The increasing importance of the African Diaspora to economic growth and development is being reflected in the huge amounts in remittances being received back home from them. At the end of 2013, Sub-Saharan Africa received nearly $32 billion in remittances, with about $21 billion going to Nigeria, almost 66 percent of the Sub-Saharan total. What has become clear is that remittances to Africa are larger than the value of foreign aid received. Indeed, Nigeria's remittances in 2013 alone were larger than the amount of foreign direct investment received in the four year period preceding it. So there you have it. Africa needs its diaspora. As I have stated before, in the United States, the African Diaspora, the so called Pan Am diaspora, because the now defunct airline was mainly involved in transporting them from Africa in the 1960s and 1970s, is getting stronger and stronger. And I am of course not counting the original Diaspora of African Americans whom I have described as the La Amistad Diaspora because of the root history of being taken away on slave boats a few hundred years ago. The combined African Diaspora in the United States is able to have impactful meetings with the White House and with members of Congress. I believe that the combined African Diaspora in the United States offers the biggest hope for infusion of foreign capital and knowhow into Africa. Already, the African American population alone is around 45 million, acccounting for about 14 percent of the US population with a purchasing power of more than $1 trillion. The effort to scale up the participation of Africans in the Diaspora in Africaâ€™s development requires a clear and well publicized strategy that individuals and organizations in Africa can key into. It is necessary to create platforms and mechanisms for engaging all of Africa's people's in Africaâ€™s economic development. We have been evaluating ways to do this at the EBS, using designs that identify differential strategies for building awareness and confidence and also for shaping focus on key opportunity areas in Africa. Let's begin to identify the keys nodes for participation in infrastructure development, science and technology and all kinds of foreign direct investment that the African Diaspora can bring to the table. Let's also look ways to support the African Diaspora so that they can be in a stronger position to do these things. It should not take much longer to develop strategies for Africa to constructively and efficiently engage its diaspora. I am Magnus Kpakol, and that's my view.
Posted: Sep 15th, 2015 @ 07:56:16 AM