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Inform, Engage, Act:
African Diaspora Network Activates Our Global Community

Dear Members and Friends of the African Diaspora Network,
For the past ten years, African Diaspora Network has informed and engaged thousands of Africans and friends of Africa in the areas of entrepreneurship, investment, innovation, and human capital development. In this critical moment, the global health crisis calls us to act. ADN is preparing to harness the knowledge and resources of our network members as we find innovative ways to address the challenge of COVID-19.
Over the past two months, ADN has pivoted to remote channels to host and participate in virtual meetings on the role of the Diaspora, health care, and women entrepreneurship with key partners, including Skoll Foundation and International Organization for Migration. In late April, ADN hosted the Impact & Innovation Forum: Healthcare Innovation and Investment, with Kedest Tesfagiorgis of Gates Foundation as moderator and Ndeye Makalou of Roche and myself as panelists. In our examination of global and local responses to the pandemic, it is clear that we must innovate across four key stages: controlling the spread of the virus, detection via testing and tracing, treatment, and prevention.
Many of you have been reaching out to activate the community and make an impact, and today we invite you to participate in our call to action. Take our survey as we assess interest and expertise in our collective effort to support the most vulnerable communities on the continent. This is your opportunity to inform and engage us as we prepare to activate our network of Africans, Diaspora, and friends of Africa. Based on the survey outcomes, we will develop a working group comprising policymakers, investors, entrepreneurs, innovators, and philanthropists to help us assess, prioritize, and outline immediate actions and goals with urgency not only to support the continents response to COVID-19 but also to ensure we don’t lose all of the on-going progress on maternal health, child mortality and many others.
Thank you, and we look forward to having you be a part of our efforts and these crucial conversations.
Joshua Ghaim, PhD
Founder and Managing Partner, Ignite Venture Studio
Co-Founder and CEO, Small World Brands
Board Member, African Diaspora Network
Learn more on the April 28 Impact & Innovation Forum on Healthcare

Take the ADN Healthcare Interest Survey

African Diaspora Network seeks to understand the landscape of professionals in healthcare and telemedicine and how to activate Africans, Diasporans, and friends of Africa as part of the continent’s ongoing response to COVID-19.  

We’ve heard from you over the past six weeks of convenings through the ADN Impact & Innovation Virtual Forums on the role of the diaspora as well as healthcare innovation and investment.
Now we’re looking to you to share your insights on how we as diasporans and friends of Africa can improve health care access and delivery and your interest in participating. Please take the survey to share your insights. This survey is for internal use. Names and contact information will not be shared publicly. We will be reaching out to interest participants individually.
Photo by CDC on Unsplash
Take the ADN Healthcare Interest Suvey

ADN Impact & Innovation Forums 2020

April 28: Healthcare Investment and Innovation in Africa

While COVID-19 has primarily affected the Global North since its emergence, epidemiological models suggest the outbreak may accelerate in Africa, presenting a particular threat given its health systems are less equipped than others. As governments and health authorities across the continent strive to limit widespread infections, scaling up investment is vital. As stated by African and European leaders in a recent joint article, “only a global victory that fully includes Africa can bring this pandemic to an end.”

Investing in developing and deploying innovations made for African contexts is a crucial part of a successful global response. African innovators across sectors are driving promising efforts. For instance, in Kenya, 3D printing companies are designing and producing personal protective equipment (PPE) and medical equipment to address shortages. Nigerian fashion designers are bringing glamour to masks to help raise awareness around social distancing. In Senegal, the Institute Pasteur in Dakar is partnering with the UK-based company Mologic to develop a faster, cheaper coronavirus test. Globally, scientists and innovators are collaborating at a landmark pace to develop new tools from vaccines and therapeutics to diagnostics and digital health applications – and it will be essential that these tools are created or adapted in ways that are suitable for different African settings. 

On April 28, ADN brought together members of the African diaspora to discuss existing and new potential ways to harness health and development innovation to support Africa’s response to COVID-19. While recognizing the widespread social and economic damage that COVID-19 has already caused, the session had a forward-looking focus on the opportunity to forge partnerships and support innovative solutions to save lives and support livelihoods across the African continent.Topics included the role of Africans in the diaspora to support innovative African companies responding to COVID-19, how to spur economic activity across the continent in light of social distancing measures and opportunities and challenges in the digital health and biopharmaceutical sectors. 

View the full recording of the April 28 ADN Impact & Innovation Forum

April 28 Event Summary + Notes
April 28 Zoom Recording

African Diaspora Network Global Engagement

Rethinking Investing in Women Entrepreneurs in Africa Post COVID-19: High Level Perspectives

On Thursday, April 30, Almaz Negash participated in a high-level panel on women entrepreneurship in Africa in the time of COVID-19, organized by SME.NG, The Funding Space, and Baobab Consulting. The panel focused on understanding the work of various organizations to address COVID-19 and professional insights on the impact of the global health crisis on Africa, particularly for women. The conversation concluded with policy recommendations to ensure continued support for women entrepreneurs in Africa, and actions that can be taken to support women entrepreneurs.

A Virtual Ideathon: African Diaspora Capital Formation, "Toward Building UN SDG Innovation/Education Cities in Africa"

Over the past ten years, African Diaspora Network has worked to harness diaspora social capital into a call to action. On May 5, Almaz Negash participated in a panel on social capital formation to catalyze UN SDG goal-keeping by setting audacious, city-building goals.

The African diaspora contributes about 60 Billion dollars in remittances to Africa every year; it is possible and urgent to restructure a portion of this capacity for sustainable vehicles of development finance.

According to an African Union report, if 1% of annual African migrant savings of USD33.7 Billion is invested in Africa, this will mean an inflow of USD337m. Furthermore, if 1% of the 40 million members of the African Diaspora in North America invests $1,000 in Africa, there will be an annual inflow of another USD400m. In this Covid-19 era we have the greatest opportunity to even double these projections in all categories. This demonstrates the viability of an innovative approach to unlock the sustainable development potential of pooled Diaspora Capital. The data is on our side... let’s get on with it.

Register Today for the May 6 Virtual Ideathon

April 22: Global Diaspora Virtual Exchange on Response to COVID-19

On April 22, African Diaspora Network partnered with International Organization for Migration to bring you the Global Diaspora Virtual Exchange in Response to COVID-19.

Diaspora groups are not only often the first to respond, but that their political, social, cultural and human capital coupled with their in-depth knowledge of the country, and familiarity with local languages, social, cultural, and religious norms, can lead to more targeted and tailor responses. This was recognized by the humanitarian community at the World Humanitarian Summit in 2016 which called for a more institutionalised way of incorporating actors such as diasporas in humanitarian responses.

The COVID-19 pandemic however is perhaps the first acute global crisis that most living today have ever experienced and thus these responses are being developed within an entirely unprecedented context that calls for new levels of coordination and collaboration. While specific diaspora communities may have experience in responding to similar emergencies in their countries of origin, lack of communication between diaspora communities and between diasporas and other public and private actors often results in interventions that do not account for previous experiences, lessons learned, and do not leverage possible partnerships, thus making the response less effective and more limited.
View the recording of the April 22 Global Diaspora Virtual Exchange

ADN Virtual Impact & Innovation Forums 2020

African Diaspora Network convenes Africans, diasporans, and friends of Africa from across sectors ranging from government to business to NGOs to academia in order to strengthen partnerships and to advance the development of the African continent. Throughout the year, ADN gathers at key national and international hubs of influence, including Silicon Valley, the center of innovation and entrepreneurship; New York; the center of finance; and Washington D.C., the center of diplomacy and policy.

The ADN Impact & Innovation Forums bring together leaders from the private and public sectors, policymakers, philanthropists, academia, and NGO to share ideas on ways to strengthen diaspora engagement. 

2020 Topics include 

  • Diaspora Social Capital
  • Innovating Entrepreneurship and Access to Healthcare
  • Finance Strategy and Human Capital Development in Africa
  • The Future of Education and Remote Learning in Africa

Online Resources During COVID-19

World Health Organization COVID-19 FAQs

WHO is continuously monitoring and responding to this outbreak. This Q&A will be updated as more is known about COVID-19, how it spreads and how it is affecting people worldwide. For more information, check back regularly on WHO’s coronavirus pages.

The Center for Disease Control & Prevention provides the latest updates on the pandemic response in the United States. Find guidance on symptoms, cases in the U.S., and recommended precautions for community health and well-being.
Support for U.S.-based Small Business: CARES Act
Qualifying U.S.-based small business owners can determine their eligibility for financial support through the CARES Act.
Free Virtual College Courses
Find 54 free online courses provided by top-ranked colleges in the United States, including Princeton University, Harvard University, and Columbia University. Topics include Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Technologies, Making Government Work in Hard Places, and Computer Science for Business Professionals. 
Virtual Learning Resources
Nordic countries have opened up their e-learning solutions to the world for free. Take a look at 40+ remote learning solutions from Estonia, Finland, Denmark, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, and Sweden that are welcome to help teachers and parents. 

Take the Online Amplifying Abundance in Africa MasterClass Series

Interested in learning more about African Diaspora Investment Symposium? Seeking professional development and learning opportunities remotely? ADN welcomes you to our online repository of workshop sessions from ADIS2019.

Are you an entrepreneur, business leader, investor, or public sector leader interested in the hottest trends on the Continent and in the Diaspora? Want to learn more about starting or scaling your business and/or investments?

Here’s your chance to dive deep into some of the hottest investment and development trends on the continent from thought leaders, business leaders, innovators, investors, entrepreneurs, philanthropists, academia, government, and NGO leaders from around the world.

Access the Amplifying Abundance in Africa Online MasterClass
African Diaspora Investment Symposium (ADIS) is an annual convening in Silicon Valley that celebrates and champions the entrepreneurial and innovative spirit of Africans in the Diaspora and friends of Africa.

Follow the footsteps of entrepreneurs, investors, and leaders who have walked the path of pursuing investments and opportunities in Africa through Investment Ecosystem and Entrepreneurship & Innovation Ecosystems.

Join African Diaspora Network Today

Be a part of our growing organization and become a member or support African Diaspora Network in one of the following ways:
  • Be an organizational sponsor and support the African Diaspora Network to bring together diverse people from around the world to collaborate and work together. 
  • Sponsor the 2021 African Diaspora Investment Symposium 
  • Support our efforts to scale the Builders of Africa’s Future program   
  • Be a member of the African Diaspora Network, a growing community of Africans and friends of Africa
  • Be a mentor for the upcoming Builders of Africa’s Future cohort  
  • Be a volunteer and support African Diaspora Network initiatives
Support African Diaspora Network

African Diaspora Investment Symposium Summary and Next Steps

African Diaspora Investment Symposium 2020 Highlights

African Diaspora Network is pleased to share a full summary and action report that highlights key takeaways and lessons learned during African Diaspora Investment Symposium 2020. Learn more about our fifth annual symposium theme, read our day-by-day summary, check out our photo gallery, and view our video recap. 

Read the #ADIS20 Summary and Action Report
African Diaspora Investment Symposium 2020 - Important Links

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