I have opined in the past on the need for African leaders to start requesting for auxilliary support from their citizens in the diaspora - which is economical than taking loans from the World Bank and or Western Governments as foreign aid. In my view, it is time to give African citizens a chance for them to return home and contribute to national development instead of scaring them away from the country with tough bureaucracy. Policies such as stringent customs and immigration laws are indeed wrong to the diasporans and it hurts the national reconstruction and development efforts. There is need to assist our policy-decision makers and leadership in designing a much vibrant economic policy that would enhance their policy delivery framework in stimulating growth and job creation. Africa's bureaucrats need help from academics and researchers. This is exactly what we do in Canada, whereby the federal, provincial and municipal governments work very closely with universities and think-tanks around the country. But the ice between African leadership and their diasporan population must be broken.
It is time to take serious the mantra on capacity building. I am certain that fair minded persons will agree that to build capacity in any leadership component, there are two factors that must be considered: 1) enhancing existing leadership, and 2) developing new leadership. Working with existing leadership can take a variety of forms. Administrative and procedural policies can be reviewed and updated to streamline operations to better reflect developments in the country.
On the other hand, identifying and developing new leadership is akin to the sustainable development process. The premise is simple, for without an eye towards the future, then the present leadership runs the risk of becoming outdated, obsolete, and depleted. Not only must new leaders with new economic and development ideas and energy be brought into national picture from time to time to stimulate and invigorate the work, but also current leaders should be aware of the need to mentor the next generation of leaders.
Summing up in line with hundreds of treatises on similar theme, there is no doubt that our current leaders need help, and it is part of our responsibility as good citizens residing abroad to assist them in all forms. Whilst acknowledging that we are academics, researchers and policy advisors and hence not politicians; however, we are trained to teach politicians who desire to aquire new knowledge in their respective areas of specialty. In as much as we want to work with them for the sake of the nation, our leaders should count themselves lucky for Africans, especially Cameroonians serving as international economic practitioners ready to offer their services for free of charge for the economic betterment of the country.
The diaspora can do alot for the country, but the leadership has to open the doors to good citizens to return home and assist in the reconstruction effort. We have many Cameroonian-Canadians, for instance, with experience from the three levels of governments in Canada; coupled with World Bank/EU-EC consultancy expertise, embrioded with solid academic attainment at the terminal level, who can offer their services as a token to the nation. However, charity begins at home, lets start in Cameroon, and other countries in the continent will see the progress of Cameroon as a model for Africa.
Finally, African Embassies abroad shall have to be amalgamated in any reconstruction and development efforts that are geared towards the continent and countries therein. We can't ignore the offices of the embassies and missions abroad. For instance, the Cameroon diasporan can't execute any policy refurbishments without the support of the Cameroon Ambassador and his staff. The Embassies too must therefore begin a new relationship with the diaspora population.