Pride of heritage was the flavour of the evening at the Africa Diaspora awards, held in London’s West End on 2 May 2013.
The continent had much to celebrate, with awards presented to the brightest and best from the worlds of Business, Academia, Entrepreneurship, Media and Community. Her Excellency Ms Thandi Modise, Premier of North – West Province, Republic of South Africa, set the tone for the evening with a moving speech on the role played by the African Diaspora in securing the continent’s successful future. “The spirit of internationalism has sustained humanity” she proclaimed, vocally grateful for the benefits that a global perspective can have not only for the individual Diasporans, but also for the separate countries within the continent. Her vision was for a continent that works with its neighbours and international allegiances to build an ever more promising future.
A prime example of her vision in practice is Eric Vincent Guichard, who secured the Entrepreneur of the Year award for his online initiative, Homestrings – an investment platform that facilitates Diaspora investments into their own communities. It was an award we thoroughly toasted, as well deserved of our client!
In the past couple of years, Africa has received an ever increasing amount of good press thanks to its unfaltering growing collective GDP.
One of the direct results of this positivism has been that the continent’s brain drain is slowly reversing, and turning into a brain gain instead.
In order for this return of the diaspora to last, stability is just as crucial as booming economies. This is why Ghana has been on top of the list for the past decade. Should Kenya have trouble-free elections in March, it is expected that many “diasporans” will return there too.
Understanding the importance of the upcoming elections, Kenya’s mobile operator, Safaricom, has partnered with Sisi Ni Amani, an NGO, and launched an SMS platform to promote the peace. This platform will allow community “peace” ambassadors to send out positive messages targeted at specific incidents at a micro level with the aim of preventing, reducing or stopping election violence.
With so much at stake, the Kenyan government has adopted a new constitution and made widespread modifications to its electoral system. A significant change is that the new laws enable diaspora voting. By giving diasporans the power to have their say, they might feel more inclined to return home and play a crucial part in the new Africa.
After all, this is history in the making, and who wouldn’t want to be a part of it?