Issuu on Google+


“Is it really necessary for me to return to my country in order to contribute to its development?” I was asked this very question not so long ago and it pushed me towards an analysis of the African Diaspora in terms of its relationship with the continent. Due to the recent interest and attention towards Africa, the Diaspora is more than ever at the heart of our discussions. Being proud of our origins, wearing the colors of our country fearlessly; more than ever these are values that Africans across the globe are holding on to fervently. However, we have developed the strong mindset that serving our country means returning home, but does helping Africa necessarily mean returning to it? Isn’t globalization and the mixture of cultures going on today, rather favorable to an opening up of mindsets, and so also favorable to a new approach as to how the Diaspora can relate to the continent? These are real questions that sparked a debate within our editorial team. We ended up with this crucial interrogation: what exactly is the role of the Diaspora in regards to the African continent? What relationships should be built between the “exiled” and the locals? As citizens of the world in 2012, what compromises must be made by the young African from the Diaspora in order to open up to the world but at the same time stay rooted in his or her origins? Jacques Johnatan Nyemb (on p.17) underlines the existence of different types of Diasporas, within these each of us have to first indentify where we belong before planning to take any form of action that will be beneficial to the African continent. Yannick Itoua (on p.4) on the other hand, strongly believes that it is hypocritical to want to invest and improve Africa without returning to it at a certain point. Today we are asking you this question: is it an absolute necessity to return to your home country in order to help the uprising of Africa? Enjoy! Joan. Y


CONTENTS

4 -Conversation with Yannick Itoua

12- Inspir’ Favorite Reine Mbéa

6 -4 Questions to Kweku Awuah

14 -Make up for All Aida MakeUp Cosmetics

8- Discover AFRIKARCHI

16 -A Letter to the diaspora Jonathan Nyemb

10- Inspir’ Start-up Wontanara.com

18- Inspir’ Eco Serge Tchaha


Yannick Itoua « Investments towards Africa will only be detrimental to the continent if its population doesn’t take advantage of it. » Yannick is a 34 years old French/Congolese. He studied Political Sciences at Sciences Po – Paris and then went to ESCP, one of the prestigious business schools in France. Yannick is among those who believe in Africa and its potential. For many years now, he has been using his talent and enthusiasm to better serve the continent. Here are bits of our conversation with him… Let’s talk about your profession(s) I do a lot of things at the same time; however I am first and foremost an Economist. I started as a research manager in an industrial studies office for an oil company. If I had a choice on which job I wanted without taking into consideration family or environmental factors, I would have been a teacher. I still have that desire now; I think it is one of the most fulfilling jobs out there. For two years now, I have been working as a senior advisor at Bryan Garnier & Co, in the Private equity field. I take care of investment inquiries in emerging countries, specifically in the infrastructure department with a focus on areas such as water, renewable energies, etc... Let’s talk about the African Business Club (ABC) It is truly one of the experiences I am the most proud I was apart of the group that took the initiative for this project. The goal was to create solidarity chain between African students and graduates from universities or private schools. It was also about making access to information about Africa in terms of investment opportunities or job search – for example – more accessible. The experience was extraordinary; the project was welcomed with a lot of enthusiasm. We were quickly able to demonstrate the pertinence and effectiveness of the ABC. Consequently, the association still exists today, almost 10 years after its creation. It is definitely one of the most effectively organized networks of its kind. ABC’s activities today... I am no longer an active member of the association. However, I am apart of the administration council and the control and surveillance sector. I make sure that activities conform with the initial idea of the association when it was

of.

created. I give advice for specific projects, for internal organization (elections, office composition…etc). Beside, ABC continuously organizes many activities such as recruitment forums, discussions and think tank seminaries. The themes discussed are quite specific and involve questions about the economic and financial state of Africa. There are competitions on entrepreneurship, and some humanitarian actions are also undertaken.ABC is a network that thrives upon all these events. Through this, solidarity and cohesion grows and enables Africans and those who love Africa to share information and experience. Your work in Publishing Editing is a real passion. I love reading, and as I mentioned before, I am very responsive to the idea of transmitting knowledge.My adventures in editing started quite randomly. I was approached to do a feasibility study on the banking sector in central Africa because of my professional domain. We realized on the ground that it was difficult to obtain reliable information. So we decided to create a whole new database that we then turned into a product. This product enabled us to make available to the different actors involved a summary of economic information so that they can have a clearer vision of the investment opportunities in certain areas.That is how, The Investors Guide was born in Congo, and in order to publish it, we founded a publishing house called “Les Princes de l’équateur” (Princes of the equator). It worked so well that today we are working on our third issue. Editions are translated into various languages and we also have a website where we put up the books.On the other hand, being of Republic of Congo, I figured that knowing the peculiar history of this country with literature, it was time to give the youth a chance to express themselves. My goal – in-


addition to publishing books related to the economic activities – is to promote literature productions. At the moment, I am working on establishing a literature award, that will reward the best writers of the sub- regions and we could potentially launch some carriers. Your relationship with Africa and the Western world Living in the West and working for Africa demands a lot of sacrifices. It’s a constant friction because you have to know how to adapt quickly to different environments. A recent example is when I had to leave New York to go to a village in Africa for the promotion of a project I am working on. In this type of situation where you have to go from complete comfort to total isolation, it is crucial to be able to adapt quickly. However, to be honest, it is hard to keep up in the long run. At a certain point, you need to choose where you will spend your life. It is hard to believe you want to play a role in the development of Africa without being on the ground. I think it’s slightly hypocritical; it’s a way of ridding yourself of that responsibility. At a certain point you have to be “where things are actually happening”. For now, I am increasing my expertise here. My job as a banker has allowed me to travel around the world, but I know and feel that my bond with Africa is always strong. I think its is important to not force the action of giving back sooner or later but simply take it as a natural evolution and almost a fatality (an absolute necessity, in the positive sense). On the growth difference between English speaking and French speaking countries... There is evidently a difference in terms of the quality of the environment of affairs which is indisputable. I think this is linked to the history and heritage of colonialism…I am careful with cultural justifications, because in terms of affairs and business, the evaluation of criteria is rather rational. There are precise standards. We can then never take the basis of culture to explain this or that trend. The gap between English speaking and French speaking countries is firstly, in my opinion, because of the style of governance. The style of governance in French speaking countries (inherited from France of course) is extremely centralized. In other words the State intervenes in a major way in the country’s affairs and especially in terms of the economy. It is not the case in English speaking countries where a liberal tradition has encouraged the state to let breathe the economy and allow the “lively forces” of the country to evolve and build the market. Consequently, in these countries there is a tendency to encourage private initiative. The second reason is education. Once again, the educational model inherited from the French system is way too generalized. The primacy and pompous prestige attached to the degrees is a proof of this. The general orientations have been promoted and have benefited from all the advantages or almost all of them. Whereas, the professional training programs have been put aside when they are in fact the hubs of creativity About the increasing number of investors in Africa Investments towards Africa will only be detrimental to the continent if its population doesn’t take advantage of it. Investors have understood that the African continent is the only one where there are increasing opportunities and important investments. However, these investors have little knowledge

of the African market’s realities. They then need to approach people who have knowledge of the market. This is where we come in. Today, these huge companies have put an accent on their African competences in order to better integrate the market. This creates career opportunities for those who want to work on the continent. There are also opportunities in transfer of skills and technology. It is a good thing that today Africa is attracting investors of all kinds because it is a land of opportunities and growth. Africans have to take an active role in these projects that are taking place on the continent. We absolutely need to learn to take advantage of this situation! Africa in 20 years I see Africa as the last of the uncharted territories; it will be the place where there is the most important growth. On just one condition: that we take care of our resources. The most important resource we possess is the people. For a long time, we assumed that population growth was slowing down development but today India and China have proven the contrary. We absolutely have to take care of our human resources: by training and giving them the tools to be competitive on the international market. What I hope for Africa is to be a place of growth where the quality of life would have improved, where we can be treated medically and educated like everywhere else in the world. One of the most difficult times for me was when I had to leave Africa in order to have access to better training in the domain I was interested in. I will only leave this world in peace if tomorrow my children have the possibility to choose to continue their studies in Africa or elsewhere with Africa being part of their choices. I am convinced that in 20 to 30 years, our victory will reside in the fact that we will be able to resolve the humanitarian problem in terms of education and training.

Joan Y.


4 QUESTIONS A KwaKu Awuah et Nana Poku 54 Kingdoms’ catch phrase says it all: “it’s a Kulture, not a brand”, indeed the founders of the clothing brand have made it more than a brand. It’s an entire culture, a movement aimed at inspiring African youth by turning fashion into an act of corporate citizenship…

When, how and why was the 54 kingdoms brand created? 54 Kingdoms’ roots can be traced back to 2006, when Ghanaian born-native, Mr. Nana Poku developed the concept in the fall semester of his senior year at Central Connecticut State University (CCSU). What if there was clothing line that integrated designs and concepts from the African Diaspora? Mr. Poku questioned. This thought, designing through the Pan-African community helped in the developing the company’s name, 54 Kingdoms. The number ‘54’ symbolized the total number of countries in Africa at the time of creation, and the word ‘Kingdoms,’ signifies that each and every African country is a part of a larger kingdom spanning overseas to include the African Diaspora. 54 Kingdoms was developed to bring the Pan-African creative, history and culture to the doorstep of global fashion. At 54 Kingdoms, we believe fashion cannot just be about aesthetics and presentation, it must be coupled with identity, education and empowerment, hence our motto – It’s a

Kulture, Not a Brand. What is the concept behind your brand slogan: it’s a kulture not a brand? Our slogan signifies the embodiment of the 54 Kingdoms movement. While most companies or individuals focus on building a brand, we sincerely believe in cultivating a lifestyle. A lifestyle, that acknowledges the core Pan-African creativity in everything we do. Our goal is for consumers and industry spectators to realize 54 Kingdoms as a movement that seamlessly permeates every aspect of customers’ dayto-day activities. From what clothes they wear, which accessories they complement their attire with, to even what luggage they carry through their journey. 54 Kingdoms is also about giving back. What are the ways you have or intend to give back to the African community worldwide? 54 Kingdoms places a premium on being a good corporate citizen. In 2009, the company incorporated a Community Outreach Initiative (C.O.I.)


policy. Each year, through donations and/or collaborations, 54 Kingdoms works with an existing nonprofit organization serving people and communities within the African Diaspora. The primary focus of the C.O.I. includes: Education, Positive Youth Development, Human Rights and HIV/AIDS.We have a partnership with Edeyo Foundation, a Haitian nonprofit organization in New York to help in the physical reconstruction of their school (Joyous Heart), which was destroyed in 2010 earthquake. Our previous visit in February of 2011 to Haiti also allowed us to review the school curriculum and provide insights in ways they could improve their institution.Our second partnership is with Africa Youth Network (AYONET) under the leadership of Mr. Emmanuel Ansah-Amprofi. AYONET is a non-profit initiative that governs two major entities; The Ghana Youth Forum (GYF), which 54 Kingdoms has been a sponsor since 2009 provides a platform for dialogue between the youth and national/ governmental entities on youth policies and plans. The other initiative of AYONET is the Ghana Youth

Awards (GYA), which is tasked with acknowledging and awarding youth excellence in Ghana. Our theme this month is Africa and its Diaspora, as an international brand what do you think is the Diaspora’s role on the continent, especially the role of international companies or brands just like 54 Kingdoms? We believe the role of companies or brands in Diaspora falls in alignment of self-realization, and the establishment and development of independent yet collaborative entities. Before we – the people of the African continent and members of the Diaspora can realize our worth, we must first be self-aware and know our true value and power as a people.Once becoming selfaware, as a people, we must establish companies or brands that take pride or at the very least acknowledge the origins of our creativity. When this foundation has been laid, it is imperative we continuously evolve and grow to remain competitive on a global level. During this time, one must never forget the communal bond needed between companies and brands of the diaspora. This unity will and should serve as incubation for stronger brands and companies of the future. Hence, a stronger understanding and appreciation for one another will result in a stronger understanding and appreciation for the African diaspora on a global scale.


DISCOVER ...

AFRIKARCHI

by Chrys N.

If you have not heard of AFRIKArchi in the last two months then you haven’t been living on the same planet as us. Previously known as ArchiBENIN, AFRIKArchi is an association that regroups young Africans who are most often Architecture students. On the 27th January 2011, Romarick ATOKE created ArchiBENIN with the goal of stimulating innovation and creativity. Being from Benin, it was easier for him at first to partner with local businesses in the country. In order to open more doors, the association changed its name to AFRIKArchi. In fact, they wanted to create a network of architects, engineers, urbanites and civil engineers from all over Africa realized that ArchiBENIN was limiting us to BENIN, when what we really wanted. This will allow us to create synergies between the different actors.” The association’s goal is simple: to become the biggest network of Architects, engineers and urbanites on the continent. Today, the team is extremely diverse and made up of students and young professionals of different origins, among these are Kader Berrekla (French), Atayi Mauried (Togolese) or Boubacar Hassan (Nigerien).

a competitive spirit among young professionals and students”. There are more than 300 participants registered from 15 different African countries. The 2012 Archigineers competition wants to enhance the creativity of architects, urbanites and civil engineers. This year the challenge is to imagine collective housing in urban areas. Local materials must be prioritized in the materials used for the construction: “There is a habit of using materials that are not adapted to the African climate. For example, baked earth is perfect and is even advised for constructions in tropical climates” says M. Atoke, president and founder of AFRIKArchi. According to him, “Putting an accent on local materials for this project will enable the participants to become aware of the existing materials in their countries thus gaining a further understanding of the diverse architectural possibilities and the techniques that may come from these materials”. Other criterions include the quality of the inclusion of the project in the urban area, the feasibility of the project with realistic financial projections and the quality of the presentation of the project.

Even though the registration to the competiEncouragement, stimulation and reward is the tion is free, it does not necessarily mean that it motto of AFRIKArchi. The association put in is open to all as seen in various places. The complace a competition which aims to “encourage petition was created for students in universities


based in Africa with majors in architecture, urbanism and civil engineering. It is also open to those who have graduated in 2012. The candidates can create groups with a maximum of four people and registration is open until the 30th of November. Participants will have up to the 31st of December to hand in their project.

entered the prestigious Superior School of Architecture in Paris La Villete ( Ecole Nationale Superieure d’Architecture). On top of being the president and founder of AFRIKArchi, he is also a freelance architect.

The Jury also represents the diversity that AF- RIKArchi wants to portray. Members of the jury are Mahmoud Keldi of Comorian origin, Emmanuel Amougou from Cameroon and more. The 2012 Archigineer competition has attracted a lot of big names in African architecture. The winner of the competition will receive 1000 Euros, the second 700 Euros and the third 500 Euros. In addition, architectural software at a value of 5000euros will be up for winning. On top of the three projects of the finalist, an extra 12 projects will be selected by the jury to feature in the international exposition organized by the association. The exposition will begin in March 2013 in cities such as Paris, London; Goussainville, Lomé, Kampala, Tunis, Dakar, Tokyo and even Uberlandia (Brasil). Private viewings of the exposition will be held in Paris, Gousainville and Cotonou. Born in Cotonou, Benin, Romarick ATOKE has been since an early age a lover of nature, of its shapes and all the beauty it has to offer. Passionate about architecture from that young age, he studied at the “Lycée Technique Coulibaly de Cotonou” high-school. He graduated with a diploma in drawing, measurement and building and a baccalaureate F4, majoring in Civilengineering. After two years studying English and computer hardware in Accra, Ghana he obtained a scholarship fund from the Japanese government which enabled him to learn Japanese for a year. He followed up his studies in Tokyo Technical College where he obtained a diploma of Superior Technician in Architecture, then he

Chrys N.


WONTANARA.COM

An Alternative to Traditional Money Transfert... Wontara – meaning « we are together » in Soussou (dialect spoken in Sierra Leone and Guinea) – was created by Aboubakar Kourouma from Guinea and Alexandre Péans, of French origin. They call their activity a “social business” because they help towards the improvement of food sanitation and alimentary security in Guinea. All this thanks to a better distribution of the financial resources that come from the Diaspora. With a few employees based in Conakry, Guinea, the quality of the service and products is a guaranteed!

I.A: Where did you get the idea for Wontara and why did you decide to pursue the idea? Aboubakar Kourouma: After my work in Guinea within the rural development field, I began to recognize the real priorities of the population, be it in terms of food, health or education. Studies have shown that the money transferred from the Diaspora to the continent is to respond to the needs that arise in these three domains. Sadly, a huge amount of that money is badly used, and for the wrong things. In addition to this, the money transfer agencies tax 20% of the money sent which is a considerable amount. I was lucky to take part in the development of a new system that will allow the Diaspora to have more control and visibility of what is done with their money. Alexandre Péans: Our service allows people in the Diaspora to shop online for the products their loved ones need back home, the products are then made available for them to pick up at their local merchants. Through our service, we are bringing help to the local producers of various products in order to better their benefits. We do this by diminishing the intermediaries between the production of the products and their consumption which is what decreases the competitiveness of local products compared to imported products. We support them by pre-financing part of their productions. This allows them to have enough money saved to invest in other projects and improve the quality of their products.

we are already present in three of the main cities. We then want to expand across sub-Saharan Africa as the problems we find in Guinea are the same in many of these other African countries. We want to expand our service from food to health and education. In terms of health we have started partnerships with some pharmacies in Guinea.

I.A: What are the criterions for selecting the local merchants and how did you approach t h e m with this service idea? AK: We have to admit that local merchants were reI.A: What are some of Wontanara’s projects? luctant at AK: Our long term goal is to spread out across Guinea; first but once we presented the business plan of our


company it became easier. In terms of choosing the right local merchants, we relied on their reputation. In a town, people go to the same places; it is easy to see the merchants that people prefer, those who make a difference. We tend to pick merchants who sell in bulk, in order to make sure everyone gets the products at the same price. I.A:How do you control the quality of the products that are sold? AP: We have agents that verify the quality of our products, who visit the various merchants to make sure that our norms are being met. We also ensure the control of prices because it is important to make sure that w e sell according to market price. IA:Did you do a market study before starting your project? AK: Yes. Before I met Alexandre, I won a prize during a competition at HEC School. The competition was about presenting a feasible business plan and so I was able to do the necessary market research on the field and via the internet to perfect the idea. I.A:What services and advantages can individuals benefit from through Wontanara? AK: The first advantage is secured payments; we do not have access to the payment coordinates of our clients or to any other information involving payments. The products are available on the spot in 48 hours after the payment. AP: The services involve home deliveries and purchase vouchers. The products delivered are put

together and collected by our teams that are on the ground and they prepare the delivery baskets as indicated by the client on the internet. After that the beneficiary of the products is contacted via phone, to arrange a meeting point where he or she can collect the products for free. We also have a purchase voucher system which is done via mobile phone. The merchant is equipped with a payment system that is compatible with these vouchers and the beneficiary can shop in their local store or pharmacy. He or she can pay via their mobile phone with the voucher which is more secure than carrying cash around. I.A: What are some of the challenges you face within your company? A.K: Our main struggle is financing. It is costing a lot for us to simply expand in the coming months across 80% of Guinea, there is also the issue of advertising and promotion. We have to convince potential investors but that is difficult because it is not a profitable project in the short and medium run. However, even if our project idea has been copied, we don’t have any real competitors.

Karl N.


Reine Mbéa’s First Book: Les Aventures de Sissi : chroniques d’une serial loveuse We have all come across one of those blogs or facebook pages r u n b y people

who tell their stories. However we have never come across a blogger turned writer… meet Reine Mbéa, a young Cameroonian girl living in Montréal who says she’s “always written without taking it too seriously”.

face: poverty, prostitution and the quest to reach the West. In the book, Sissi loses some values, such as friendship, which no longer counts for her. Over the lines, we find a smart girl that does not want to end up like his peers. Then she force destiny because she “wants a better future.” For this, she is ready to do anything, even to turn herself against those who are not in favor of her “ascension”. She is aware of her actions, and even more of the troubles they can cause.

Reine Mbe signs her a nice work through which she ironically tells the reality of these girls who are not spoiled by life and who are willing to do anything to get out of their misery. The adventures of Sissi, Chronicles of a seral loveuse is, ultimately, a social denunciation. Through his book, Reine tells us about the vision she has “some « Paul. A name of terrible banality. A man of young Afriboring simplicity with a frustrating calm about can”, some just because him. His name has always made me want to fortunately sneeze. I don’t know why. But I immediately they “are not all as Sissi.” thought these two would be a pair. Don’t get

me wrong. You may think that I hate him. I simply had no interest in him is all. Up until my friend revealed secrets about their private life. That is when it all began. “

Still, her book, “The adventures of Sissi: tales of a serial lover” looks at the troubles of society with a certain sense of duty. Reine tells us the story of Sissi, a Cameroonian woman of 28 who lives in Cameroon. Sissi is confronted to the problems many African women

Chrys N.


Make Up For All with Aida MakeUp Cosmetics

Aida Danielle is a young entrepreneur with a diverse background. Originally from Ivory Coast and Senegal, she grew up in France and today is based in Los Angeles California. Her Cosmetics make-up line reflects her experiences, Aida Makeup Cosmetics was created for “all types of skin tones”...here’s her story I.A: How did the Aida cosmetics adventure begin? Aida Danielle: As a young girl I was really attracted to the cosmetics and beauty world. I used to admire my mother and I would watch her putting on her make-up, put on eye-liner or lipstick. She was a very coquettish woman. I couldn’t wait to be old enough to put on makeup. My relationship with professional level make-up started in the United States when I got the opportunity to become a working model, I started working for different agencies and I became familiar with that world during shows with local designers. However, modeling was more like a hobby because my real passion was in make-up art. I started doing make-up for the models at some shows, I preferred giving confidence to women by making them up rather than being the one in the makeup seat as a model. Finally in 2008, I launched my own company: Aida Make Up Cosmetics and a year or so later I launched my make-up line: Aida Cosmetics. I.A: Why did it take so long to establish the Make-up line? A.D: At first Aida Make up Cosmetics was a service company, we offered make up services where we sent professionals to do make-up for various clients. During that time I was simply looking for the right producer in order to create my own products, one that would understand my vision and dream and that took a while to find. I.A: What is the comparative advantage of Aida Cosmetics? A.D: The comparative advantage of Aida Cosmetics first and foremost is quality. We pride ourselves on the qual-

ity of these products and offer a diversity that makes us accessible to all types of women no matter the type or color of skin. We have a wide range of vibrant colors in our collections: if you’re looking for lip gloss you’ll find various choices, it’s same for our foundation collection.I believe quality and diversity to be our comparative advantage. I.A: So Aida Cosmetics is not targeted at dark skinned women? A.D: Exactly! It’s not a Cosmetic line specialized for black skin. There are other companies that do that already. On top of that I love diversity and that appreciation for it comes from my own rich and diverse background. I am black and I work with women from all over the world. My skin is very dark but in my immediate surrounding there are light skin girls, white girls, Latino girls and our goal is to make all these types of women out there beautiful and feel beautiful. I.A: Were there difficulties along the way because of the fact that first of all you are a woman and an African woman? A.D: Of course. I faced many difficulties but the most important to me was to hold on to my integrity, to remain proud of my roots, to be proud of being African. I needed to stay motivated and hold on despite the difficulties. I.A: Where did you get that strength to hold on despite being so far from home?


I would say I have a great team that always has my back. My family is supportive as well, we are a tight nit family and I’m always in touch with them. I call my brothers and sisters every day. There are always times you just want to give up but having that support system, people on whom you can count is so important. I.A: Where are some of the sales points of Aida Cosmetics? A.D: Our products are only sold online via our website: www.aidacosmetics.com. We will equally soon be distributing in shops in the United States and eventually in Africa and Europe. I.A: Do you think it was necessary for you to be outside of Africa in order to be successful or would you still have started Aida Cosmetics if you were in Africa? A.D: If I was in Africa I would still have started Aida Cosmetics. However, when I arrived in the US I developed my own ideas while learning how to make the most of the opportunities here. The differences between Africa and Europe are evident, but there is also a difference between Europe and the US, because in the US people are more encouraged to start their own businesses. I think that despite these differences, wherever I may have been I would have started Aida Cosmetics.

African countries but I strongly believe that those on the continent should go for it if they have an idea, a motivation or a dream. The important thing is to learn from failures and mistakes but never give up. I.A: What do you think is missing for young African entrepreneurs on the continent? A.D: There is already a lack of confidence from the get go: we always believe that the foreigner is better, that the US or Europe is better. We forget that we as Africans have value and all that we need to succeed! I.A: Even on a financial level? A.D: Yes, even on a financial level. There are many ways to get funding but I think what is needed is a follow-up of what the money is used for. You could have an idea without having the funds for making that idea a reality, in that case you would have to talk to someone who may be able to help, maybe form a partnership but its crucial to persevere and just never give up.

I.A: What is your hope for the continent today? A.D: I hope that Africa will unite, it lacks that unity sometimes but it is so crucial. We need a better and increasingly independent Africa. I hope it encourages those who have left the continent to return with the I.A: So should those in Africa should be bold enough to knowledge they have gained in the western world in start their businesses? order to make Africa more independent. A.D: Yes, of course. I cannot say I know what it’s like in Chrys N.


A LETTER TO THE YOUNG DIASPORA.

Asking the Right Question. A few weeks ago I had a discussion with a friend about the role of the Young African Diaspora in the development of the African continent. To address this issue; I will target a population that I will qualify as “exiled”. Why? Because many of us leave the continent not by choice but by constraints, which can be of various kinds: Economic, political or social.

Africa to ask ourselves whether we will one day return to it, because real change will come from within the continent even if we can expect help from outside of the continent. Some say that the future of Africa is in the hands of Africans but forget to add themselves to this equation. The youth has to get ready; it has to get organized to prepare Africa for this transition.

Lovers of differences and diversity, I see not one but three diasporas: the Diaspora that is an ambassador of a new Africa, the Diaspora that is the support system of the continent and finally the Diaspora that dares to take the leap. The Ambassadorial Diaspora represents those who have activities that have nothing to do with the African continent, but who, by their values and actions, distinguish themselves from the rest. These are those who want to be identified as Africans and who promote their African values and culture where ever they may be. They represent the new face of Africa in the world. We, as members of the Diaspora, belong to this category.

Around us, and everywhere else in the world, Africa is seen as a victim to greed in and outside of the continent. Do we really want to stand and watch as Africa gets conquered again? Whether it is because of patriotism or for opportunity, Africa needs to become the heart of our personal and professional agendas in the upcoming years.

The Second Diaspora is the very support system of the continent; they are its helping hand. This Diaspora supports the continent as it takes action despite the distance. Their actions take the form of humanitarian work, passing on their knowledge through seminaries on the grounds and many more activities that directly impact the continent. They are the voices of those who cannot be heard, the voices of those who are hungry for change. They translate the efforts of those on the continents to the rest of the world. The final type of Diaspora is the Diaspora that takes a leap; I’m referring to those who slowly but surely establish their home and activities in Africa. This in the hopes of creating opportunities for their fellow country men and women, they contribute to the local economy by creating companies which in turn create jobs. It is then important for the « exiled » African youth to ask the right question: which category of the Diaspora do I want to belong to? It is only after answering this question that we will know how to better present ourselves, how to better support or help the African continent. We have to remember that the image that the international community has of Africa will only change when things begin to change on the continent. It is also crucial for the interest of

Africa is at a turning point: prosperity is knocking on its doors; it is up to the African youth to be exemplary in their actions, organized and to show that they are capable of answering their calling. Prosperity will not always be at our door step and it will once again be too late if not acted upon now. For the youth of the Diaspora, I have but one thing to say: you are the ones that must answer the door and guide prosperity into Africa. Nothing comes accomplished, everything is built progressively. Take the time to answer this question: which idea, what action, what project if succeeded will in turn bring succes to Africa ? Think about this, amongst friends, family, neighbors without forgetting that actions speak louder than words.

Jacques Jonathan Nyemb - O.S.E.R L’Afrique


INSPIR’ECO There is often a divided image of Africa: on one hand are the English speaking African countries who despite low growth digits are driven by entrepreneurial minds, and on the other hand is are French speaking countries at a much slower pace, struggling to find its grounds and its impulse. However, many claim that french Africa is expanding its horizons; this is what Serge TCHACHA believes. He is a strong defender of Francophone Africa. With an MBA in business international management, he is also a writer for the magazine “Afrique Expansion” as well as a full time writer. He is author of “La francophonie économique: Horizons des possible vues d’Afrique. » (Francophone Economics : horizons of possibilities from Africa). ST is our first guest for Inspir’eco(nomics):

Francophonie represents: 19% of the International Market One African in two 85% Africans in 40 years 30 African countries


You can read the full interview on http://www.inspireafrika.com



#6: The African Diaspora