The Untapped Power of the Somali Diaspora
Women and children from southern Somalia receive cooked food at a distribution center in Mogadishu, Somalia, Aug. 25, 2011. [AP Photo]

About the Author: Donald Y. Yamamoto serves as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs.

With famine spreading across the Horn of Africa, the Somali-American diaspora isn’t just watching the images fan across the television, they’re organizing themselves into action. More than 100,000 Somali-Americans reside in the United States and their deep communal ties to relatives in Somalia are the foundation of their giving. The United States recognizes that this positive force of giving can help shape the political trajectory of Somalia, which is why the State Department’s Africa Bureau has been nurturing relationships with diaspora communities in Seattle, Washington; Minneapolis, Minnesota; and Columbus, Ohio. For the past two years, I have traveled and met with Somali elders, youth, academic experts,… more »

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