During the month of June a number of events took place in London regarding the IF campaign. One interesting and encouraging thing was to see the level of diaspora involvement in the campaign. A number of questions have been raised as to when the diaspora should have been involved or what role they played. Well, there is always a beginning to everything. What was more important, I believe, was the fact that we were involved. Furthermore, questions as the ones mentioned above have for sure being taken on board in the diaspora working Group’s monitoring and Evaluation and the IF Campaign’s transition which includes how the diaspora and other UK mainstream non-governmental organisation should work together in the future.
My pick as the highlight of the campaign was the day the African and Asian diaspora communities came together to deliver a letter to 10 Downing Street that outlined what we believed were the key policies that the governments should focus on in order to enable poor developing countries stand on their own and bring to an end the problem of hunger, malnutrition, tax dodging. It is encouraging to see issues on tax avoidance and child malnutrition continue to be talked about in the media. This was the very basis of the campaign to bring to light these issues that affect many in developing poor countries.
The IF campaign was able to tap into some of the diaspora communities strength which was that we can come together when needed to effect a change. To all who were involved in adding the diaspora voice and those who are yet to come on board, my call to you is that there is something you can do to enhance the living standard of someone back home so ACT NOW.
For many of us who are interested in diaspora and migration issues, we continue to see the interest or recognition given to diaspora communities by our countries of origin and the international development sector regarding the potential we have to aid development back home. It is a well known fact that private remittances by the diaspora communities’ back home do play a key role in reducing the poverty levels of our families and friends. I cannot deny the fact that this does contribute to development, however, I have always believed that we the diaspora can do much more by ensuring that there are policies in place that promote sustainable development. These were the key policy asks that the letter to 10 Downing Street outlined.
In conclusion I would like to state that a number of our home countries and the international development sector have recognised the potential we the diaspora have. There is always the debate as to whether our home countries show much willingness to involve us the diaspora in the development back home. However, to everything there is always a start, so to the diaspora community my call is that let’s do our part.