The importance of the African Diaspora to African development has attained prominence in contemporary discourse based on the consciousness that Africa, derogatorily referred to as the black continent, must free itself from the shackles imposed by the slave trade, colonialism and now neo-colonialism in a bid to assume a rightful pride of place in the world political hegemony. The ascending importance of the African Diaspora to Africa is underscored by the active efforts of the African Union (AU) to designate the African Diaspora as partners in development. In 2005, the African Union convened a meeting of experts on the definition of the African Diaspora and accordingly, the African Union describes the concept of the African Diaspora to encompass three categories of people, namely:

The peoples of African origin whose ancestors within historical memory came from Africa, but who are currently domiciled in other countries outside the continent and claim citizenship of those countries;

The Africans who, for various reasons, have settled outside the continent, whether or not they have kept the citizenship of an African country; and

Within the context of those described above, the Diaspora also includes the peoples of African descent and heritage living outside the continent, irrespective of their citizenship and who remain committed to contribute to the development of the continent and the building of the African Union. 1

In the same vein, Mwagiru suggests that the African Diaspora consists of two groups of people. The first group, which he termed as the “historical Diaspora” consists of those black people who were taken into slavery ending up in the Americas, Caribbean and other places, while the second group consists of contemporary Africans who have dispersed outside their home countries within the last sixty years. 2 Hence, Araia asserts that the African Diaspora is not monolithic, but rather, consists of a diverse, multifaceted and multigenerational demographic spanning every continent and socio-economic status. 3