China’s emergence as the would-be largest economy despite practising Communist’ regime not western- style democracy has come to many people as “taken aback”. China could
emerge ahead of all the Asian Giants: Japan, Korea, Singapore etc. There is no
definite consensus among financial matters analysts and scholars about the role
of that era in the outcomes observed today: while some believe that the
‘foundation’ for the recent performance was laid during the communist era,
others see those decades as lost decades for China. This paper will explore avenues whether
African nation is the “Next Wonder” like China in the global economic growth
story to emerge from a near basket case to become the largest economy in the
world by 2050 ahead of Korea, Italy, Canada, etc? The issue therefore is not
whether Africa has the potentials to be the ‘next surprise’ as China, The key
area of emphasis is building and exploiting the networks of the African elites
in Diaspora. A careful disaggregation of the ethnic origins of Foreign Direct Investment
flows might show that Asian-Japanese, Chinese, etc., still invest mostly in
Asian countries; while Americans and Europeans mostly invest among themselves.
It is not surprising that African countries receive much less FDI than would be
predicted by the fundamentals of their economy, whereas other countries in
other regions receive much more even when they reform less. It is estimated
that about 50 percent of the FDI into China in recent decades came mostly from
the ethnic Chinese in Diaspora. In the same vein, Israel is said to receive
most of its FDI and assistance from Jews all over the world. The ethnic
Diaspora not only remits money remittances and FDI, but also provides a
veritable source of skilled manpower and technology transfer. They also provide
the ready networks for opening markets for trade abroad. It may not be
inappropriate to also surmise that at least 40 percent of Africa’s most
talented and skilled manpower reside outside of the region the brain drain.
Nigeria alone is said to have about 17 million elites abroad of which over
10,000medical doctors live in the USA. The real tragedy is that Africa runs the
risk of being perhaps the only region of the world that may not benefit over
time from the continued growth and development impact of the Diaspora. For example,
wherever you go, ethnic Chinese, still speak their native language even after
several generations of settlement in the place. Indeed, the China immigrants here
in Malaysia have forced them to literally adopt Chinese language as its medium
of instruction in Chinese schools. In the case of Africa, the pressure to adapt
and be ‘accepted’ in the West forces them into extreme forms of self- rejection
brain draining. The impact of this phenomenon is that the children and perhaps
future generations of the current generation of Diaspora would not be able to
speak the language of their parents, would not know much about the culture and
traditions, and hence would never have any attachments to Africa.


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