African Priorities highlighted by AUC delegation at Global Diaspora Summit

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-THANDISIZWE MGUDLWA

The presence of more than 200 million people of African descent in the Americas, as well as nearly 19.5million African migrants, contribute socially, culturally and economically to sustainable development at the national, regional and global levels.

This was highlighted by the African Union Commission (AUC) which participated in the Global Diaspora Summit 2022 organized by the International Organization for Migration in Dublin, Ireland, on 4 and 5 April 2022.

Delivering the statement of the delegation before the opening Session, Ambassador Amr Aljowaily, Strategic Advisor to the Deputy Chairperson of the AUC shared the priorities of the Citizen and Diaspora organizations (CIDO)Directorate for the current year of 2022.

The statement of the Commission recalled that the importance of the diaspora is reflected in the Constitutive Act of the African Union, which encourages their rich participation in its work which was later featured by convening the Global African Diaspora Summit in South Africa in 2012 proclaiming five legacy projects to strengthen the relationship with the continent.

The AUC delegation underscored that the efforts of the African Union continued 10 years onwards, as the 40th Session of the African Union Executive Council adopted on 2-3 February 2022 the ‘Strategic, Business and Operational Framework for an African Diaspora Finance Corporation (ADFC)’ as the framework for the African Union legacy project on diaspora investment after consideration by the relevant sub-committee of the AU’s Permanent Representatives Committee (PRC) and mandated the AU Commission to undertake a further feasibility study, covering business operations, investment planning and criteria, and the application of ADFC funds, in coordination, as applicable, with the relevant sub-committees of the AU’s Permanent Representatives Committee (PRC).

Five priorities for the Citizen and Diaspora organizations (CIDO) Directorate for the current year of2022 were identified as: the development of capacity-building initiatives for Member States of the African Union to further develop practical policy and programme frameworks with the aim of enhancing the contribution of Diasporas to the development of their countries of origin; overcoming information gaps with the aim of coordinating the priorities of diaspora engagement at the national, regional and continental levels; conducting a feasibility study for the African Diaspora Finance Corporation; supporting the Lomé Initiative on the Decade of People of African Roots and Diaspora (2021 to 2031), and finally; celebrating with actions, the tenth anniversary of the Global African Diaspora Summit.

The Ambassador concluded his statement by affirming that the participation of the African Union Commission in the Global Diaspora Summit in Dublin reflects its commitment to contribute actively to the International Migration Review Forum for the Global Compact on Migration to be held in New York from 16 to 20May 2022.

With that view, the AUC delegation conducted meetings with the various African delegations who participated in the Dublin Summit.It is worth noting that the Citizens and Diaspora Directorate (CIDO) of the African Union Commission,represented by Betty Wangozi Ag. Director and Angela Odai and Ag.Head of the Diaspora Division had organized the African Regional Consultative Meeting on Diaspora Engagement on 30th March, 2022, thus enabling contributions from multiple stakeholders of diaspora engagement at the continental level.

Delegations at the Global Diaspora Summit were briefed on the results of these regional deliberations.

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