While doing the research each day to keep abreast of the latest developments in African investments, entrepreneurship and partnerships, I am often impressed by the number of Africans living outside the continent who are having an impact on current developments of Africa. I want to share with you two websites that I have come across that champion the diaspora’s contribution to Africa’s advance.
Right up front I must state what is obvious to anyone who regularly reads these posts. I am not an African. Nor will I pretend that my fluency in three African languages and 25 years of residency on the continent qualify as an African, diaspora African or otherwise. Being African is the unique experience of those who carry the ethnic genes that had their inception on the African continent. I do have the utmost appreciation and love for all things African – most of all African people. I am excited about the part that Africans from around the world are playing in reshaping the image of Africa and her people.
As Chimamanda Adichie warns there is a Danger of a Single Story, or a single perception of African people. If you have never heard her now famous TED talk, I invite you to click below.
Africans have never been a homogeneous group acting and speaking the same. Africans of the diaspora are changing the life story of many Africans – a story that betters the lives of all of us who walk on this dirt ball we call Earth.
Well, I said I was going to talk about a couple of websites. Here they are:
The African Diaspora Market Place’s (ADMP) mission is to “encourage sustainable economic growth and employment by supporting U.S.-based African Diaspora and other entrepreneurs with demonstrated relevant connections to, or experience in, Africa with innovative and high-impact ideas for start-up and established businesses in Africa.”
They have just awarded grants to 17 ventures, adding to the 14 grants given in 2010. Many of the innovations that have caught the eyes of venture capitalists are in the mobile app. or internet sectors, however the majority of the grants by the ADMP were given to entrepreneurial ventures in agriculture, infrastructure, and renewable energy. There are summaries of each the ventures and links to their websites.
The ADMP site also provides resources including a list of Diaspora Business Organizations that would prove helpful to Africans of the diaspora wanting to make further connections with like-minded innovators.
Africans in the Diaspora (AiD) employs funds, connections and their voices to reach their vision of “a self-reliant, socially and economically just Africa.”
AiD funds are invested in 3 African organizations that make up their Funds platform which are Physicians for Social Justice, WEM Integrated Health Services, and Synapse Center (supporting and training entrepreneurs and ventures in Senegal).
African experts, both on African on the continent and in the diaspora, are encouraged to register with AiD’s online database so they can connect with each other and form alliances.
AiD and ADMP are just two examples of many African diaspora organizations that are rallying ethnic Africans to contribute to the rapidly changing continent. Do your own research to come up with other organizations. Please list your favorites in the comment section below.