Christine Fischer holds an M.A. & a M.Ed. in multicultural counseling psychology from TC, Columbia U...
Social Issues: African Diaspora06 March 2014, by Christine Fischer
According to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, a diaspora is "a group of people who live outside the area in which they had lived for a long time or in which their ancestors lived."
African Diaspora Policy Centre
In the Netherlands, the African Diaspora Policy Centre or ADPC is a leading Diaspora think-tank, dedicated to mobilising the African Diaspora in Europe for the development of Africa.
The ADPC is responsible for research, capacity building, network building, advocacy, lobbying, international co-operation and outreach for the whole of the African Diaspora both within and outside Europe. It understands that the African Diaspora is a source of empowerment.
Their expertise allows them to help dismantle the policy obstacles that inhibit people, governments, international organisations and non-governmental organisations associated with the African Diapsora from realising their developmental goals.
Proactively, they understand how policy impacts practice. The organisation understands that it is essential to raise awareness of the added value that diaspora business entrepreneurs contribute to the economic development of their home country.
Such awareness-raising is achieved through ADPC’s many projects, which include research, publications and workshops. They have many publications that range from newsletters to reports.
One of their latest is Building Institutional Cooperation between the Diaspora and Homeland Governments in Africa: The cases of Ghana, Nigeria, Germany, USA and the UK.
According to the Migration4development website, this study was a first of its kind. The publication documented the collaborative effort between institutions and researchers from both home and host countries involving the African Diaspora.
The project was undertaken to examine the latest trends and developments, and recorded direct experiences, policy constraints and catalysts of best practices. Most importantly, the research identified key drivers for institutional co-operation between the diaspora and homeland governments.
ADPC is busier than ever. Their current projects include:
› Strengthening Policy Making Capacities of Emerging Diaspora Ministries in Africa (SEDIMA)
› the European-wide African Diaspora Platform For Development (EADPD)
› the African Consultative Forum on Migration and Development (AFCMD)
› the Improving Migration and Development Partnerships and Action with Civil Society (IMPACS)
› the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD)
Through their projects they are continually strengthening policy, creating viable networks or broadening outreach.
Interview with Dr. Awil Mohamoud -
Director African Diaspora Policy Centre
One can get plenty of information about ADPC from its website, but it is valuable to have some inside feedback from the gentleman who helps direct the centre:
› How and why do people contact your organisation?
People contact the ADPC for information, to access new networks and to gain assistance in organising joint initiatives.
› What is the most important part of your latest publication?
It increases the profile and visibility of the diaspora development practitioners in the Netherlands and in other European countries.
› What exactly is the Diaspora Academy Programme?
It is a program that provides capacity-building training workshops to African diaspora organisations in areas such as peace building, advocacy and network building, etc.
› Which policies have the ADPC influenced thus far?
We have succeeded in influencing EU policy on the diaspora that has practically resulted in creating a budget-line within the EU budget which allows for the submission of proposals.
› What do you feel is this organisation’s biggest accomplishment?
Our main accomplishment is the setting up of a capacity-building training programme for the ACP countries. This is a significant accomplishment.
(In this respect, Dr. Awil is modest. Further investigation has shown that to date, ADPC has offered capacity-building trainings to no less than 27 ACP countries! Thus, they have trained a total number of 178 government policymakers serving in diaspora-oriented institutions in their respective countries.)
Many thanks to Dr. Awil Mohamoud and the ADPC for providing time and expertise to help with this article.