As Africans who lived in the U.S. and who several years ago both decided to move back to Africa, we watched the U.S. Africa Leaders’ Summit (ALS) with much interest. We have each, at various points in time, lived in the United States and Europe, then chose to return to Africa. As we were discussing strategic aspects of a new Pan-African real restate fund we are preparing to launch this coming fall, we deviated course and realized how the Summit reminds us why we moved back. We each moved back for different reasons and to fulfill different roles, but for the common purpose of contributing to Africa’s development.
Reflecting on our experiences, we have found three important contributions members of our diaspora can all make, whether back on the ground or still overseas. First, all Africans have a role to play in Africa’s development. Secondly, growth will only be sustainable if Africans can create local brands, industries, export goods and create jobs. Lastly, it is important for each of us to be part of the success stories taking place in African countries. As such, when we talk to other Global Africans (Africans in diaspora who are returning to live and work in Africa), we often counsel those on the fence about whether or not to return and how they can be of greatest positive value to Africa while fulfilling their personal and professional goals, that being an Africa brand ambassador is a start.
The Role of Global Africans and the Diaspora
According to the recently conducted ONE campaign poll, Africans ranked jobs and education as their primary areas of concern. Considering the income and opportunity disparity, some of these people stay abroad and others…