The International Organization for Migration (IOM) last week disclosed that Africans in the Diaspora remitted a total swanking sum of $60 billion to the continent in 2012. One third of these remittances went to Nigeria alone, making it one of the worlds top 5 countries with the highest remittance flow in 2012.
African immigrants are among some of the hardest working people in the world. With or without professional degrees, they are eager to work hard and send money back home to members of their families.
Although the amount in remittances revealed in this data is not surprising, it leaves us to question whether with their influence, Diaspora Africans are doing enough to contribute to the social, economic and political stability of the continent.
Nigerian Speaker House of Representatives, Hon. Aminu Tambuwal hailed Diaspora Nigerians for “uplifting the living standards of their brethren at home” but also urged them to consider the vital role they can play in the governments efforts to advance the social and economic development of the country. Tambuwal pledged the support of the house in encouraging more meaningful contribution to national development, including investment in emerging industries in Nigeria.
As the number of diaspora Africans soars by the day, their impact and influence becomes more preeminent. Africa remains on the verge of economic boom but will need Diaspora Africa to play an active role in this transformation.