For so long, Africa has relied on donations from foreign nations and the diaspora of Africans within their borders. Unfortunately, these haven’t had much effect on the continent’s economic development. As the diaspora population continues to grow, the time has come for international migrants to identify sustainable ways to influence and advance development ideas in their countries of heritage.
In the past, diasporans have encountered many barriers to contributing to the economies back home, largely due to uncooperative governments and redundant bureaucracies. But many African countries are now making efforts to engage their diasporas by allowing them to participate in key areas such as politics and investment.
Other than offering monetary donations, there are many creative ways that you can give back to your community of origin.
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Here are three:
#1 – Educating the African Populace
Education helps in transforming lives and ending the cycle of poverty that continues to trap so many African communities. However, it is saddening to know that a big number of African children still do not have access to basic education.
While African governments are responsible for providing their young generations with quality education, there’s a lot that the diaspora community can do to help. For most of these kids, all they want is a simple classroom and steady supply of basic learning materials.
With more advanced training, African communities can learn new ideas including sustainable farming methods that will ultimately improve food production and eradicate famine and drought related conflicts caused by groups fighting for limited resources.
#2 – Investing In Africa
Instead of sending billions of dollars back to Africa every year through donations, which often end up in the pockets of few greedy individuals, the diaspora community can truly empower their communities of origin through investments. There are numerous investment platforms and products through which the diaspora community can realize its international development contributions. These platforms are designed to facilitate diaspora investment flows in Africa.
#3 – Promoting Africa Globally
It is your responsibility as a member of the diaspora community to change the existing negative narrative about Africa in the Western countries and institutions you come in contact with.
Be a true African ambassador by projecting a positive image of the continent and individual countries. Many African countries like Kenya have already embarked on a mission to involve their diaspora leaders, media and entrepreneurs around the world in initiatives aimed at improving tourism and investment in Africa. Find out what your government or other leaders back home are doing to raise the country’s profile and how diasporans can play a role.