For decades, the Diaspora has increasingly become a critical constituent in their home countries; a huge reservoir of human and financial capital; and an important social and a commercial bridge between itself and the African continent.
The value of the Diaspora to Africa goes beyond remittances and financial capital to families in home countries, to include intellectual capital, political capital, social capital, and cultural capital.
As the curtain draws on the International Decade for People of African Descent, as proclaimed by the UN General Assembly, between 2015-2024, the time is apt to deepen the conversation and realize quick wins on the contribution of the African diaspora to the development of the African continent.
Stemming from its definition of intra-African trade to include trade between Africa and its diaspora, the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) recognizes the invaluable contribution of the Diaspora to the African continent’s structural transformation aspirations as enshrined under the African Union’s Agenda 2063: The Africa we want. The Bank has deployed a Diaspora Strategy that looks to build bridges between Africa and its Diaspora through trade and investment promotion; savings mobilization and remittances; skills transfer; research and policy advocacy; and Diaspora outreach.
In a bid to promote trade and investment with the Diaspora, the Bank has included the focus on building bridges with the Diaspora as an integral part of the Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF) 2021 which will hold physically in Durban, South Africa between 15 and 21 November 2021.
The IATF 2021 is expected to attract more than a thousand exhibitors; visitors and delegates from all 55 African countries and the rest of the world. More than US$ 40 billion in trade and investment deals is expected to be realized.
The IATF will host a virtual discussion on the African Diaspora in partnership with The Africa Center under the theme “Building Bridges between Africa and the Diaspora to realize opportunities under African Continental Free Trade Area.
Speakers representing a diverse range of innovators of African descent who work across the African Diaspora and in a multitude of industries will deepen the conversations around how Diaspora-led initiatives can accelerate investment in the continent including building the relevant infrastructure needed to bolster and sustain a variety of industries in African countries and to implement the AfCFTA.
Speakers will also explore how the Diaspora is connecting to markets and businesses across the continent and re-defining how and why global companies invest in the continent.
The conversation will begin with an opening by Professor Benedict Oramah, the President & Chairman of Board of Directors of Afreximbank, and then transition to a musical performance.
The panel discussion and Q&A will follow the musical performance and will be moderated by The Africa Center’s CEO, Dr Uzodinma Iweala.
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