Diaspora Interventions


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A presentation at the African Union on African Youth Diaspora for the Strategy Review Workshop on African Union Youth Volunteerism Corp

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Diaspora Interventions

  1. 1. Diaspora Interventions by Rosannwo Babatunde Global African Dialogue at Strategy Review Workshop African Union Youth Volunteerism Addis Ababa, Ethiopia March 18-20, 2009
  2. 2. INTRODUCTION • Volunteering has not only become an important issue in the Western world; it is also receiving much more attention in many other countries across the globe. In many ways, volunteering enjoys greater political and cultural recognition today than it did in past decades, that is, it is beginning to attract awards from various communities and institutions.
  3. 3. VOLUNTEER EFFORTS BY THE DIASPORA • African Union (AU) considers the African Diaspora as consisting of “peoples of African origin living outside the continent, irrespective of their citizenship and nationality and who are willing to contribute to the development of the continent and the building of the African Union.” The term as used in this study refers to what might be called the “new” Diaspora, i.e., Africans who migrated out of the continent over the past few decades either in search of better opportunities or as asylum-seekers, as well as those who, after studies in the West, elected to remain in the host country.
  4. 4. BRAIN DRAIN VS BRAIN RETAIN • Reasons behind the African brain drain are many, including push factors such as low wages, unsatisfactory living and working conditions, as well as social and political instability. A higher income and standard of living, better career opportunities and prospects for professional development, and political stability are some of the pull factors that attract skilled Africans to more developed countries.
  5. 5. AFRICAN DIASPORA YOUTH • The exodus of African potentials to industrialized nations is not a new phenomenon as Africa possesses some of the world’s most creative people. There are many African Youths who were born and raised in the Diaspora, these young people hardly have any links to their parents and do not feel like part of either the US, Europe or Canada as the case maybe.
  6. 6. The African Youth in the Diaspora is substantial and may be classified into 4 groups namely • Youth students • Completed students not returning • Recent immigrants other than students • African youth born outside the continent(children of the Diaspora)
  7. 7. Why focus on Africa Youth in the Diaspora: • Is a Key Strategist asset in building Africa’s capacity • Is a social, financial, intelligent and political capital • Is Africa’s biggest Aid Donor [Remittance] • Shares common vision and commitment for Africa’s development • Transfer its skills and resources
  8. 8. While abroad the youth in the Diaspora • Acquire new skills and experience • Maintains backward linkage to home country through remittances and Skill and knowledge transfer • Stimulate trades between country of origin and host
  9. 9. Challenges • Social Exclusion/ Discrimination Abroad • Discrepancy in allowances and wage differentials • Different cross cultural values/perception and Adaptation • Perceived threats by peers
  10. 10. SUMMARY • “The Diaspora offers an exceptional synergy: the problem-solving perspective that comes with distance and the intense commitment that comes with a sense of deep closeness and belonging. Oh yes, it also includes a lot of men and women with world-class competence in their respective fields.” Noah Samara, Diaspora Ethiopian CEO of WorldSpace Satellite Radio