Baltimore, USA, December 18, 2018
The African Union Representational Mission to the USA, under the leadership of H.E. Amb. Dr. Arikana Chihombori Quao marked the ceremony of the African Diaspora retreat. The AU Mission to the USA held its 1st crucial step in calling on all people of African Descent in the diaspora, to come together under a single platform for the development of the continent. In light of the Union’s Agenda 2063, the retreat aims to mobilize its citizens in different formations, effective communication, and outreach as well as sustained and inclusive social dialogue among its people.
As a result of growing mobilization of the African Diaspora in the US, the AU Mission to the USA had strategically, for the last 2 years, brought together its citizens into a platform that comprises of three pillar Pan African programs. The Pan African Women Association (PADWA), Pan African Youth Association (PADYA) and Pan African Diaspora Men Association (PADMA) are the necessary vehicles to mainstreaming Diaspora participation in the Union’s agenda across comprehensive sectors.
On her opening remark, H.E. Amb. Dr. Arikana Chihombori Quao welcomed and thanked all participants for attending the retreat which she said was timely and pertinent in AU’s pursuit of strategic areas of intervention towards contributing to the realization of the overall Agenda 2063’s priority goals. “The brain drain out of Africa in the past decade, has left a capacity void that is keeping African Countries from taking Africa to its rightful place on the world stage,” said Dr. Arikana Chihombori-Quao.
Furthermore, H.E. Dr. Arikana acknowledged the importance of developing an updated African Diaspora Database as an effective instrument that mobilizes and supports Africa’s development and its adoption of common position on key issues. She also presented the timely African Union African Diaspora Center of Excellence (WAKANDA ONE) and its role to achieve the Agenda’s 2063 aspirations by serving as a growth pole for each African region. H.E. Dr. Arikana also noted the need to launch the Diaspora Savings and Investment Account for enabling participation of Diaspora in effective collaboration between Diaspora, Civil Society Organizations and other bodies on the continent.
The Retreat adopted the Constitutive Act of the African Union Diaspora 6th Region Network, and its voluntary representatives in the 12 regions in the Americas as breakthrough in developing and maintaining constructive and productive institutional relationships between the continent and the rest of the world. It is why the AU’s Mission spares no efforts to involve the diaspora to work in partnership frameworks and the wide range of policy activities including the Flagship Agenda 2063.
Attending the retreat are representatives from the AU Missions in New York, Brussels and Geneva as well as the different AU Diaspora Chapters in the US. More than 150 participants attended the one-day retreat including different representatives from Canada and Europe. The African Union Representational Mission to the USA has provided both technical and logistical support for the Retreat.