Newswise — Dimy Doresca is the executive director of the Institute for International Business at the University of Iowa’s Tippie College of Business, and a native of Haiti. He says that nothing will improve in his homeland until Haitians themselves take control of their own destiny and find their own solutions to their problems.

He said Haitians have to break free from foreign governments and international aid agencies that provide resources and aid, but only with strings attached. He said those organizations have infantilized the Haitian people and made them dependent on international aid.

“Where is the Haiti of 1804 that defeated Napoleon’s army with nothing and took control of their own destiny?” he said of the year of Haiti’s revolution. “There are too many enablers in the international community who want to create dependency in Haiti. Haitians need to say, no more.”

Doresca grew up in the southern Haitian town of Les Cayes, graduating from high school and coming to the United States to attend college in Iowa and Washington, DC. He returned home after graduating from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in 2002 and worked for the country’s Ministry of Finance and a private investment bank. He came back to Iowa permanently in 2005 to escape the turmoil following the overthrow of President Jean Bertrand Aristide.

He’s visited his homeland frequently over the years, working to develop the country’s economy through international business development, improving its educational system, and advocating for government with integrity. He hasn’t returned since 2019, though, as the COVID-19 pandemic and now unchecked violence have kept him home.

To improve their country, Doresca said the Haitians’ first step must be to demand a government of responsibility and integrity that prioritizes rebuilding the country’s shattered school system that hasn’t been able to offer regular classes since 2019; provide stability so people can earn a living; and partner with the Haitian diaspora that lives outside the country.

Always an optimist, he believes that will happen because the country’s intelligentsia that has fled the country will come streaming back to help rebuild their homeland when stability and responsible government are in place.