The African diaspora’s public participation in policy-making concerning Africa

Benhardt Edem Kofi Norglo, Margriet Goris, Rico Lie*, Antony Otieno Ong’ayo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper examines the involvement of African diaspora organizations in Dutch and European policy-making concerning Africa. It addresses the extent to which their inclusion or exclusion in public policy processes in their destination countries is likely to impact (development) policies relating to their countries of origin. The findings are based on a collaborative research project that involved knowledge institutes and African diaspora organizations in the Netherlands. The data consist of 35 in-depth interviews with members of the African diaspora and 2 workshops on African diaspora issues. The paper moves beyond conceptualisations of diaspora as transnational aid workers and promotes an understanding of the African diaspora’s involvement as a form of rights-based civic participation. The research found that the African diaspora can share unique insights to improve the quality of policy, but that representative bodies are needed. If the diaspora are involved in policymaking, it is through passive participation. However, the diaspora do have an aspiration for engagement through self-mobilization, and functional and interactive participation. The study further revealed that the diaspora’s dual relationship with home and host countries offers an opportunity for policy-makers to explore mutual benefits for both Europe and the African continent.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-99
JournalDiaspora Studies
Volume9
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Keywords

  • African diaspora
  • European union
  • Inclusion and exclusion
  • Policy-making
  • Public participation
  • The netherlands

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