The diaspora is crucial to development of the third world

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One often meets people in the diaspora who, at some point, had every intention of going back to their country of origin.  They wanted to start a business, create an organization or just get involve in politics.  Then life happens; they start families, taking on long-term debts.  Therefore they end up embracing the fact these goals will never materialize.

However, it’s not necessary for the diaspora to move to their home country to contribute to its development.  Of course being there would offer the advantage of feeling more engaged, and could make it easier to putting plans into actions.  But thanks to technological resources available to us today, interaction with the rest of the world has become easier than ever before. 

The world is now more connected than ever before.  More organizations are now spreading their workforce throughout the globe.  Some people are running multi-million dollar international businesses off their laptop computer while traveling from one to the next.  The point is distance cannot prevent you from having an impact.

The involvement of the diaspora is crucial

It’s not an option that the diaspora engages in the development of the third-world countries, it’s a necessity.  When you or your family left the country, also left was your potential contribution to the country’s success. And nothing else is as powerful as the collective effort of the people when it comes to pushing a country toward progress.  President John F Kennedy once said, “don’t ask your country can do for you, but ask what you can do for your country.” The president understood the people play a crucial in developing a country.

Remittance is not suffice

Now, one might say, the diaspora sends remittance (billions of dollars) to these countries, isn’t that enough? Not that remittance isn’t important, but it doesn’t help a country as much as people usually think. Here’s the thing, the population uses money to purchase goods and services. And the main problem with the third-world countries is the fact they don’t produce these goods locally, most are imported.  And enterprises that offer the services available for purchasing are not owned by local population.  That means the remittance sent doesn’t stay in these countries for the most part. The infrastructure necessary to keep the money within the country is just not there.  Helping to build that infrastructure is where the involvement of the the diaspora becomes important.

As matter of fact, remittance itself can become counter productive. When the people becomes too dependent on the diaspora, that can cause them to not invest much effort into self-reliance, to learn how to forge their ways out of bad economic conditions.

History always repeats itself when we fail to learn      

About a year ago the social media networks were buzzing with people expressing their anger and frustrations after president Donald Trump referred to Haiti, some African and Latin American countries as “shit-holes”. A few weeks later, eve. The truth is, unless the situation of these countries changes, 10, 15 or 20 years from now we will be back right here again.  Where these immigrants and supporters have to respond to offensive, ignorant comments.  It won’t be Donald Trump then, but it surely will happen again.

You might be interested in this:  How the diaspora can become more engaged in development of the third-world

Joanes Legiste

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