What role can the African diaspora play in the continent's development, economy and future in the 21st century?
The diaspora’s contribution to Africa’s development goes back to the abolitionist movement against the slave trade, to the conceptualisation of Pan-Africanism, and the struggle for decolonisation. Since the 1980s, the population of the first- and second-generation African diaspora has increased significantly. This new diaspora with 'natal and parental memory' of Africa make direct and substantial contributions to development on the continent, which is reflected in the annual financial remittances of over US$80 Billion, and social remittances in business, industry, academia and other sectors.
Through the advocacy work of organisations like AFFORD, ‘diaspora in development’ is now incorporated into national, regional and international policy frameworks. The African Union recognises the diaspora as the Sixth Region of Africa and expects them to play a role in achieving the AU Agenda 2063. In this special lecture, the economic historian and scholar on the African diaspora Professor Paul Tiyambe Zeleza discusses this topic: 'The African Diaspora and Continental Development: Prospects and Action Points'.
Africa Talks is a high-profile event series that informs and transforms global debates, inspiring new perceptions of the continent.
Professor Paul Tiyambe Zeleza has held distinguished academic and administrative positions at prestigious universities in six countries on three continents and the Caribbean region. He has published more than 400 journal articles, book chapters, encyclopaedia entries, reviews, short stories and online essays and authored or edited 27 books, several of which have won international awards and five short monographs. His most recent books include The Transformation of Global Higher Education, 1945-2015 (2016), and Africa and the Disruptions of the 21st Century (2021).
He currently serves as Editor-in-Chief of the Oxford Bibliographies Online in African Studies and has received numerous awards from major universities for his scholarship. In July 2013, he was recognized in The New York Times as one of 43 Great Immigrants in the United States. In May 2015, he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws at Dalhousie University for outstanding personal achievement. In 2015 he was a fellow at Harvard University and has held the positions of Honorary Professor at the University of Cape Town since 2006 and at the Nelson Mandela University since 2019.
Stella Opoku-Owusu has 18 years’ experience in the development sector at community, national and international levels, working with diaspora and migrant communities. She has solid experience and knowledge of diaspora, migration and development in policy and practice and is responsible for overseeing AFFORD's work on Diaspora & Migrants Investment and their contributions to Enterprise and Employment, including managing the AFFORD Diaspora Finance Portfolio to a value of £1.5 million. Stella also oversees AFFORD’s engagement with Diaspora & Migrants, Network Building and Training. and was nominated Co-Chair for the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD - Quito) Civil Society Day 2019. In 2020, she was elected to the board of BOND – the UK network for international development organisations.
Professor Wangui wa Goro has enjoyed a rich multidisciplinary life spent over forty years as a translator, critic, curator of cultural events, academic, writer and poet and public intellectual. She has spoken extensively in many parts of the world mainly in Africa, Europe, and the USA on a wide range of issues touch on her interdisciplinary research interests of on intersectionality, gender, diaspora/migration, race, inclusion, culture, education, knowledge management and African/Afro futures from these perspectives. She is the winner of Flora Nwapa Award 2021.
Dr. Wangui currently serves as Patron of the Africa Century/International Writers Conference based in South Africa. Most recently, she chairs the African Languages Week Committee of ACALAN , a statutory body of the African Union. She was the founder member of TRACALA, the Translation Caucus of the ALA. She has served as the Co-Convenor of the Women’s Caucus of the African Studies Association; and the Deputy President of the African Literature Association on two occasions; the International Association of Translation Studies (IATIS), and the Executive Council of the Women’s Studies Association (UK).
Professor Tim Allen is inaugural Director of the Firoz Lalji Centre for Africa and is Professor in Development Anthropology in the Department of International Development at the London School of Economics and Political Science. His research has focused on international criminal justice, non-formal accountability mechanisms, forced migration, reintegration following displacements, war and conflict, aid programs, witchcraft and social healing, tropical diseases, HIV/AIDS and health programs. He has carried out long-term field research in several African countries, mostly in East Africa. He is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences. He is currently the Principal Investigator for the five-year ESRC-funded Centre for Public Authority and International Development, as well as several other grants funded by the UK research councils (ESRC, AHRC, GCRF).
Professor Gibril Faal (moderator) is a multi-disciplinary business and development executive, and visiting professor in practice at the Firoz Lalji Institute for Africa (FLIA), London School of Economics (LSE). He is the co-founder and director of GK Partners, specialising in socially responsible business models, sustainable development and programme implementation. He is a member of the advisory council of the Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Program; the founder of RemitAid™, a programme to transform remittances into sustainable development finance; and international consultant to several governments and international institutions across the world.
The Firoz Lalji Institute for Africa makes its public events available to watch on its
From time to time there are changes to event details so we strongly recommend checking back on this listing on the day of the event if you plan to attend.