A new Pan-Africanism: Diaspora African transnational entrepreneurs and philanthropy between Ghana and Atlanta, USA

2008 2008

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Abstract (summary)

It has been argued that African immigrants in the US remain generally divided from their Black American counterparts regarding issues of racial, economic, and political solidarity in the US. Multi-sited research reveals that this prevailing view concerning the lack of communication between Africans and Black Americans is over emphasize in the literature. Focusing on entrepreneurs, consumers, and small-businesses in Atlanta, Georgia and several cities in Ghana; this study examines explore and understand the growing economic linkages that exist between Black American and Ghanaian communities. The study specifically examines small to medium scale businesses that Black Americans, otherwise known as Diaspora Africans, start, which are dependent upon Ghana and US transnational relationships. These relationships are an increasingly common phenomenon in the globalizing city of Atlanta and they are also common in other American cities with large African and Black American populations.

Diaspora African transnational entrepreneurs are investing their hard earned cash, taking advantage of new business opportunities, and becoming more involved in the Ghana‘s economic development. For Diaspora Africans living in Ghana and engaged in transnational entrepreneurship, their enterprising interests require them to become cultural and economic brokers in order to conduct business across multiple nation-states. Identity formation and social capital becomes critical in understanding how Diaspora African entrepreneurs navigate through transnational social fields. This study sheds light on the active involvement of African and Black American populations in transnational economies as well as reveals their role in forging new diaspora communities, identities, and modes of Pan-Africanism.

Pursuing a profit is the ultimate objective for many Diaspora African entrepreneurs. Nevertheless, aspects of their business organization exist to fulfill a larger social purpose, blurring the distinction between the for-profit and nonprofit business worlds. A new 21st century Pan-Africanism calls attention to networks of mutual aid and support between African and African descendant populations from around the world. While many Diaspora African entrepreneurs support a Pan-African agenda, there are some aspects of their business organization, such as the vertically integrated enterprises, that contradict this endeavor. In order to make a profit some Diaspora Africans have sought to impose their own ideology of post colonial development based on the premise of economic self-determination. The complex nature of their business networks and collaborations with numerous entities, including multinational corporations, religious groups, and non-profit organizations, may develop into a form of Black economic neo-colonialism in Africa. This study uncovers new insights into the complexities of these transnational relationships.

Indexing (details)

Black studies;
Cultural anthropology
0325: Black studies
0326: Cultural anthropology
Identifier / keyword
Social sciences; African diaspora; Atlanta; Georgia; Ghana; Philanthropy; Transnational entrepreneurs; United States of America
A new Pan-Africanism: Diaspora African transnational entrepreneurs and philanthropy between Ghana and Atlanta, USA
Edwards, Michelle LeAnne
Number of pages
Publication year
Degree date
School code
DAI-A 70/02, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
Chalfin, Brenda
University of Florida
University location
United States -- Florida
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Document type
Dissertation/thesis number
ProQuest document ID
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
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