the United States, where policies and decisions for the global economy are made; given these strategic positions, the diasporans have drilled information and expanded their knowledge base, which they can relinquish to their communities if a full diasporans engagement surface between the government and their nationals abroad.
It’s by acknowledging the potential of the diasporans that most African states like Zimbabwe have a sustained economy through funds of the diasporans for over a decade. Again, South Africa, where thousands of skilled nationals migrate to different European states, has a sustainable economy through the funds and the investments its citizenry abroad makes.
On so many occasions, the diasporans play major roles in facilitating trade, making investments, transfer of skills and knowledge.
These diasporans, in general, serve as the bridge to the African renaissance that they often, if not always, find ways to wrap their wealth in the homelands even when the chances are slim, especially if there’s no correlation between the diasporans and government.
In trade, the diasporans endeavor to accelerate trade, through import and export systems. They export products of their home countries to the residing countries, leading to the exposure of the products.
In addition, they set up enterprises that create job opportunities, thereby making their home countries a favorable business climate where foreign investors in their residing countries can make numerous investments.
Many diasporans have repatriated from their settling countries to Africa to start-up enterprises that facilitate the exchange of goods with the home and settling countries.
This establishment of enterprises by the diasporans has stitched the unemployment gap, which counterweight the migration of skilled Africans from their homelands.
On the same note, African diasporans have equally ramped up the African economy through their investments and that of the non-diasporans. These investments have sieved Africa from non-industrialized to an industrialized region- it is estimated that Africa’s production will increase to $1 trillion within a decade.
The constant investments made by the diasporans and their good reputation help the non-diasporans erase the doubts about whether making investments in Africa is favorable; thereby boosting the foreign investors’ confidence.
More so, the infrastructural gap in Africa that has been a hurdle to investors and entrepreneurs in establishing industries has been halted as there’s an increase in annual infrastructural investment made toward improving the infrastructures in most African countries.
These streams of investments made in Africa by the diasporans have alleviated the poverty level in the continent, giving room for an improved standard of living and opportunities for Africans in their home countries.
However, it’s only a few Africans engage in direct investment; a few others resort to buying shares and bonds and depositing their funds in their home countries. A study by Afro Awar shows that about $65 billion in funds were transferred by diasporans to countries of origin.
A large number of Kenyans overseas make investments through African Diaspora Asset Manager(ADAM). Also, Nigeria has held different diaspora investments summit aimed at facilitating the growth of infrastructural projects and the economy.
The diasporans are active participants in their home countries’ politics; they carry out zestful political ideas through the media due to the surge of globalization.
These diasporans aided in revitalizing democracy in different African states. It’s a known fact that most African countries witnessed a decline in democracy, a consequence of the dictatorship that repressed freedom of expression, which, of course, is one of the fundamental human rights.
Taking the Gambia as a case study, the dictatorial government of Yahya Jammeh that ruled the country for over twenty-two years contributed to the mass migration of Gambians to some parts of Europe.
These diasporans Gambians, mostly journalists, incited the opposition to Jammeh’s rule through an email-list campaign called the Gambian-L. Through this Gambian-L, a consortium was formed between the diasporans and the non-diasporans to protest the government of Jammeh.
The strong lobby effort of the Gambian diasporans was specifically targeted to draw the attention and aid of international and regional bodies such as AU, and ECOWAS to terminate the authoritarian government of Jammeh.
From the strong and united effort of the diasporans, Jammeh’s rule in the Gambia was expunged; thus, democracy was reintroduced in the country with the inception of an electoral system in 2016.
The diasporans play a crucial role in transferring skills and knowledge, which helps to pivot changes in different depreciating sectors in the continent. Too many Africans with high-demand skills, especially in the medical field, flee their home countries to places where their skills and professionalism are in demand.
These untapped potentials of proficient Africans are resultant effects of deficit infrastructural and hospital facilities in most African states. Over time, the diasporans that seek to counterweight the migration of skilled Africans have formed different initiatives that provide facilities for proficient youths in their homelands.
The diasporans help to promote both the public and private sector by providing adequate knowledge in technology through their teachings and guidelines -Nigerian In Diaspora Organization (NIDO) is an example of such initiatives created by Nigerian diasporans to help transfer skills and knowledge to home-based youths to mitigate the brain drain system thus focus on surging nation-building.
African diasporans indeed play a pivotal role in facilitating change and development in Africa -to experience this development in the continent, cooperation between African governments and diasporans should be a two-way street.
It is from the exposure and networks of these diasporans that Africa has developed in technology, trade, and other important sectors.
Hence, to slide Africa from being an underdeveloped continent, these diasporans should team up to perform their expected roles in sharing ideas and skills that will enlighten African youths.
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