Responding to Challenges: The Role of the Diaspora

After a grave decline between 1996 and 2008, governance in Africa appears to have improved somewhat in 2009, according to a World Bank’s Governance Matters survey released in 2009. While such statistics are encouraging, there is still some significant disagreement about its sustainability as improvement is only peripheral. However, if civil society and politicians want to participate in shaping governance and holding governments responsible in Africa, they ought to question their own way of functioning both home and abroad without forgetting that accountability starts at home. Before being eligible for any representation, society and politicians have to be accountable before the people they intend to represent.

Despite corruption scandals and incessant breaches of the law, the increasing influence of civil society and organizations over public matters and decision-making processes has made the need for legitimacy more prominent.

Accountability has become one of the main challenges of the African NGOs claiming representatively. African NGO practitioners could learn from one another, strengthen familiarity and solidarity with each other and collectively develop ideas on African priorities. In this workshop, the African Diaspora would like to share experience and respond to challenges proactively while unfolding the role of the Diaspora Africa in this process no matter how tangible.

A discussion forum was created in which Diaspora Africans contemplated on how to deal with the negative criticisms they face which has become an essential factor to developing stronger systems of internal governance.

Topics that were discussed in the forum

  • The key challenges to address in the African States from the Diaspora perspective.
  • The role the African Diaspora should be playing to address these challenges, in conjunction with other factors?
  • Form of cooperation, structures and mechanisms that are currently used to overcome some of these challenges as presented by the African Diaspora?
  • How the work with transparent structures and to fight down socially regressive policies.
  • To treat every African citizen equal without regard to gender, race, ethnicity, religion, and creed.