Press Release : Sandton, South Africa, will witness the greatest gathering of African Presidents, Presidents from Caribbean nations as well as Presidents from South America with sizable population of Afro-descendants, in a first ever extraordinary Global African Diaspora Summit, taking place on May 25, Africa’s Day. Preparations are already at an advanced stage for the summit to receive African Diaspora leaders from all over the world.
His Excellency Dr. Jean Ping, Chairperson, African Union Commission
It would be recalled that on Tuesday, January 31, 2012, African Union leaders meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, affirmed the date of the Summit, and asked the African Union Commission and South Africa to collaborate for a successful diaspora summit. They requested the AU Commission to consider and prepare a framework document on the representation of the African Diaspora in AU structures and processes.
Meanwhile, the leaders called on member states, AU partners and the Diaspora communities worldwide to support the summit and its implementation strategy. The summit would help build a solid foundation for reviving the African family across the world to give impetus to the renaissance of the continent, said the leaders.
The objectives of the summit are to strengthen the commitment, particularly on the part of governments – in Africa and in countries with substantial African populations – to structured relationships between Africa and its Diaspora, define key goals and identify specific projects to which collective African efforts, governmental and non-governmental, will be directed; chart a way forward in institutionalizing processes of global African cooperation, dialogue, planning and implementation of strategies and projects; and set up mechanisms that would ensure the follow-up actions required to implement the decisions taken at the summit.
The 17thOrdinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union took a significant and dramatic step by deciding to convene the Global African Diaspora Summit on African Day on 25 May 2012 in South African on the Global African Diaspora Process. The decision marked the climax of a protracted consultation process between the African continent and its Diaspora on the goal, content, objectives and implementation strategy of the Diaspora process. The Decision facilitated the convening of a Ministerial meeting in New York on 24 September 2011 to review the outcomes of a previous Technical Experts meeting as well as the Summit documents of 2007 and consolidate them into a Draft Declaration, Program of Action and Implementation Strategy for the consideration of the leaders of Africa and its Diaspora in the Summit of May 2012. The consolidated outcome documents would then serve as a basic law guiding the program and its effective implementation.
The First Extra-Extra Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in January 2003 adopted a Protocol on Amendment to the Constitutive Act which invited the African Diaspora to participate in the building and development of the Union and the continent as a symoblic 6th Region of Africa.According to the Deputy Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Ambassador Erastus Mwencha, speaking during the AU/Black Mayors meeting in New York, “Our expectation is that the Global Diaspora Summit would come out with a Magna Carta or fundamental law for the Diaspora Program but the real task would begin immediately after in the implementation of its outcomes and legacy projects for development. Thus the Outcome document that our leaders will adopt will come back to us as a framework for implementation. That implementation effort will require mass mobilization to enable its achievement and your role as the first base of the elected African leadership within the African Diaspora within the United States will place you at the vanguard of these efforts.”
And according to Dr. Jinmi Adisa, Director of the Citizens and Diasporate Directorate of the African Union Commission, who said that “the Diaspora project was designed to rebuild the global African family,” and referring to the Deputy Chairperson’s remark about the “Magna Carta or fundamental law,” mentioned some legacy projects that would be undertaken after the Summit, including but not limited to, African Institute of Remittances, the African Diaspora Volunteer Corps, and a Diaspora Market Place.
The Chairman of the African Union, Benin’s President Yayi Boni, who was elected last January, 2012, will chair the event.
Press Release by African Union Commission
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