The African diaspora is made up of migrants living all around the world, mainly in the Americas and Europe. Members are typically comprised of Africans who were disbursed to these areas as a result of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade; others seeking business and employment opportunities, as well as education.
Many efforts have been made, and continue being made in strengthening African Diaspora engagement directly from the continent. On the 7th of July 2001, the Diaspora African Forum (DAF Mission) was opened by the then President of the Republic of Ghana and Chairman of the African Union, H.E John Agyekum Kufuor to support the Union and Member States ‘towards the integration of Africans in the Diaspora while strengthening African Diaspora engagement in Ghana and the continent at large.’
Seeking to be the bridge that unites Africa to its diaspora through strategic involvement in the ongoing development of the continent, The Diaspora African Form (DAF) remains the “first and only African Diaspora organization in the world with diplomatic status enabling DAF to accomplish groundbreaking work in Diaspora advocacy at the highest levels of government in Ghana and around the world.”
The Mission is ably headed by H.E Ambassador Erieka Bennett, a pillar in African Diaspora advocacy for development of the continent.
Headquartered at the W.E.B Dubois Center, Cantonments in Accra- Ghana; DAF plans to “continue its efforts as a change agent towards the development of solid policies for the reintegration of the African diaspora worldwide.”
An important feature found at the premises of the Diaspora African Forum is the Sankofa Wall. The Memorial Wall is replete with prominent people of African descent in the diaspora who have made significant impact in the black community such as Rosa Parks, Nelson Mandela, George Floyd, John Robert Lewis and recently Chadwick Aaron Boseman. There are other names of important Diasporan personalities placed there by living descendants to honor them, and to leave a legacy in memoriam.
The Diaspora African Forum has Project Partnerships with several initiatives such as Plan International-Junior Ambassadors Program, African Business Roundtable-Doing Business in Africa Conference, ACA-African International Media Summit, PANAFEST-Lecture Series and Youth Participation, and the African Women of Excellence Awards. It also partnered recently with New York based Gradian Health Systems to donate essential equipment to Ghana’s Ministry of health to support the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Quoting from its website on its activities and operations, “DAF is a vision become reality based on focus, consistency, hard work and lots of prayers and goodwill from Brothers and Sisters with like minds and a desire to return home to Africa. We have been advocating for African Diaspora Engagement to and with Heads of African States, REC’s, UN Agencies amongst others in an effort to ensure we are considered when African governments are shaping development policies in the areas of economics, culture and social affairs. We invite you to join us on this journey home.”
To contact the Diaspora African Forum, please email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call +233-(0)302-780-923 for more information.
By: Theresa R. Fianko