THE DIASPORA AS A CHANGE AGENT IN ENTREPRENEURSHIP-RELATED INSTITUTIONS IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA
Vol. Volume 18, Number 3 September/2013
Diaspora networks’ role in supporting and stimulating entrepreneurial activities in Sub-Saharan African (SSA) economies need hardly be elaborated. Some SSA countries, for instance, have established government agencies to encourage diasporas to help local communities, and provide policy advice. At the 2003 Extra-Ordinary Summit of the Assembly of Heads of State and Governments, the African Union (AU) amended Article Three of its Constitutive Act to invite and encourage African diaspora’s active participation. Institutional changes associated with diaspora networks, however, are a phenomenon that has been noted but poorly understood. This paper addresses a little examined intersection between the diaspora literature and the institutions literature. We examine the contexts, mechanisms and processes associated with diaspora networks’ roles as institutional change agents in the context of entrepreneurial behaviors in SSA economies. Our dependent variables are measures of changes in institutions associated with diaspora network. We have related our analysis mainly to the nature of the diaspora networks compared to other networks, characteristics of the environments in which diaspora networks are embedded in and operate, and some activities, mechanisms and modes that serve to transmit institutions from the host country to the homeland.
: Institutions, institutional change, diaspora networks, Sub-Saharan African, proximity, social remittances