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Harnessing Africa's Brain Drain and Disaspora for its development in the Nepad-United Kingdom and French Partnership

Final Activity Report Summary - AFROBRAIN (Harnessing Africa's brain drain and diaspora for its develoment in the Nepad-United Kingdom and French partnership)

AFROBRAIN had three components: Research, training and dialogue (including networking). A lot has been achieved in research. Assessment was made of African organisations, in particular 'Regional economic communities' (RECs), the African Union and NEPAD. Research progressed well, though slowly as it was initially difficult to convince African organisations and countries about the importance of the project to their work.

Accomplished are:
(i) research on African organisations which are found to be doing relatively little on migration even as they recognise the centrality of the African Diaspora in Africa's development;
(ii) research on Skilled immigrants' attitudes to their situation in the United Kingdom; and research back in East Africa on homeland perceptions of and attitudes towards the Diaspora.

The last two research endeavours balance out African international migration in Euro-African relations. Training focused on some upgrade assessment and partial supervision (when students were advised by their substantive supervisors to see me) and teaching MA course Islam in Contemporary Societies, with focus on Islam as a social movement in Africa and issues pertaining to Muslim refugees in the region. Dialogue saw my participation in three seminar presentations (on Kenya's post-2007 election violence, President Obama's Kenyan roots and what it portends for Africa and preliminary results of my UK research; organisation of the "Conference on African transnational and return migration", which drew participants from Africa, Latin America and Europe; and convening of an "Expert meeting on African migration in Euro-African interrelations", whose participants were from Europe and Africa. Thus, the three components of the project were achieved.

At the invitation of conference organisers, I also participated in many migration meetings in Europe, Africa and the United States, which broad eyed my network with like-minded researchers across the globe. I published articles and book chapters with far reaching implications on the project. The research component ends with a book project for publication of an edited book, The Role of the African Diaspora in Homeland Development, which will contain some of the conference papers; other papers have been accepted for publication in a 2011 special issue of the Journal for Intercultural Studies (Australia).