Former Speaker of the National Assembly, Fatoumata Jahumpa-Ceesay, has been awarded one of the 2019 Heroines of the Year by the Netherlands-based The Voice magazine and the Stitchting Paddi Europa organisation.
The former APRC bigwig and renowned socialite was given the award on November 23 at a ceremony in Amsterdam. The Voice is the first pan-African news magazine published in English in the European country. The award was part of activities marking the 20th anniversary of the magazine.
In her acceptance speech, Mrs Jahumpa-Ceesay who is a well-heeled international consultant, spoke on Africans in the diaspora to get engaged with the revitalisation of the continent.
She said Africans in the diaspora are key integers in moving the continent forward. Citing World Bank sources, she noted that remittance flows to sub-Saharan Africa reached US$46 billion last year.
“We must collectively challenge our various African governments to take better care of their citizens home as well as abroad. Governments should look at people as strategic assets that must be recognised and factored in,” the former journalist posited.
On the impact of international migration on the continent, Mrs Jahumpa Ceesay argued that Africa has lost most of its trained personnel and “creating shortage of human capital”.
She said the African diaspora should emulate other successful diasporas that have contributed to the development of their homeland, singling out the Jewish diaspora which has worked on behalf of Israel from 1948.
She said a system must be established “to capture academic engagement of the diaspora” and governments harness it for improvement and value addition to the continent’s growth.