Edito


Consortium DiafrikInvest

AFRICAN DIASPORAS AND COUNTRIES OF ORIGIN FACING THE CORONAVIRUS CRISIS 

First of all, it should be emphasized that about 200 million Africans in the diaspora and particularly those living in Europe (10 and 70% of the diasporic populations depending on the country - migrants and descendants included), currently are at serious risk related to Coronavirus. And in these serious hours, these fellow citizens fully count on the solidarity of their origin country, far from any stigmatization (following in particular the media coverage of cases imported by the diaspora in certain countries) and, at the height of their patriotism which made them the first or one of the main inflows of foreign currency for their country.


Now and to anticipate all the scenarios for the evolution of the epidemic in Africa, African diasporas must be able to fully enhance their solidarity at the height of the crisis if it worsens. To this end, below eight urgent measures among others are recommended by Samir Bouzidi, expert in mobilization of African diasporas and CEO of Impact diaspora, a Tunisian-Senegalese startup based in Dakar.


1. For three months, free of charge on all receipts - bank transfers, cash to cash, mobile, etc. - or transferred by banks and financial institutions to the Ministry of Health or to a special fund dedicated to the fight against epidemic ;


2. Microfunding online campaigns launched by embassies and by diaspora countries (e.g. Leetchi or through mobile when the legislation of the country allows it) in order to fund the overtime of health professionals, directly assist hospitals, take care of victims etc.;


3. Launch of a special solidarity fund (cf. Moroccan example), funded from the origin country and the diaspora (entrepreneurs, doctors, etc.) for individual endowments of at least 100 euros ;


4. Allow the diaspora to suspend one or two reimbursement drafts of their credits, from banks in the country of origin to repay them for the benefit of the Ministry of Health (credit will be extended free of charge by a month or two) ;


5. Launch a solemn appeal to diaspora associations concerning the logistical needs to be covered urgently, and guarantee the repatriation of the donations collected without risk of blocking, embezzlement, corruption, up to pre-identified beneficiaries (diplomatic bag regime) ; 


6. Mobilize medical experts and doctors abroad (epidemiologists, resuscitators, etc.), health professionals, students, etc. to share experience (health monitoring, influence networks, etc.) or, if necessary, come and help punctually in the  origin country (subject to the return to normal of air links) ;


7. Facilitate for the diaspora the online purchase of telecom and TV packages, goods for their family in the origin country and thus encourage them to respect their containment ;


8. Finally, clearly designate a single contact point able to decide for any member of the diaspora, wishing to launch a major philanthropic action for the benefit of the origin country.

 

 

By Samir Bouzidi, CEO Impact Diaspora. Article originally published by www.financialafrik.com on March 19th, 2020. 
See the article on Financial Afrik (only available in French).

 

April 2020