ADEA African Diaspora Task Force

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About the Diaspora Task Force

The program was established following the request of the African Diaspora to ADEA "to implement African Diaspora inclusion in sustainable development processes, particularly that pertaining to education, research, skills and knowledge transfers in Africa by creating a working group on the Diaspora and committing to follow up on the 2012 Diaspora Day recommendations". They further expressed their preparedness "to accompany Africa in attaining the development objectives through the formation of professional associations abroad, as well as tapping into their intellectual, material and professional capital as well as their capacity to generate funds".

In response, ADEA has set up a Task Force comprising largely the African Diaspora with the main objective of working collaboratively with them and their professional networks to identify realistic programs and initiatives that they could implement at local, national and regional levels in support of the paradigm shift in education and training. They would also:

  • Identify and link ADEA with African Diaspora individuals and/or professional networks that can contribute to the initiatives and programs in education;
  • Provide professional advice that will drive the successful implementation of specific activities;
  • Provide ADEA with information on existing Diaspora initiatives in which ADEA could participate or which could be used jointly to scale up education transformation;
  • Propose activities which they or their professional networks could undertake in collaboration with ADEA;
  • Identify sources of funding for specific programs; and
  • Participate in workshops and meetings that ADEA may organize from time to time in furtherance of the task force's mission.

Since the formation of the African Diaspora Task Force in September 2012, systematic progress has been made by ADEA in involving and collaborating with the African Diaspora in determining how to assist African countries in education and training.  The Diaspora members have demonstrated their commitment to assist ADEA and willing countries in education transformation.  The following activities of the African Diaspora Task Force are worth noting.

Idea Generation: Immediately the Task Force was created a list serve was put in place to facilitate communication among the members and with the ADEA Secretariat which has the responsibility for coordinating the Task Force.  The Coordinator launched a “brainstorming” exercise through the list serve with a view to generating ideas, initiatives and programs on which the Diaspora and ADEA could work together.  The ideas generated were circulated to all the members of the Task Force requesting them for comments and views in terms of priority, feasibility, ability to finance, possible partnership, importance, urgency, probable impact, and how long it would probably take to implement selected initiatives.

Project Identification: Communication with the Task Force members was largely through the list serve and occasionally through Skype or telephone conversation with individual members.  In order to solidify the growing relationship among the Task Force Members and with ADEA, and also to have a forum to critically examine ideas and initiatives, a meeting was considered necessary.

The Task Force Challenge: The activities of the African Diaspora are coordinated in ADEA’s Secretariat. The Task Force had planned that in 2014 it would organize workshops; create a database of the African Diaspora in specific professional areas; bring some selected African Governments and the Diaspora together to dialogue on how to effectively engage the African Diaspora, etc. These activities have been put on hold because of the Association’s current difficult financial situation.

Activities of the Diaspora Task Force

21-24 November 2014: The meeting of the African Studies Association

Diaspora at ASA Conference: A member of the African Diaspora Task Force attended the meeting of the African Studies Association (ASA) in Baltimore, USA on 21-24 November 2014. The theme of the meeting was “Mobility, Migration and Flows”.  The representative of the Task Force organized a panel of discussants which deliberated on significant issues and explored possibilities for publication, including a journal of the African Diaspora. She also distributed tens of copies of a flyer on the African Diaspora Task Force

29-30 July 2013 (Tunis, Tunisia): Meeting of the African Diaspora Task Force 

The purpose of the meeting was to examine their proposed initiatives, identify new ones, select viable projects, agree on concrete implementation steps and also identify partnerships and sources of funding for the initiatives. There were a number of major outcomes of the meeting. First, the Task Force was able to identify not only projects that could be implemented but also the countries that were willing and ready for collaboration. Second, the Task Force also proposed three sources that ADEA could immediately tap for financial support to its programs: (i) USAID Inaugural Fund; (ii) Foundations owned by African Diaspora in the USA and (iii) certain individuals/organizations that have indicated their desire to support education on the continent.

1-5 July 2013 (Marrakesh, Morocco): The International Conference on Engineering Education and Research

Diaspora at iCEER: The International Conference on Engineering Education and Research took place in Marrakesh, Morocco on 1-5 July 2013.  It is one of the iCEER conference series sponsored around the world by the iNEER (now with 38,000 members in 98 countries). It was the first time that an iCEER conference ever took place in Africa.  The theme of the conference was “Borderless Global Engineering Education, Research and Industrial Development”, and its main objective was to bring together researchers, academics, industrial partners, policy makers and experts in the field of Innovative and Technology Enhanced Engineering and Vocational Education.   The Chairperson of the Conference is a member of the African Diaspora Task Force.  Not only did ADEA actively participate in the conference it also supported it financially.

11 February 2012 (Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso): The Diaspora to partner the development of Education in Africa

Diaspora Day during the ADEA 2012 Triennale: On Saturday at the International Conference Center in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Cooperation, Djibril Bassolé, formally opened the day session for discussions and consultations with Africa’s Diaspora, emphasizing the contribution the Diaspora can make to the development of Education in Africa. In the presence of the Chair of the Executive Committee of the Association for the Development of Education in Africa (ADEA), Dzingai Mutumbuka, Burkina Faso’s Minister of National Education, Ms. Koumba Boly Barry, ADEA’s Executive Secretary, Ahlin Byll-Cataria, and a number of other prominent figures, Mr. Bassolé urged the day’s participants to reflect upon the best mechanisms to create a framework for partnership with the Diaspora for the development of Education.