Blueprints for Africa:
Diaspora Engagement and Beyond Remittances

Thursday, March 23, 10:55 AM - 12:10 PM PST

Session Description

What does the implementation progres of the UN SDGs look like on the continent? How have specific SDGs been addressed in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic? Agenda 2063 was conceived as a plan for the development trajectory of Africa over 50 years. Ten years into the plan, what aspirations for the future are on track, and what adaptations are being made in the implementation of its development agenda? This fireside chat reflects on the implementation plans of both blueprints in their first ten years and explores the necessary key activities and strategies needed for Africa’s economic and social transformation.
  • What does the progression and implementation of AU Agenda 2063 look like in its first ten years?
  • What aspirations are on track and what adaptations have been made since the pandemic? 
  • What is the role of the diaspora in innovating and supporting sustainable economic development and COVID-recovery on the continent?
This panel builds upon African Diaspora Network’s nationwide knowledge-sharing series on diaspora engagement. In December 2022, ADN and the U.S. Department of State partnered to host a high-level working lunch on “Beyond Remittances” as a part of the U.S. Africa Leaders Summit in Washington, D.C. ADN also partnered with the the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and the African Union Commission to host the United States General Assembly Side Event, “Innovative approaches to integrate the diaspora in accelerating Africa’s economic recovery post COVID-19,” in New York City in September 2022. This robust dialogue continues in Silicon Valley to kick off the eighth annual African Diaspora Investment Symposium.


Sid Mofya

Executive Director, Draper Venture Network

Sid Mofya is the Executive Director of the Draper Venture Network, a global consortium of 20 venture capital firms investing in early-stage technologies across the globe. In this capacity, he serves as an advisor to firms that invest in technology companies across the globe. He also co-founded DVN’s Draper Round Table – a platform for aggregating capital for co-investment into top Web 3 companies from the Draper Network’s global portfolio. A Zambian native, Sid Mofya’s previous work includes strategy, finance, and operations roles with Pricewaterhouse Coopers, Royal Dutch Shell, and the UK Ministry of Justice. He is a member of the Kauffman Fellows, one of the premier investment networks in the world.


Almaz Negash

Founder and Executive Director, African Diaspora Network

Almaz Negash is a recognized thought leader and sought-after expert on entrepreneurship, innovation, and investment for international markets, especially high growth African and Diaspora. Leveraging 25 plus years of experience in international trade, business management, and social innovation, Negash is able to build successful partnerships with a variety of stakeholders, including Fortune 500 companies, academic institutions, investors and entrepreneurs based in the USA and around the world. As a result, she is named as one of the 100 outstanding Silicon Valley Women of Influence for her work in social innovation. In 2010, Almaz founded African Diaspora Network (ADN) to inform and engage Africans in the diaspora and facilitate direct collaboration with social entrepreneurs, innovators, and business leaders to invest and improve the lives of everyone on the continent.

Stella Opoku-Owusu

Co-Executive Director, AFFORD

Stella has over 20 years’ experience in the development sector at community, national and international levels, working with diaspora communities. She has extensive experience and knowledge of diaspora, migration and development, in policy and practice. Stella is responsible for overseeing AFFORD’s work on Diaspora Investment, Enterprise and Employment. She also oversees AFFORD’s engagement with Diaspora & Migrants, Network Building and Training. She was nominated Co-Chair for the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD – Quito) Civil Society Day 2019. Stella has provided expertise to governments on diaspora engagement policy through consultancy, training programmes and speaking engagements. In 2022, she was selected as a Steering Committee member of the UN’s Migration Multi-Partnership Trust Fund.

Dr. Martin Russell

Founder, Global Diaspora Insights

Martin completed his PhD at the Clinton Institute (University College Dublin), where his research focused on strategic diaspora engagement in areas such as diaspora media, diaspora philanthropy, and diaspora politics. He is the founder of Global Diaspora Insights, which provides advisory, research, policy, and training on diaspora engagement through its in-house expertise and network of global experts. He was also a visiting fellow at the United Nations University in Maastricht and currently sits on the Advisory Board of Ireland Reaching Out, which is a volunteer-based, non-profit initiative that connects people of Irish heritage with their place of origin in Ireland. He is also an advisor at The Networking Institute, and in collaboration with colleagues at the Institute, he has worked in approximately 30 countries on diaspora engagement.

Prof. Kevin Chika URAMA, FAAS

Acting Chief Economists/Vice President for Economic Governance & Knowledge Management, African Development Bank Group

Kevin Chika URAMA, FAAS is currently the Acting Chief Economists/Vice President for Economic Governance & Knowledge Management, African Development Bank Group. He is also the Senior Director of the African Development Institute at the African Development Bank Group, responsible for shaping and leading the bank-wide capacity development in the Regional Member Countries (RMCs) to accelerate delivery of the High 5 priorities of the Bank, the 2030 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Agenda 2063. Prof. Urama is an elected Fellow of the African Academy of Sciences (AAS); a Distinguished. Professor of the University of Nigeria; an Extra-Ordinary Professor in the School of Public Leadership, Stellenbosch University, South Africa; an Adjunct Professor at the Sir Walter Murdoch School of Public Policy and International Affairs, Murdoch University, Western Australia, and an Expert Partner of the Africa Progress Group Chaired by Former President Olusegun Obasanjo.