World African Diaspora Union
AU & Diaspora Leaders Commit Rebuilding & Citizenship
NYC - September 22 2011. “What’s in your hand?” asserted Dr. Leonard ‘Kweku’ Jeffries as he welcomed the delegation of African Union and African Diaspora leaders to the historic Schomburg Research Center in Harlem. The delegation included His Excellency Dr. Jean Ping, Chair of the African Union, President Abdoulaye Wade of Senegal and other presidents and representatives of African governments. Dr. Jeffries opening remarks was an urgent reminder to African and African Diaspora leaders of the importance of taking control over the destiny of Africa and making Africa a powerful continent in the 21st century.
Dr. Jeffries declared to the hundreds gathered that the meeting is a continuation of the powerful tradition of great Pan African Harlem leaders such as WEB Dubois, Marcus Garvey, Adam Clayton Powell, Malcolm Omowale X, Kwame Nkrumah and John Henrik Clarke. As the Vice President of the World African Diaspora Union (WADU), Dr. Jeffries and other key leaders have been playing a major role in shaping an agenda to promote the cultural, economic and political integration of the African Diaspora with Africa. The meeting in Harlem was to continue to strengthen the African and African Diaspora commitment and partnerships for the rebuilding Africa.
During the keynote address by President Wade, he called for the establishment of a United States of Africa by 2017 and stressed that the African Renaissance is to renew Africa’s bond with the African Diaspora as the sixth region of Africa. He emphasized the importance of the African Diaspora to Africa in the advancement of all African people. Wade has been one of the more consistent promoters of Pan Africanism with President Khadaffi, but recently he along with African Union leaders such as President Jonathan of Nigeria and earlier President Zuma of South Africa, have been criticized over the handling of the crisis in Libya.
Some other key African Diaspora leaders who addressed the meeting were Dr. Julius Garvey, son of the late Marcus Garvey and Executive Support of WADU; Rev. Jesse Jackson, President of the RainbowPush Coalition; Dr. Gilbert L. Rochon, President of Tuskegee University; Dr. Robert Bowser of the National Conference of Black Mayors and Dr. Beverly Tatum, President of Spelman College. The participating leaders gave their commitment to ongoing efforts and agreements for the sustainable development of Africa.
The meeting concluded on a very high and historic note when Dr. Djbril Diallo of Senegal announced that the African Union will take action on granting a passport and citizenship to His Excellency Dudley Thompson. Ambassador Dudley Thompson is an outstanding Pan African leader who has served Africa and African people for decades. He is a former foreign minister of Jamaica, ambassador of numerous African nations and currently serving as the President of WADU. The surprising news was met with great applause from the audience who welcomed this as a step closer to furthering the African Diaspora in regaining their citizenship, after centuries of separation from their Motherland, Africa.
Mr. John Watusi Branch, the Chief Secretariat of WADU, also participating in the Harlem meeting, helped to shape the final push for this AU/Diaspora agreement. This breakthrough comes after numerous WADU conferences, forums and consultations with other African Diaspora and African leaders in Africa and across the African Diaspora. According to Watusi, “African Diaspora citizenship in Africa would be a definite win-win for the Diaspora re-integration and for the economic empowerment of Africa.” WADU and other leaders representing a unified Diaspora agenda will continue to advance this critical Diaspora agenda to expedite the sixth region playing a greater role in Africa.
WADU was initiated in 2004 in Atlanta, GA. by Prof. James Small, Chair of the Organization of Afro-American Unity (OAAU) and was formalized with the election of Ambassador Dudley Thompson as its President in 2007, in Kingston, Jamaica.
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