The African Diaspora is in a great position to collaborate and contribute to the motherland of Africa, whether they realize it or not. With the increase of attention towards investing in the businesses of Africa, it’s a crucial and pivotal time for Africans Abroad to plan and act for the betterment of the Motherland before it’s too late and a new form of colonialism resurfaces upon us. Tony Kwame Ansah Jr, a social entrepreneur and Ghanaian-American, is on a mission to connect dots between Africans home and abroad. He agreed to share his perspective on the African Diaspora and African Native working together for a common goal to create an African Renaissance soon.
In 2015, remittances received by sub-Saharan African countries through formal channels were $35 billion, according to the World Bank. Obviously, these numbers are much higher when you factor in undocumented cash that reaches Africa through informal/personal exchanges. Some economies in this region are more dependent on remittance than others, such as 31 percent of GDP in Liberia, 22 percent in Gambia, 18 percent in Lesotho, 14 percent in Senegal, and 12 percent in Cabo Verde just to name a few (migrationpolicy.org). We must not leave out the tremendous amount of goods and materials sent/shipped by air or sea to the Motherland every year. It’s safe to say that the main reason behind all this giving back home to Mama Africa is because Africans are rooted in a strong belief for loyalty towards bloodline and community.
On one random spring day of 2016 while at work, I engaged in a short and casual conversation with a fellow African co-worker who was putting together a list of names for an African social club. Without much hesitation, I wrote my name down. A couple of months later, I found myself registering an African nonprofit organization, African Coalition, in Massachusetts, USA. This was in June of 2016. Now, I never imagined that joining a social club to support a diverse group of fellow African co-workers morally, socially, and financially would have led up to me being an active member doing administrative duties.
In 2017, I decided to do some outreach work for the same organization, which required me to search for other African nonprofits in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and state of Rhode Island. I managed to find a small number of nonprofits online and got in contact with them to schedule face-to-face meetings. I did this because I wanted to get in-person testimonials from their leadership about their nonprofit services as African organizations in New England.
One thing that kept repeating itself like a scratched old record being played out loud, the lack of African immigrants or the African Diaspora organizing themselves to support foreign and domestic issues related to Africa/Africans home and abroad. I’m not sure of how many associations and organizations are African led and run. But there’s probably thousands of them in the United States alone. We often hear stories of African migrants fleeing their country of origin for greener pastures. However, they end up becoming slaves or dying during their migration to prosperity. Don’t get me wrong, there are economic, political and social reasons that lead up to such desperate situations.
For instance, I rushed off to an African organizational meeting of leaders in Boston, MA for a great cause late last year, which was MARCH for FREEDOM AGAINST SLAVERY in Libya and Beyond. This gathering had to do with the enslavement of African migrants in Libya. My take away and food for thought on that day was that the African Diaspora is in position to offer essential support to fellow African Natives, especially the underemployed and unemployed. Imagine if most African nonprofit organizations in the USA alone devised a strategic plan to provide programs and services specifically for the African continent to progress their social and economic status across the board, this would have groundbreaking impact. That is, some interesting food to chew, swallow and digest for a lifetime. Look forward to when I could partake in connecting the dots on such a master plan for positive socioeconomic outcomes inside and outside of Africa.
There is an opportunity to collaborate within the African Diaspora with a purpose to bring about social impact and financial independence in Africa and elsewhere. Although not all will be interested in such an initiative or deem it as their responsibility, those who are ready and willing to participate in rebuilding Africa from the ground up should come together and map out plans to create an African Renaissance sooner rather than later. Do you agree?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Tony Ansah, Jr. is a self-published author, a public administrator by profession, and a social entrepreneur based in Rhode Island, U.S.A. He is also the founder and owner of Ansah Africa, a consulting and marketing startup established in 2017.