World Bank Convenes African Diaspora to Talk Trade, Education

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Photo courtesy World Bank

The World Bank hosted its first Annual African Diaspora Trade and Education Forum last month in Washington D.C. The forum brought together leading members of the African Diaspora to discuss ways to build on recent economic successes and demographic trends, as well as to incentivize investors and entrepreneurs seeking greater engagement with the continent.

Early results from a groundbreaking survey of members of the African Diaspora were shared with forum participants. The Bank estimates that $53 billion is saved annually by the Diaspora, and that there is an increasing appetite to invest in Africa, particularly in growth areas like food supply, healthcare services, and educational solutions.

Among the panelists were Jeremy Coats from the Institute of International Education — a partner organization of Carnegie Corporation in the African Diaspora Fellowship program — and Professor Nkechi Agwu, a Carnegie African Diaspora Fellow. The two spoke about the need for greater training and mentorship in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. With Africa’s workforce projected to exceed that of both China and India by 2040, panelists agreed that now is the time to begin targeted efforts to achieve growth in these areas.