The Diaspora can be a force for change in their home countries and should be engaged for development

Without a doubt, the African Diaspora can be seen as Africa’s greatest offshore assets as they can bring both financial resources and relevant skills to their home communities.  And African governments along with the international community and organizations have over the years, and increasingly so, become more and more aware of what these compatriots in diaspora communities can play in the development landscape in their countries of origin.
But it is evident that more needs to be done to make information, resources and possibilities more accessible to diaspora members as well as to SMEs from home  countries seeking diaspora markets.  This became more evident in a recent diaspora engagement exercise that the World Bank sponsored on the Sierra Leone diaspora.

Using a holistic and integrated approach to diaspora engagement we can do a whole lot more to fill in some of the gaps with practical steps that will lead to the creation of an ecosystem that Africans in the diaspora and similarly, entrepreneurs in their respective countries looking to export, can leverage.  We are one of such organizations that seek to nurture and build upon diaspora engagement initiatives.  And we have hands-on experience to guide you through the process of diaspora engagement using specific steps to achieve the required objectives and goals.
We specifically provided a solution for diaspora engagement that can be found on our digital products page that talks a bit more about what the tools or solutions set out to do.

Under the Sierra Leone Diaspora Investment and Trade study we created a web portal as an outcome of the 20-month long exercise. This platform seeks to become the common ground for diaspora investors, entrepreneurs, development partners and international and local NGOs and the private sector in Sierra Leone.  It deals specifically with entrepreneurs, investors, skilled professionals, small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) and large ones, to coexist and share relevant information. Leading into investments and trade between the global market and companies in Sierra Leone. 

Diaspora engagement goes beyond just investment and trade we can all agree.  And while this portal initially speaks to direct investments in Sierra Leone primarily, it is not exclusive of other interventions outside of such parameters, but span social enterprises as well.  In the diaspora survey and study many people had interests in education and healthcare, for example, even though deemed non-traditional investments.  Volunteerism by the diaspora in sectors like agriculture, energy, health and education – outside of investments and trade – can also be facilitated to record huge benefits.

The portal, which can be found here carries the following  Our role, or at least part of it is to drive traffic and usage of the tool so we can move to action. 

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