As part of his official visit to Washington DC, H.E Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC), on 15 November 2017, met with Rep. Karen Bass and other members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) in Washington DC before addressing the representatives of the African Diaspora and African American community.
The discussions during both meetings focused on the need to strengthen partnership between Africa and America particularly in narrowing the gap and bringing the African Americans / Diaspora closer to Africa and contribute to the development of the Continent in their capacity as Africa’s sixth region.
The AU considers the Diaspora as the sixth Region of the Continent with the current five regions of southern, eastern, western, central, and northern Africa.
In his welcome remarks, the president of the CFA expressed his gratitude to the AUC Chairperson for accepting to meet Diaspora leaders and pointed out that the Diaspora in the USA and worldwide, has much to offer to Africa.
“In the United States alone there are over 50 million who are Diaspora including African-Americans, whose ancestors were brought to these shores 400 years ago as slaves, to provide the free-labor that enabled this country to develop into the power that it is today as well as the remarkable presence of Afro-Latinos and those from the Caribbean.”
Mr Foote said: “According to the World Bank, the African immigrant community remit more than $35 billion dollars to the continent each year, a larger amount than all of the Foreign Direct Investment that the continent receives”.
The discussion between the Diaspora and Chairperson Faki touched on various areas of cooperation and partnership including direct and indirect investment in Africa to boost economic growth through trade and business development, agriculture, education, infrastructure development, ICT and innovation, among others.
For his part, the AUC Chairperson called on the Diaspora to better organize itself and engage the AU Commission in a more efficient manner to ensure “The Africa We Want” and improve the lives of the African population in the continent and the Diaspora.