Franco Bonghan has said that Africans in the diaspora should be leading investors at home.
Franco who is the founder of Bright Light Projects has been involved in charity programs across Cameroon, Sierra Leone, Guinea Conakry and Nigeria for over a decade.
He said that living the development of the continent in hands of politicians and non africans alone will make coming home unthinkable for those in the diaspora.
Franco, whose Bright Light Projects recently started a Village Savings and Loan program (VSLA) in Sierra Leone by laying foundation for financial literacy in poor rural communities often deprived by mainstream banking institutions.. They are often taken advantage of with punishable high interest rates by mainstream microfinance institutions.
“Most people in Africa think about the moment, but we must think about the future, understanding that the building block is today”
“Years back, we started the Girls Shall Rise program, where vulnerable girls from the streets and broken communities are transformed into serial entrepreneurs through skills training in Cameroon and Sierra Leone. Africa needs a Hand Up, and not a Handout. Skills training is our best bet at uplifting the masses from abject poverty. We must think long term in building sustainable patterns for future generations of African”
“Some of those girls have their own business now, they have employed others while the other group are being productive working for others”
“Today rural women are involved in financial literacy programs through our Village BLP Savings and Loan Association and by tomorrow when you see them making smart financial decisions you’ll wonder where that is coming from”, he said.
Franco, who is a Real Estate Coach, and Broker in Houston Texas, USA, said that diasporans don’t only have to do charity to mark their relevance in Africa.
He said that people travel to gain experience which is in turn used to solve problems, adding that some of them in the diaspora have what it takes to bring in technologies that will change Agriculture, education and other sectors in Africa.
“I understand we also need government policies and other conditions to have these things running, but I believe that our interest to invest at home will force their hands into making these polices viable”
“We need to look at the big picture by creating communities where our children born in Europe and America can be comfortable to travel to as their homes. Africans in the diaspora take vacations to everywhere else but to Africa and for this narrative to change, it takes a shift in our collective perceptions about Africa, from difficulties to possibilities’, he concluded.
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