Envisioning and Implementing a Pro-Diaspora Policy Agenda in Africa and Overseas

In order for Africa to achieve its vision of poverty eradication, sustainable development and prosperity as outlined in Agenda 2063, African governments, regional economic blocks and the continental governing bodies such as the African Union must enhance Diaspora participation to leverage their skills, talents and resources.

Although progress has been made in recent years, many in the Diaspora continue to face obstacles that hinder their full participation in Africa’s development. Today, perhaps more than ever before, diasporans are uniquely positioned to exert pressure on their respective governments for legal, policy and regulatory change. Tapping the massive talent bank of the African diaspora, nurtured by the AU, can enable African development to shift to the next level.

The relationship between the African Diaspora and the AU should not only be seen as a one-way street in which the Diaspora is encouraged almost unilaterally to engage with the AU and Africa. Rather, members of the Diaspora can also be leveraged to filter perceptions and influence pro-Africa policies that ultimately favor African development from within their respective countries. The negotiating power of Africans in the Diaspora can be coordinated to temper the negative perceptions arising from geopolitical events affecting the African continent, or to source strategic intelligence will better assist the Continent in making policy decisions. Effective Diaspora Diplomacy can contribute substantially to the discourse of how Africa can shape its international relations agenda.

The legal framework for the protection of the Diaspora’s rights in Africa is widely recognized as ambitious. But it is undermined by gaps in its implementation, and by the fact that the Diaspora’s needs, aspirations and voices are not adequately reflected when elaborating and implementing new policies and programmes. The Council provides a platform to drive an effective pro-Diaspora policy agenda in Africa, one that translates policies into meaningful change with tangible outcomes for Africa’s future.

Specific Actions

  • Promote effective linkages between the Diaspora and various organs of the African Union while connecting with individual member state governments, media and wider civil society, providing a unique means through which all people of African descent can be heard and represented.
  • Disseminate knowledge about what the African Union is and what it does as a people-centred organization that incorporates the views and address the needs of all its peoples, both inside Africa and throughout the regions in which the Diaspora is located.
  • Mainstream the Diaspora’s diplomatic participation in Member States and the African Union agenda via its departments (Citizens & Diaspora Directorate (CIDO), ECOSOCC, etc.), partnership frameworks and the wide range of policy activity including the flagship Agenda 2063.
  • Advise on policy that meaningfully engages the Sixth Region as defined by the African Union.
  • Facilitate unique forums and spaces for Diaspora professionals in the private sector to interact with leaders in government, academia, civil society, and the media on issues at the intersection of business and policy.
  • Facilitate the Diaspora’s most prominent “Bridge Builders” who have made contributions in the areas of development, strengthening relationships and providing opportunities for Africans at home and abroad, to be appointed as special envoys/representatives of trade, industry, civil society, etc on behalf of the AU and its Member States.
  • Contributing to the operational capacity of the AU in mapping African Diaspora groups around the world, especially from regions that have been historically underrepresented both politically and linguistically at the AU level such Afro-Brazilians, Afro-Colombians, etc.
  • Encourage AU Member States, as well as African Diaspora nations (CARICOM nations, etc.) and non-Diaspora nations with demographically significant African Diaspora populations, to establish governmental mechanism which design, advocate for, implement, and evaluate polices impacting on the quality of life of African descendent populations within their sovereign borders.
  • Raise the issues of human and civil rights faced by the Diaspora abroad to the African Union for more informed and discerning political responses.

Policy Advocacy

The Pan-African Council’s policy advocacy initiative seeks to influence both policy and capital in support of African and Caribbean countries and all African diaspora groups dispersed throughout the world. We focus on social, economic and political conditions in Africa, the Caribbean, and Latin America and other parts of the African Diaspora. PAC supports human rights, gender equity, democracy, and sustainable economic and environmental development.

To achieve this, the Council actively supports and lobbies both national governments and regional institutions as well as other multilateral organizations to adopt and implement well-considered socioeconomic development, political and economic governance policies and strategies which can impact the lives of Africans globally. PAC also sponsors public seminars, community awareness campaigns and training programs to sensitize the public and policy makers to African populations most affected by events and government policies throughout the world.

We envision a world where Africans and people of African descent are self-reliant, socially and economically prosperous, and have equal access to a more just international system that strengthens independence and democracy.

Our advocacy objectives:

  • To maintain and promote Pan-Africanism as the movement for self-determination of African people and people of African descent throughout the world.

  • To value our African heritage and to support the rights of Africans everywhere to lead full lives as equal citizens.

  • To apply African ethical principles to create a society based on social justices and a sustainable environment.

  • To oppose anti-African sentiment, racism and all forms of discrimination and racial hatred; to denounce the activities of fascist, racist and anti-African/Black groups.

  • To promote the centrality of the African continent and its development on the basis of freedom, social justice and equality for all its citizens.

  • To work for international peace and cooperation while supporting the economic and social standing of African peoples around the world.