Mogadishu- Somalia (PANA) -- Somali academics here agree there is a need to get the African Diaspora involved in the African Union (AU) programmes, but opine that a lot still has to be done to build confidence between the two parties.
Reacting to the Senegalese proposal to tap into the Diaspora for Africa's development, Dr.
Hussein Ali, former lecturer of Somali National University, said the issue was of "utmost importance and deserves to be well-thought-out" at the forthcoming summit of African leaders in Maputo, Mozambique.
He said although the African Diaspora has, of late, not shown any significant attempt to co-operate with their origins, the bulk of educated Africans living outside the continent still needed to be encouraged to play their roles in the development process.
"Black Americans are very educated compared to other Blacks around the world, but still they are not playing a big role in the development of Africa," he regretted.
Somalis feel a special concern for the Diaspora because many Somalis already live abroad, and have assumed foreign nationalities.
Ali also said African leaders' poor conduct of the socio-economic and political development of their countries was a disincentive to attracting participation of the Diaspora in Africa's growth.
"African leaders should be serious in development matters, because no one can waste time helping countries whose leaders are the looters of the natural resources and donations for their countries from the international community," Ali pointed out.
Mariam Mohamud of Hamar University wants the African Diaspora to be represented in the AU, "because this would help bring them closer to the problems of their origin.
" "What's happening today is that there is not enough communication between Africans in Africa and those living abroad.
If this issue of communication is improved, changes will be seen," Mohamud asserts.
The two Somali academics believe that the African Diaspora can play a considerable role in development on the continent if they are made to recognise that their skills are most needed by their kith and kin at home.
Student Mohamed Mohamud of Imam Shafi secondary school here chided the behaviour of giving more respect to foreign experts, which, he said, discourages African experts in offering their expertise to the continent.
The Somalis said all eyes would be on the heads of state summit in Maputo for their reaction to this crucial issue, which could provide Africa a way out from its under-development and poverty.