We hosted a Q&A with Annette Abena, founder of the Diaspora talks podcast, where we discussed COVID-19 and its impact on Ghana and Africa, diaspora engagement and start-ups in Ghana. Annette gave us some amazing insights into these topics and there were a lot of fantastic ideas shared. We also had a great discussion through the audience participation in the comments, with questions such as how do we draw the line between investment and gentrification by the diaspora? And is it important to be fluent in a Ghanaian language to relocate to Ghana?
When discussing Ghana lifting some of the lockdown restrictions after 3 weeks, Annette highlighted the existence of the informal sector and the high unemployment rate in Ghana, in order for us to understand how the lockdown affects those back home differently. She also encouraged us to talk to people back home to understand how the lockdown is different over there.
On the topic of how those of us in the diaspora can engage with things back home, Annette encouraged us to get engaged through speaking to people and networking. A key thing that Annette emphasised was who should encourage us? If you want to travel to Ghana outside of Christmas season, then do it!
Those who want to start a business back home were encouraged to do their research. Annette has also shared a blog post recently on steps that African businesses can take to connect with the diaspora and the first point addressed transparency. This is something that Annette encourages on her podcast through interviews so that others can share their stories more, to provide authentic views. She also recommended that those who would like an insight into doing business in Ghana should listen to her interview with Stephanie Adu on her podcast. It was also suggested that those who would like to invest back home should check out WEKA Invest.
As promised, here are the links to some of the content mentioned in the live.
Newsletters/ publications for Africa business news:
Annette's newsletter Tech Point Africa
Quartz The Flip Baobab Insights The Small Chops It's a Continent Botho Group
Diaspora groups/ communities:
Project 1957 Ghana Start-up Network Future of Ghana I am the 139 Panafrolink Lingua54
This is not an exhaustive list, but Annette will be happy to speak to anyone further if they contact her.
We really enjoyed talking to Annette! You can keep up to date with her content via her podcast (available on Apple Podcast and Spotify), newsletter and blog. Make sure you follow her on her social media too, to keep up with her content @ Annette Abena on Instagram and Twitter.