Strategic War that is Killing Africa and its Diaspora

Photo Credit: Dr. Roland Holou (www.RolandHolou.com).

Through my experience dealing with diasporas across the globe (e.g. https://www.DiasporaEngager.com/map), I have learned something very shocking about Africa and America that I would like to share with you today. I noticed that some diaspora groups and countries are very connected and as tightly knit as a sweater. When I realized that these groups were successful in helping their diaspora and home country, I thought to myself: why isn’t this the case for Africa?

For many years, I used to think that the African leaders, politicians, and intellectuals were the main cause of the African problem. In 2008, I  published a book in France titled “La Faillite des Cadres et Intellectuels Africains (The Failure of the African Intellectuals). After being recently involved in several diaspora initiatives, I realized that what causes the African leaders to cling to power and ignore their own intellectuals who, in the end, are leaving Africa to go abroad, is also causing the African Diaspora to fight among each other, and wanting to raise themselves above each other in a way that most of the African diaspora initiatives are not in sync. The Africans tend to always put themselves first, and in the process, they discourage and put down anyone who may dare to do something similar. While other nations are fighting the ideologies that should free Africa, the Africans themselves keep creating and worsening divisions they have been subjected to by colonial powers. African efforts lack coordination and cooperation at many levels. The African Diaspora and African leaders are not ready to engage with one another in a realistic way that can overcome 21st-century global mindsets and customs that still try to hold back the Black community, despite having a Black President at the White House.

The mentality that caused the Europeans to go to Africa to divide it, to catch our grandfathers and force them into slavery (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlantic_slave_trade), is sadly still within many of our own African leaders and the African Diaspora. That evil spirit is causing many Africans to sabotage one another, and to refuse to collaborate with or help each other. That is why Africa is unable to unite and use its rich lands and resources to develop. I found it fascinating that some Africans born in Africa do not even consider African Americans (descendants of former slaves) to be a part of the African diaspora. Sometimes, I am shocked that while talking about race in America, there is a difference between African, Black, African American, Afrodescendant, and Negro. Yet, they are the same people who are struggling to free their brothers and sisters from some historical strongholds.

During the building of the global diaspora database (www.DiasporaEngager.com/directory and https://www.DiasporaEngager.com/map), I engaged with several diaspora associations across the globe. I noticed that there are many African diaspora clubs. The Africans gather themselves in groups that discuss diverse forms of doctrines without truly thinking about how to help others even their own people. In those diaspora groups or networks, some Africans surround themselves with people who can help them to find a piece of the pie and eat it together. After being involved in decision making at the highest level, I found it amazing that in America, many of the African Diaspora’s initiatives by Africans from Africa are not welcomed by some leaders in the African American communities (https://www.diasporaengager.com/American), and vice versa. The Africans need to learn to work more cooperatively and to stop to be victims of their past historical wounds. The African Diasporas are so dispersed and divided that IF they cannot learn HOW to better work with one another in the midst of their divergences and geographical constraints, they can never sustainably improve their situation.

 

The most developed countries do NOT like each other, BUT they know how to meet in their clubs of G7, G10, G20, Gxyz, etc. to work together and push their agenda forward. While the African Nations are trying hard to be included in these clubs, they have refused for more than 50 years to unite themselves to form a realistic African Union. Similarly, some African leaders tend to reject the potential of their diaspora intellectuals in order to focus on their own selfish agendas that help them acquire money; create projects and/or get consulting fees, or keep their power until they die on their throne before their children take over by picking up the leadership heritage. Though certain African Leaders cite the western countries as the root of their poverty, they crush their own people with policies, sometimes in the name of democracy that some people think is sufficient to develop Africa https://DiasporaEngager.com/extPage/DemocracyGovernance!

 

Likewise, the African diasporas “ignore” one another just as some developed countries technically overlook Africa’s best interests. For instance, Benin Republic—my country of origin—is among the smallest countries in the world. We have more than 150 political parties in Benin and there are several diaspora associations from Benin in America; however, they are NOT working together. Everybody wants to be the Boss and at the same time, some western powers have put Africa in a big box that it is struggling to escape. This backward mentality is everywhere amongst most African nations and diasporas. As if this mentality is not enough, the African leaders are not listening to the intellectuals they have at their own universities. Indeed, they have chased away many professionals https://www.diasporaengager.com/BrainDrain and imprisoned those they do not like. Africa claims that it wants to reverse the brain drain; however, it forgets that the migration of these brains is feeding the economy and the technology of western countries that Africa asks to fund the African projects where money is spoiled and wasted as if it was the sand of the seashore. Are the Africans implying that the World Bank was right when it argued for many years that Africa does not need University Intellectuals? For instance, the African Leaders need to understand that listening to their own intellectuals and investing in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics … must be the first priority in their budget. Otherwise, we are just programming and prolonging poverty in Africa, although some people use statistics to show that Africa is prospering. Money-oriented conferences organized on behalf of Africa will not improve the African situation. Indeed, if we cannot change the mentality of the African Leaders, we cannot win this battle. African leaders need to follow the example of the African intellectuals who are making a positive difference such as Prof Brice Sinsin (http://www.BriceSinsin.com)

Furthermore, we need to be more honest with Africa and with one another. For instance, members of the African Diasporas (https://www.diasporaengager.com/Africa) are very smart, but NOT very rich. Yet, when they go to Africa, they behave as if they are billionaires abroad. This behavior ignites excitement and adventure in the minds of talented Africans, who then leave Africa only to realize that life abroad is not always easy, nor the heaven that some people describe. We need to start being honest with our people in Africa. When we want to talk about African Diaspora Engagement, let’s not think too much about MONEY, and let’s refrain from turning to BIG financial institutions for funding. Money has never been Africa’s problem and it will never be the solution. If the African Diaspora can help one another without spreading abroad their backward mentality—which is not different from the mindset of the nations that try to oppress them—, I (www.RolandHolou.com) believe we can better forge strong coalitions that can help free Africa, the poor, the needy, and the afflicted from being controlled by the power of other nations who are trying to develop themselves as well.

Some people may wonder why I am speaking as if I hate Africa. The fact of the matter is that I love Africa very much and I still have brothers and sisters on the Black continent who cannot even comprehend the reality of life abroad even if I risk my life to tell them the truth. I was born and raised in the Benin Republic (West Africa) before I moved to the USA many years ago. I am privileged to have tasted life in Africa before migrating to the USA, where I got my Ph.D. in Plant, Insect and Microbial Sciences. I have been working and publishing books and articles about Africa for more than 15 years. It is my love for Africa and the global diaspora that caused me to create DiasporaEngager, the International Diaspora Engagement Platform www.DiasporaEngager.com. Today, I am pleased to inform you that the platform is growing quickly and is being used in many countries. We also completed the most comprehensive diaspora database and diaspora map, which anyone can access by creating a free account at www.DiasporaEngager.com/miniRegister and then visit at https://diasporaengager.com/map/. DiasporaEngager is helping people and nations to address some of the problems mentioned above http://diasporasnews.com/how-does-diasporaengager-help-individuals-organizations-and-nations/.

 May God bless Africa and its Diasporas.

ABCs of a Realistic African Diaspora Engagement

Photo Credit: Dr. Roland Holou (www.RolandHolou.com).

Almost every African country is trying to engage with its diaspora. However, in general, when it comes to how to convince the African diaspora to work with their country of origin, most of the methods used are not working. One of the first things that come to the mind of most Africans living in Africa is to ask the diaspora to help them, forgetting that no one is helping the diaspora for free. In contrast, the first thing that enters the mind of most diasporas is not how to help Africa, but whether Africa knows why they have left the continent and what they are doing/facing abroad!

Do I need to underline that many African immigrants have left the Black Continent because they were chased away by some leaders and sorcerers who, today, are begging them to invest back home? What can’t I say about the massive and forced migration of Africans to America during one of the darkest and wicked ages of human history a few centuries ago? I even wonder how many people realize that the largest African diaspora population is in Brazil! Most African leaders are not trying to better know and understand their diaspora before asking them to come to invest their money in Africa. Sometimes, I even wonder how many African Professionals in the Diaspora are richer than the African leaders who are begging them for money. Worst, some African leaders act as if their diaspora have forgotten the wounds they have suffered in Africa before finding a way to flee the continent of Kwame Nkrumah. Undoubtedly, a lot of basic first steps need to be addressed in order to start aligning the mentality of Africa with that of its diaspora. Otherwise, the synergistic coalition needed for African Diaspora Engagement (www.DiasporaEngager.com/Africa) will continue lacking!

The migration of the diasporas from their home country to their new country of residence is a kind of “divorce or break up” with their roots. Some Africans have had some bad experiences with their own people that they do not even want to reverse their “divorce” with the continent of Nelson Mandela and of Prof Brice Sinsin. Other immigrants have been highly afflicted by the people in their home country that they do not want to hear any request coming from them. No intelligible man dates a woman by starting to ask about anything that is supposed to be last. Moreover, no reasonable man can win back his ex-wife or ex-girlfriend, and vice versa, by starting the conversation with a list of requests or a list of things that the ex must do. Sadly, certain political leaders who orchestrated the migration of their own people cling to power and then, ask their diaspora that they and their ancestors have hunted to come and invest in their country. These types of diaspora engagement cannot work, particularly in the African context where people seem to pull each other toward the bottom of the misery pit. At the same time, many foreign countries are taking advantage of the divergences among the Africans!

 

African Diaspora Engagement Must be like a Love Story. Why? Check out www.DiasporaEngager.com/Africa

The involvement of the diaspora in the development of their home country must follow certain basic rules of courtesy. I believe that Africa and its diaspora need to start “dating” each other in a format similar to that of a man trying to win back his ex-wife or ex-girlfriend, and vice versa. However, while some people that have broken up can easily find new loves, it is not easy for most diasporas to quickly forget their roots and embrace the culture of their new country. This implies that many opportunities still exist to start engaging the African Diasporas in a dialogue with their homeland which dearly needs them. For this dialog to succeed, it must not begin with begging the diaspora to come back to Africa or to invest in Africa. Similarly, the diaspora should not inaugurate this dialog by requesting that the African political leaders change overnight. The African Diasporas need to know that, though their new life abroad has changed the way they used to think, many of their brothers and sisters in Africa still act as if they have no brain or if they cannot get rid of the legacy of the colonial ignorance and slavery. Therefore, the African Diaspora must be tolerant with their own people who need to be willing to realign and renew their mentality so that synergistic coalitions can be fostered in a win-win framework for the advancement of our dear Africa rather than allowing the so-called superpowers to continue poaching their rich lands and mines like the cake of their grandmother or like their heritage or like the field of their slaves that they are still trying to enslave with diverse models of modern technology, negotiation, aids, partnership, and legislation!!!

Please, don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that every African diaspora engagement effort has failed. Indeed, several people and organizations have successfully engaged with Africa and its diaspora in a positive way. Many Africans living in Africa and in the diaspora have also contributed to the development of their homeland. We take advantage of this opportunity to thank those Africans, African diasporas, their friends, partners and stakeholders who have made a positive difference in Africa.

However, after spending years working on the African problems and writing books on African Development, I can conclude that, when it comes to engaging the African diaspora in the development of Africa, ten questions need to be asked first:

  1. Who are the African Diaspora?
  2. Who is who among the African Diaspora?
  3. Where are they living?
  4. What are they doing?
  5. What problems are they facing?
  6. Why did they leave Africa?
  7. How can Africa help them to heal some of their wounds?
  8. What can we do to forgive each other and embrace a new journey of partnership?
  9. How can we partner rather than how can they help us?
  10. How can we initiate this partnership without bringing up money as the first issue?

And these questions must be answered without forgetting the millions of African-Americans, (descendants of the slaves or African Descent individuals of descendants of former slaves), whom some stupid and/or naive Leaders think are not worthy to be called African Diaspora! It is after these questions are sincerely addressed that Africa and its Diaspora can start talking about who can do what for who? Without following these simple strategic steps, the African diaspora will just keep creating thousands of African Diaspora Associations, while the African Political Leaders will keep creating more Political Parties in Africa, yet, sinking Africa, remaining at odds and, therefore, unable to work together to create positive change. If you like this article, you will be also interested in joining the Global Diaspora Engagement Platform and the African Diaspora Platform at http://DiasporaEngager.com/miniRegister. Anyway, I, Dr. Roland Holou www.RolandHolou.com would like to hear from you.

God bless Africa and its People!!!

 

What is our Definition of Diaspora

Photo Credit: Dr. Roland Holou (www.RolandHolou.com).

 

Welcome to Diaspora Engagement Blog !

We are very excited you chose to visit our blog.

On this blog, powered by Diaspora Engagement ® (aka DiasporaEngager), you will learn about and interact with the international Diasporas.

Before we start blogging about more serious topics, let’s make sure that we all have the same understanding of the term “Diaspora”.

Our Definition of Diaspora

In our context, the word Diaspora is referring to anyone who, for any reason, is living in a country or town that is not his or her place of origin or ancestry or the place s/he calls home. Some people may call them an immigrant, a stranger, or an alien. Some may argue that most individuals can be remotely linked to a country of origin different than their current country of residence, and therefore, most of us are alien, immigrant, or a Diaspora of somewhere. In the US for instance, except the native Indians, everyone else can be considered an alien or immigrant. Even in that case, the Indians themselves have had to migrate from somewhere before reaching the US. The longer the duration of the stay of someone in a foreign land, the higher the likelihood that his or her descendants think that they (the descendants) are native of that place that their ancestry moved to long ago. That’s why, because they are not first, second, or third-generation immigrant, many people easily forget that they are a stranger of what they call “our land”, and unfortunately treat the new immigrants like the “bad people” or like “those who are taking our lands or our country”, or like “those who don’t even speak our language well”, or like “those who don’t behave like us”. In reality, those new immigrants (new arrivals) are usually just trying to go through the obligatory survival and integration steps that the ancestors of those who are calling them “strangers” and who think they are native did long ago. Therefore, without entering into any political and demographic debates, the word “Diaspora” as used in our context can be applied to any human being.

In our future posts, we will give you more details about who we are and what we do, and how we may help you.  The Diaspora Engagement platform, DiasporaEngager.com, allows you to learn about the international diaspora and ways you can engage with them locally or worldwide.

To register to DiasporaEngager in order to start using the platform to address your problems or help others, please click here: https://diasporaengager.com/miniRegister.php.

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