More than Just Sending Money Home: Engaging the Diaspora as a Priority for Africa’s Development. In Foresight Africa: Top Priorities for the Continent in 2013. Anne W. Kamau and Mwangi S. Kimenyi. Africa Growth Initiative, Brookings Institution. January 2013.
Africa’s large diaspora has mainly been seen as an asset to African countries only in terms of remittances. However, the African diaspora population is untapped human capital, underutilized as a source of investment, support and human capital, and a resource for advocacy and political pressure.Anne Kamau and Mwangi S. Kimenyi offer ways for African policymakers to better engage diaspora members in the year ahead. African governments should take the time and effort to know what their diaspora looks like so that they can target it more effectively. African banks should look to diaspora members as potential clients. Also, by building effective and targeted lobbying and advocacy groups, African governments can empower their diaspora in their host countries to influence foreign policies that impact Africa.
Sending money back home beats foreign aid. Good Governance Africa. Diaspora-driven development is the way to go, says Adams Bodomo. The African diaspora is a major source of foreign income—so large that it now outstrips foreign aid sent by Western donors. Nearly 140m Africans live abroad. The money they send back home, remittances, is worth far more—in value and usefulness— than the development donations sent by Western financial institutions. The exact amount of these remittances is unknown because not all of it is sent through official banking channels. But the official volume to the continent has gradually increased over the years, from $11 billion in 2000 to $60 billion in 2012, according to the World Bank. As a proportion of gross domestic product (GDP), remittances in Africa range from next-to-nothing to almost 5%.
Diaspora Innovators Redefine Brain Drain. Geneive Brown Metzger. International Diaspora Engagement Alliance. June 26, 2012. Have diaspora innovators actually helped to mitigate many of the negative effects of “brain drain”? Perhaps it is time we exchanged the notion of “brain drain” for the proposition of “brain gain” in light of current trends in diaspora engagement. Immigrants today are reconnecting with their countries of origin more easily and more frequently than they could in the past. This new paradigm warrants a fresh look at the true impact of migration on the social and economic development of emerging and developing nations. Could it be that diaspora movements have helped to mitigate many of the negative effects of “brain drain” experienced by individual countries and that the result is a net gain, rather than a net loss, to countries of origin?
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