Africa and Its Diasporas: Remembering South America
Zeleza, Paul Tiyambe
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African interest in the Diaspora has never been greater than it is now. This is evident in the growing attention paid to the subject by African scholars and governments. The motivations are as varied as they are complex. The ascendancy of globalization, transnational, and postcolonial studies has helped fuel African scholarly interest in Diaspora studies as has the rising tide of African international academic migrations since the 1980s (Zeleza 2004). The academic migrants are part of Africa’s new Diasporas, whose size is growing rapidly in parts of the global North, and which is coveted by African governments for their social capital—skills, knowledge, networks, civic awareness, cultural experience and cosmopolitanism—that can provide not only access to global markets and investment and stimulate technological innovation, but also invigorate democracy, strengthen civil society and encourage the growth of new philanthropic cultures. Already, the new Diaspora is Africa’s biggest donor; not surprisingly governments increasingly regard it as a critical remittance pipeline, as an important economic asset.