Rwanda has the largest proportion of women in parliament in the world...........retweet
Happy Diaspora Day!
Today is Diaspora Day. Many people aren’t aware of the contribution of the Diaspora to Africa but it’s about time they were! Africans have been digging into their pockets and in the words of P Square, they’ve been singing “chop my money” as they shower the continent with their earnings. Last year the Diaspora sent over US$40billion to Africa. Africans love the motherland and are very willing to invest in her. And it’s not just about the money. Africans in the diaspora have been supporting Africa’s development in many ways and for many years.
By necessity and definition, the diaspora community are global citizens and they are able to view the world with two different eyes (as Africans and as Diasporans). This means we have a broad understanding of the challenges and opportunities of Africa from an international perspective. It’s also important to acknowledge that the African Diaspora contribute to the continent not only in economic terms but also socially and politically.
Take a look at many of the current leaders... many of them were at one point Diasporans for example the current president of Botswana, Ian Khama lived in the UK during his student days. But it’s not just presidents; the late Wangari Maathai of the Greenbelt Movement, the author Wole Soyinka, the musician Fela Kuti... the list is endless. Diasporans have been movers and shakers in Africa. We have travelled from our motherland, immersed ourselves in foreign cultures, fused these with our own culture and come up with ideas and initiatives that have further enriched the continent and our host countries.
On Wednesday I was very excited to meet fellow African Diasporans at an event run by the Diaspora organisation, AFFORD (Africa Foundation for Development). The purpose of the event was to engage young Diasporans with Africa. The atmosphere was vibrant, you could see in people’s eyes the eagerness to be part of the new Africa.
We’ve all heard of how African economies have been growing year after year. The opportunity is here to invest in Africa even more, and get ready to pick the fruits of our labour with our brothers and sisters back home. Africa is growing and we need to be part of that growth. It’s time to take the wheel and drive towards a bright future. As cheesy as it may sound, Africa’s time is here... and I’ve got a message for all the Diasporans out there: “You gotta be in it to win it!”
Hassan Wanini was born in Kenya and grew up both in Kenya and Botswana. He now lives in the UK and is passionate about Africa and the diaspora
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