The African diaspora has been challenged by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to shift the narrative of Africa, which has mostly focused on sickness, famine, poverty, and illegal mass migration.
On Tuesday, November 13, 2022, President Akufo-Addo said at the Young African and Diasporan Leaders’ Summit, which was held concurrently with the US-Africa Leaders’ Summit in Washington, D.C., that “the urgent responsibility we face is to make our countries and our continent attractive for our people to see them as places of opportunity.”
President Akufo-Addo claims that history is filled with instances when diasporan groups have positively impacted the growth and development of nations through expanded trade activities, growing investments, and the transfer of skills and expertise.
The President gave the audience, which included US Vice President Kamala Harris, the example of China, which has a population of 60 million émigrés, noting that the Chinese Diaspora is thought to be the 25th largest country in the world, with $2.5 trillion in assets, according to the Nikkei Asian Review.
“The Chinese Diaspora supported the economy when international businesses curtailed their investments in China in the late 1970s. “The Chinese Diaspora contributed $26 billion, or 50 percent, of the foreign direct investment that helped China become a manufacturing powerhouse in the 1990s, according to the Washington, D.C.-based Migration Policy Institute (MPI),” he said.
The President pointed out that this serves as the foundation for Ghana’s “Beyond the Return” project, which he indicated builds on the significant success of the “Year of Return” and the reinvigorated passion for constructing Africa as a whole.
In order to reframe the narrative of Africa, which has mostly focused on sickness, famine, poverty, and illegal mass migration, he pushed young African and Diasporan leaders.
“Let’s keep in mind that Africa is the home of all black people, regardless of where they are on the globe.” Never should we forget Peter Tosh’s famous advice to “don’t care where you came from,” which is a well-known Jamaican reggae star. According to President Akufo-Addo, as long as you’re a black man, you’re an African.
“We must work to make Africa a location for investment, growth, and prosperity rather than a place where our youth emigrate in search of the illusion of a better life in Europe, Asia, or the Americas,” he concluded. In order to maximize the benefits of our relationships with the diaspora in mutually beneficial cooperation and as partners for shared growth and development, that is what “Beyond the Return” aims to achieve.
After the African people, following Ghana’s shining example, freed themselves from the colonial and imperialist yoke and the racist ideology of apartheid in the second half of the 20th century, the President was optimistic that the first half of the 21st century would consolidate this development and see the rise of modern, prosperous, technologically advanced nations within a united Africa, which would advance human freedom and progress.
“We have had enough conferences and seminars, and, dare I say, enough talking. We are aware of what we must do. It’s time to just get it done. We are out of justifications for the condition of our continent. “It’s time to make Africa work; we have the resources and ought to have the political will to do it,” he continued.