Somalilandsun- Recent academic discussion as well as political and popular debates have increasingly centered on the growth of economic inequality both within and between national economies. Credit Suisse now reports that 50% of the world’s wealth is in the hands of 1% of its population, a group of ultra-wealthy mostly concentrated in the US, China and the UK. More generally, while there were for a time hopeful reports based on a “convergence” thesis of global economic development, the share of wealth in already- wealthy countries has increased since the 2008 financial crisis. Over these same years, international development discourses have begun to focus on the role and effectiveness of diaspora groups in redistributing wealth and driving economic development in their countries of origin, advocating for remittances and diaspora investment as an alternative to government aid or other types of foreign aid.
This is according to Daniel K. Thompson Ph.D. Candidate, Emory University Department of Anthropology Visiting Researcher, Jigjiga University College of Social Sciences and Humanities in a paper titled Diaspora Return, Economic Growth and Inequality in Eastern Ethiopia and Somaliland: Redistribution or Reinscription?
This paper offers a preliminary assessment of the dynamics of diaspora economic involvement in Ethiopia and Somaliland and the potential avenues through which diaspora investment may work to redistribute wealth or to bring new dynamics of inequality to local settings—or whether diaspora return may be to some extent more a side effect of global inequality than a potential avenue to combat it. It draws on data from an ongoing study of the economic impact of diaspora return to Jigjiga, Ethiopia, and compares some preliminary results with secondary data from Hargeisa and other locations to develop a better understanding of the promises and pitfalls of diaspora finance.
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