African Diaspora and the 21Century Connection to the Motherland

No Comments » May 24th, 2010 posted by // Categories: African Affairs

Many world class economists and global thinkers are beginning to forecasting that Africa is certainty the next frontier of global market and investment opportunities that would bypass the BRIC nations (Brazil, Russia, India and China). Global multi-nationals are keeping watchful eyes on Africa’s economic activates. Project into few years from now,  Africa would be a viable place for human resources and economic opportunities.  Africa is one of the richest continents on the planet in terms of natural endowment of resources. Equipped with younger demography and rising educated workforce, Africa is changing rapidly and like China the continents would be the global hub of production, manufacturing and high stimulation of economic activities. The Western media outlets prefer to cast Africa as the misery of the earth. These negative news reports could be very misleading to uninformed outside observer. Available statistics indicates that conflicts has declined enormously. Democracy is flourishing. Financial institutions are growing stronger.   And we are also witnessing a trend of multinational companies having the “gold rush” moment to the African continent.

And while it is fair to state that many developed societies did benefit resource wise from Africa’s long history of conflicts and underdevelopments, one cannot undermine the fact that past African leaders’ corruptions contributed to exposing the continent to international forces of exploitations. Thus, while there is open campaign to “help Africa”, global superpowers often designed trade policies and programs that perpetually exploit Africa. They kept  blind eyes when it comes to the devastating exploits of the cooperate multi-nationals going on the  continents.

The tide is turning gradually. There are tremendous opportunities in the continent. If there is something Diaspora Africans (especially those who have studied in the west and understood the western thinking and mindset) should learn from the developed western societies in trying to move Africa forward beyond the 21st century, it would be the principles of pragmatism. That is, implementation of functioning economic policies. Lets do what is working. Get ride of anything that does not promote African’s socio-political, cultural and economic wellbeing. Kwame Nkrumah’s vision of the 19th century that: “…this century is Africa’s” was obviously lost in the maze of both the military dictatorships and the foreign neo-colonization of the African politics that plagued post-independence Africa.

But all hope is not lost yet. For every African who is couscous of the trends of the future, the 21st century presents a fresh outlook. This century is a fast moving one, a jet-engine-era whose economic arms are webbed in digital science that has redefined global opportunities especially for emerging continent like Africa. However, there is no denying the fact that Africa has a lot of catch-ups to make. Catch-up in the sense that, the continent never genuinely went through industrial revolution as did  many  others. I have often mused to myself if it is possible for a society of people to complete the metamorphosis of massive social revolution, infrastructural development and economic growth without experiencing some sort of industrial revolution of a sort.  Or one might be tempted to conjecture that Africa has permanently skipped industrial revolutions and would never catch-up.   In my own thinking, it is no longer necessary for the European-style industrial revolution to occur in Africa. The economy of this new global age has shifted tremendously from what it was during the industrial revolution era. The entire global financial structure is now awakened in line with the new era of digital computation and its complex economic base point. It is a new kind of time in the history of the human species.

Granted, industrial revolution would have moved the continent away from its past sluggish agrarian economic constructs and created a more meta-tribal consciousness through competition, widespread circulation of goods, services and people. However, having said that one should be aware that the potentiality of African economic growth is not at all tired down to the Euro-American-style of industrial revolution. Already the continent is  gradually opening up to the new global market economy in a way that has never been done in the past. Not so many people realize this. There is a revolution going on in the continent at the moment; the younger demographic revolution coupled with the Information Technology Revolution. Knowledge and information are now in the hands of young people of Africa. information is more easily assessed and obtain than it was few years ago. One can now attend the best universities anywhere in the world while seating at one’s table inside one’s room. One can now communicate anywhere in the world with the modern digital telecommunication gadgets. One can now monitor the fluctuation of stock market with a cup of coffee or tea while seated inside one’s own bedroom and decides if one wants to buy or sale a stock from anywhere in the world. This is the advantage. The advantage that helped Africa skip European idea of industrial revolution.

Are Diaspora Africans taking advantage of these new outlooks or are they waiting for the World Bank, IMF, UNISEF and other strong international bodies to save the continent. Most of the Diaspora Africans  (who are detached from the homeland) are also brainwashed by the media into thinking that investing ideas and energy in Africa is catastrophic and unwise. They buy into the western media tag of Africa as a dark continent. Even if the 19th century Africa is dark, the 21st century and beyond would be a continent with the brightest spark of light starting to twinkle and to spread all over.

Diaspora Africans should have to develop investment interest in their homeland. Within this very century, I am convinced that the rest of the world is going to start seeing the continent beyond the publicized diatribes of AIDS, disease, poverty, corruption, wars and hunger. Africa is going to be the new focus of global entrepreneurs. Only few years ago, China was viewed as inept. But today, it is the worlds number one manufacturing nation on the planet. Diaspora Africans need to invest their acquired expertise or skills in ushering Africa into the future. Skills in medicine, finance, engineering, banking, human services etc are required if Africa would keep up with the rest of mankind. Africa is duly ripe for a new economic emergence. It has already been connected to the modern world. But the question is: what are you doing as an African especially in the Diaspora to facilitate this transition process.

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