For the first time ever, young men and women from various African countries met with their counterparts from the Diaspora, or people of African descent, at the African Diaspora Young Leaders (ADYL) Summit, in Washington DC.
More than three hundred youth got together on August 3, 2018, for the one-day Summit, whose theme was Connecting Leaders Across Africa and the Diaspora.
The Summit was organized by the AU Mission, US State Department, the African Development Foundation, and the Constituency for Africa.
The meeting, in the form of panel discussions, keynotes statements and question and answer sessions were robust, candid and interactive. They tackled issues such as the impact on the negative image of Africa, business leadership, relations between Africans on the continent and those in the Diaspora, and the role that sports and technology can play in driving growth, peace and unity.
Several youth participants were drawn from the Mandela, currently on a tour of various cities and institutions in the United States. The Fellowship is a U.S. Department of State-sponsored initiative for the continuation of Nelson Mandela's legacy of peace and service through leadership. It aims to empower young African leaders through academic coursework, leadership training, and networking opportunities. Other key speakers at the Summit were Sandra Appiah, CEO of Face2Face Africa; Nazreen Ali Mohamed, Co-founder of Cherehani Africa in Kenya and David West, NBA player of the Golden State Warriors.
AU Ambassador to Washington Ambassador Chihombori-Quao gave a brief account of the colonial history of Africa to which she attributed some of the challenges that Africans are faced with today. “Let us pay a lot of attention to how we Africans perceive and relate to each other. The geographical divide between Africans and those in the Diaspora would not draw us further apart. Let us strengthen our ties,” she told the packed venue at the Intercontinental Hotel.
The climax of the Summit was a networking Dinner and live band entertainment at the same venue, which was attended by African Ambassadors to the US and the new American Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Mr. Tibor Nagy. He said that joint efforts like this Summit are important milestones for working together to strengthen people-to-people relationships between Africans and Americans. Ambassador Nagy advised the young men and women to embrace the vast knowledge they had gained from the Summit. “I urge you to take what you learned today back to your home communities. Tell your family and friends about the people you met and the insights you shared. Draw from each other’s experience and expertise.” Said Ambassador Nagy.
The African Diaspora Young leaders Summit set the stage for ongoing dialogue about pertinent African issues, as well as offered collaboration between young Africans and their counterparts in the Diaspora.