Diaspora in Africa’s Development Agenda: Tracing the Contours
It has been said that the rate of the velocity of the development of a people (state or continent) is directly proportional to the capability of its strategic human resource. Annually, large numbers of educated and professional Africans leave the continent in search of greener pastures abroad. Greater number of these immigrants never returns home even when the continent reels under the burden of lack of their invaluable expertise. Scholars are almost in agreement on the fact that if the huge human resource Africans Diaspora is appropriately leveraged on, it has the capacity to liberate Africa from her developmental challenges and priorities. This paper, apart from tracing the causes of African Professionals leaving Africa, and the inability of millions of people of African descent located in other communities around the world who are actively seeking for ways to re-engage with their ancestral homes in Africa to do so, it also traces how the invaluable talents, skills and expertise of these professionals and their firms can be identified and utilized towards helping Africa overcome her developmental challenges. This paper equally identifies strategic areas of intervention of the Diaspora in the development of Africa, such as governance and human capacity, private sector and women empowerment, engagement with hometown Associations, Information Technology and Brain Gain in all its ramifications. This paper therefore concludes by suggesting how the Governments of African countries can develop deliberate policies and initiatives to engage the Diaspora in Africa’s development agenda.
Key Words: African Diaspora, Wealth, Underdevelopment, Hometown, Greener pasture.