Of course. [click]
Aside from its renowned mineral wealth, and what I like to call 'the good old fashioned resilience and bouncebackability of the people .. I honestly think that one of 'Africa's' greatest resource.. is the African Diaspora.
Do they exploit this resource... aside from remittances.. No.
I have thought for awhile now about the cultural disconnect of many of us Africans born and raised in the west with regards to our county of origin. Little has been done to lessen the gap, which as a result.. can only widen.
I remember a time, when it was felt ( here in the UK) that more black teachers were needed. It was reported ( rightly or wrongly) that many black children were not doing as well as they could in schools. I recall a desire for more men to take up the profession as a form of positive reinforcement for black children ( boys in particular) for whom (it was deemed) thier cultural identity, and needs were not being met.
Fast forward to now (and a different country of course) and I can't quite understand why Sierra Leone, would choose not to widen its search for teachers.. beginning with the diaspora.
Surely positive reinforcement would be useful there too, and could only help the country to build a stronger identity, and the shared knowledge and experiences that would emerge could only be a good thing .. right?
Remember.. teachers are students too
To be fair (I try to be fair) I understand there is a shortage of maths and science teachers right here in the UK also. But I would imagine, that for some, the opportunity, to teach in their country of origin could prove a tantalizing, and life changing opportunity that they wouldn't want to pass up.
Opportunities, that some still struggle to get here.
So why do we do this?
Why do we fail to see ourselves as capable of solving our own
The neglect of the diaspora is a mistake at worst, an oversight at best. But with countless songs written about 'Mama Africa stretching forth her hands' perhaps the time has come for reggae singers to change the dialogue.
Mama Africa keeps overlooking us.
If there is a ministry for Diaspora then ideally they should be sending invites to the African diaspora. Invites to come along, help rebuild a positive narrative, learn about thier culture and heritage, and boost tourism also.
Change the picture
I have lost count of the number of times I've wondered why aid workers are predominantly white ( for example)
Do 'black people' not care too?
I attended a lecture once where this question was raised to the then head of MSF "is it institutional career racism?" ..
He recognised the issue, but there was no definitive answer.
Ultimately when one needs help, one minds little where it comes from. Perhaps.
and so it goes on...
I remember after the war, Britain looked to the colonies for help and support to rebuild Britain..
My own parents came here in the 50's and never returned to live in the Caribbean again.
Britain saw the value of the people, whether they were welcome here or not (initially)
So why cant more African countries do the same?
I remember HIM Haile Selassie tried it..
He committed land to the African Diaspora living in the west, and sent an invite to those who wanted to come.. "Come"
years later... we're still waiting for the others to follow suit
Maybe we're not good at maths or science?
Arguable Reggae musics biggest 'Africa ' anthem