The African Diaspora

This year’s conference of the African Diaspora in South Africa promises to be a major event in the annals of the African peoples. Its objectives are noble and expectations are high: does African stand to gain its proper place in the world?

It is not uncommon to mistake the language of pan-Africanism and the African Diaspora. Without a doubt both pan-Africanism and the pursuit for a bridge between the Diaspora and the continent share several commonalities. Africa is still seeking to wean itself from its former colonial lords. True economic and even true political independence are yet to be achieved by Africa. It is still a struggle for the continent to exert control over its vast resources and such institutional forces as the World Trade Organization as well as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund continue to hold sway over African economies. Africa still relies on Western trade partners to determine how much to pay for its abundant resources. And its people are caught up in a costly brain drain. Such are the determinant factors of the need for the African Diaspora.

As the destination of choice of investors, Africa stands on the threshold of a major economic takeoff at a time when Western economies are tottering on a massive decline. Needless to say, Africa needs all the experts it can afford. Africa needs managers to oversee the massive investments being made in its vast resources. Africa needs to benefit more from its resources and most of all the continent needs the appropriate political climate in which to achieve the economic freedom it deserves. It is for all the aforementioned reasons that Africa needs its Diaspora.

Rhetoric of the pan-Africanist times must give way to the action of the times. There are diamonds that need to be cut in Johannesburg and gold that needs to be refined in Ghana.

The Diaspora possesses the technical expertise Africa needs and just as Israel attracts Jews from all over the world so does Africa expect its Diaspora to join in the quest for an emancipated continent.

Africa and its Diaspora share a unique DNA that needs to be exploited for the mutual benefit of all. Fortunately, the African Union has declared the Diaspora the sixth component of the continental body. The onus is on African nations to open up to the Diaspora in the same manner Israel opens up to the Jewish Diaspora. Africa’s emergence from blight to prominence would be a shared pride between the peoples of the continent and the Diaspora.

The conferences should not be mere platforms for platitudes. The concrete results of the efforts of the Nkrumahs, Mandelas, among those many leaders of the continent, should be the beacon that directs the Diaspora to action and achievement of meaningful outcomes.


Posted by on May 19 2012. Filed under Editorial. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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