Thursday, March 4, 2010

Diaspora Involvement In Peacebuilding

Africom just recently posted an article about the influence of the civil rights movement to it's blog. I asked myself the obvious question? Why would they post such a piece on diversity to their website? Is it because so many American soldiers are African Americans? Is it because General Ward is African American? Is it because American soldiers in Stuttgart are immigrants? I don't think so. The reason has to do with the increased interest in policy making circles concerning the role diaspora can play in peacefull and democratic development both at home and abroad.

Let me give you two examples. Alex Engwete, a great blog by the way, writes:
"An interface between the Congolese diaspora and American and world policymakers will be facilitated by the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) at their headquarters in Washington DC this March 18"
. Another example I recently discovered is the initiative UgandansAbroad by Rebecca Harshbarger, a former student of the father of all bloggers Jeff Jarvis, focusing on serving the Ugandan diaspora in the US and the UK.

Having followed the political developments in Congo and Rwanda closely i have seen diaspora bloggers from all across Africa popping up to give their two cents on developments in the Great Lakes Region. Today for instance a Congolese (former French colony bloggers seem to love Kagame) blogger gave his view on Rwanda's President: "a man of steel on which Africans should put their bets", similar tothe view of Bruno Ben Moubamba opposition politician from Gabon.

I also discovered postcard junky, who is very well informed on what is going down in Kigali, Bujumburu (the beach), Goma and probably Lububumbashi and all. Make sure you follow him. Another diaspora blogger you shouldn't miss is Rwanda info where innocent nsengiyumva clears up some inconsistencies in Andrew Mwenda's assertions.

All this illustrates diaspora engagement through new media is deepening, and this is just the beginning.

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