Monday, 18 June 2012

Africa Day, Africa Liberation Day, Global Diaspora Summit Primer

May 25 is supposed to be an important date within the global African calendar. But what do we know about its significance? Here is a bite-sized primer culled from various sources to give you an overview of the key points.

May 25 is known as Africa Day or Africa Liberation Day (ALD). Its importance is likely to be even more important in the light of the fact that the door has been opened for diasporic African-led countries to join the 54 nation African Union, following Haiti's move from observer nation status to full membership applicant. Haiti may be some 5000 miles from the African continent, but it holds a pre-eminent position within global African history, in that in 1804, it became the first African led independent nation following a 12 year revolution against several European imperial powers.

It is Africa Day on May 25, marking the 1963 founding of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), now known as the African Union (AU). On that day, leaders of 30 of the 32 independent African states signed a founding charter in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. In 1991, the OAU established the African Economic Community, and in 2002 the OAU established its own successor, the African Union.
The name and date of Africa Day has been retained as a celebration of African unity. This year’s theme of Africa Day is “Africa and the Diaspora.” Africa Day is observed as a public holiday in only three African countries; Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe. However, celebrations are held in some African countries, as well as by Africans in the diaspora.

Africa Day 2012 coincides with the Global Diaspora Summit which is slated to take place in South Africa on 25 May. The summit comes at a time when many African leaders face harsh economic and social challenges. Citizens continue to leave their countries in search of a better life and almost fifty years after the first African Liberation Day, Africans are still not at peace in their own countries. Click to read the full 'Africa Day and the hidden treasures outside the continent' article.

Perhaps it's not by accident that Haiti has applied for full African Union membership.  And the Global Diaspora Summit is the acceptance of drawing the African diaspora closer to the mother continent. This was made plain in the speeches and comments made during the Summit in South Africa, which drew a wide constituency from the diaspora - click here to read the Report Of The African Union Diaspora Conference.

You may want to check out David L Horne's The global activities surrounding the African Diaspora Summit in South Africa - A People's Report, which uses a What, When, Where and Significance format.

Before I go any further, I must give thanks to Tony Tafari Thomas of the Rastafari Global Council for some of the links highlighted below. This starts with Tony's own piece published earlier on this blog, followed by a fantastic, almost poetic speech by the then South African President Thambo Mbeki. And just in case, you are tired of reading, there are a few more videos to take further the global African notion of solidarity with diasporic Africa.

'I Am African' speech by Thabo Mbeki

As an aside, I'd like to point 'I Am An African' an edu-tainment track Akoben Awards/Music2Causes created with rapper Kimba. This video with moi talking about Music4Causes includes Kimba dropping some rhymes from 'I Am An African', etc.

The African Union Global African Diaspora Summit took place on May 25th in South Africa. It was the first diaspora summit and was attended by representatives of African, Caribbean and South American states and representatives from CARICOM. African-Americans were represented by former mayor of New York David Dinkins. The summit ended with the formulation and commitment to a programme of action and 5 key proposals.  Click to read the full Overview of African Union Global African Diaspora Summit report written by Tony Tafari Thomas on behalf of Rastafari Global Council.

Global African Diaspora Summit In South Africa 2012 news item

Global African Diaspora Summit In South Africa 2012 President Jacob Zuma speech

Global African Diaspora Summit In South Africa 2012 by British blogger Niaomi Sesay

Global African Diaspora Summit In South Africa 2012 Rev. Dr Marcia O. Stewart aka Queen Mother Moses of Almighty Rastafari Kingdom

Global African Diaspora Summit In South Africa 2012 comments by Ugandan Minister of Foreign Affairs Henry Oryem

For details of World Afrikan Diaspora Union Summit - Organizing the Power of the African Diaspora, which takes place in Washington DC on July 20-21 2012, click here.

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