What diaspora investments will do for Africa’s economy



By Cecilia Ologunagba

Diaspora Investments could make some important contributions to the development of Africa’s economy through the establishment of industries and institutions in various sectors.

Dr Abubakar Mohammed, a lecturer at the department of Sociology, Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto said this at a hybrid International Conference on Africa’s Economy in New Jersey.

The don, who spoke virtually, said the establishment of industries and institutions in various sectors such as ICT, Education, Health, Hospitality, and Tourism could contribute to the development of the continent’s economy.

He said the characteristic of Africa’s economy was essentially a raw materials producer for other economies, noting that the continent produces agricultural and mineral resources.

According to him, the continent is terribly undeveloped in terms of Infrastructure and there is a very low level of trade among African countries, which is about five per cent.

He said there were strong linkages with former colonial and western powers, noting that there is a rise of the new imperialism in Africa with China, Russia and the European Union.

Apart from these challenges, he said the continent had weak democracies characterised by authoritarianism, tenure elongation and military coups.

The don said in some cases votes of the citizens don’t count in elections, noting that there are no “dividends” of democracy in the form of socio-economic development, Prevalence of poverty, diseases, low school enrolment, unemployment, corruption and violent conflicts.

Other challenges, according to him, are proliferation of Small arms and light weapons, high level of insecurity and instability.

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Mohammed further said leadership deficit in terms of inadequate and unprepared leaders, low level of education and experience of leaders, and Godfatherism, among others, had also impacted the development of the continent.

The don, however, advised that all African countries and Institutions (Public/Private) should think and act pan-African in the planning as well as the implementation of their economic programmes.

He said the continent should strengthen the Sub-Regional Blocs such as the Economic Community of West African States, the East African Community, the Southern African Development Community, The Maghreb, and the Central African Community.

“This will vigorously enhance trade among member states and other sub-regions of the African continent leading to the realization of the objectives of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement.

“Also, decolonisation of Africa’s economy through replacing disadvantageous linkages with past colonial masters/Bretton Woods institutions by developing Pan African Economic Institutions and operations.

“Negotiating more favourable deals with the New Imperialist Powers of China, Russia and Turkey. The rapacious pillage of Africa’s resources and the strangulating threat of a new Debt Trap by the New Imperialists must be reversed,’’ the don said.

Speaking on the theme of the conference, Rev. Dr Monsignor Anselm Nwaorgu emphasised the need for Africans to change their mentality for development to take place, adding that the people needed to address the legacy of colonialism.

He argued that the quality of the institution and lack of investment environment had caused underdevelopment in Africa.

Nwaorgu, who was the first Executive President of the African Conference of Catholic Clergy and Religious in the United States, concluded by calling on the continent to move to an import-oriented economy.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the conference was organised by U.S.-based Global Patriot Newspapers Publisher, Mr Simon Ibe.

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