Transnational Political Engagement of African Diaspora Communities

Diasporas influencing policy and politics in country of residence and origin

Conducted by Dr Anthony Otieno Ong'ayo, this project examines how diaspora communities have organized themselves between various countries of residence in order to influence local policies.

The research takes place on both local and national governmental levels in the four biggest and three smaller cities in the Netherlands. The research analyses the local and national government levels in the countries of origin in Africa.

The research is based on the ideas of the influence of the diasporas on policy and politics in the country of residence and of origin. It also takes into account the exchange of culture between the diasporas, community in the country of residence and origin and the concept of social change driven by individual and collective action.

The diaspora transnational networks are predominantly urban and have become more vibrant and diverse as a result of rapid communication developments. Less is known about their political engagement in countries of residence and origin and the kind of influences they generate through these transnational practices.

On the basis of the research findings an analysis will be made of the potential of diaspora associations to act as agents of civic-driven change at different levels and in different polities.


The relevance of this research is that diaspora engagement initiatives and remittances (socio-political) offers a critical contribution to social transformation in the countries of residence and origin.

Vital Cities and Citizens

This project is part of Erasmus Initiative Vital Cities and Citizens (VCC). With this initiative the Erasmus University Rotterdam wants to help improve the quality of life in cities.

In vital cities, the population can achieve their life goals through education, useful work and participation in public life. The vital city is a platform for creativity and diversity, a safe meeting place for different social groups.

The research has three themes: 

  • migration and diversity
  • safety and resilience
  • culture and creativity
Vital Cities and Citizens