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Diaspora African Migrants Storm Tripoli for Solution by Hakeem Babalola

By Hakeem Babalola, Budapest, Hungary – Jan. 31, 2011 – More than three hundred and fifty Africans in the Diaspora converged in Tripoli to participate in an historical conference held for three days in a continuous effort to find permanent solution to the plights of African migrants in Europe and around the world.

The conference organised by the General Forum for Arab and African Non-Governmental Organisations was held in January 16-18 and titled, “A Decent Life in Europe or The Welcome Return to Africa,” attracted delegates from all the continents including academics, journalists, activists, doctors and NGOs.

 Participants had the opportunity to make a presentation, discuss and dialogue, observe, or intervene in order to contribute to what might be the beginning of emancipation of the African Migrants – all over the world.

 Though tagged Historical Conference of African Migrants in Europe, solidarity came from America, Canada, Caribbean, and Asia as speaker after speaker passionately tabled their experiences in their respective place of residence.

 Economic and political persecutions are deemed the main reasons why Africans in the Diaspora emigrate from Africa to Europe due to the inability of many African rulers to fulfil the objective and goal of governance which include but not limited to citizens’ welfare. Sina Odugbemi, Regional Coordinator Africa Renaissance Coalition, described most African leaders as racketeers. 

 Member of the Italian Parliament of African origin, Tayudi Jane, believed that one of the solutions is for the Africans in the Diaspora to hold on to their African identity no matter what. He added that Africans in the Diaspora should become a superpower and assistance to the continent.

 Bertin Mampaka, African member of Belgian parliament, suggested that it is highly important for us to like our own image before meaningful development could be achieved. Speaking to African News Hungary, the parliamentarian recalled situations in which Africans would bypass him to seek advice from his subordinates who are white. “No one can help Africa other than ourselves”, he lamented.

 In a similar tone, Honourable Mama kande, member of the PAN African Parliament, said that charity begins at home hence African countries must respect their citizens as a kick start. He demanded that African leaders in their respective country should create a system that would bring peace and tranquillity.

 The conference which was also attended by kings, sultans, princes, sheikhs and mayors of Africa heard that racism and xenophobia are gaining immense ground in the west thereby putting African migrants at risk.

 Responding, a Ghanaian living in Ukraine recounted his near death experience showing the conference the picture of his mutilated body. “The boy in that picture is me,” said Mr. Charles Asante-Yeboa in a sad voice, urging the conference to take such awful experience into consideration when preparing the final resolution.

 Women of Africa (WOA) called for respect and dignity for African women, saying they are the gateway of Africa’s future generation. The president, Alice Ukoko emphasised the need to eradicate trafficking African women to Europe and other similar places.

 In his own contribution to the conference, Latif Schabas, the grandson of Malcolm X, stressed that the struggle must continue in order to achieve dignity, access and freedom.

 That struggle, according to a member of US delegate, must include African leaders to say No to external forces ready to cause chaos throughout the continent. Citing Ivory Coast and Rwanda, she said that Africa must get rid of its leaders selected by France, US and Britain while stressing that Africa must be left for Africans.

 At the end of the conference, the following resolution was adopted:

 1, Establishment of the International Association of the immigrants with the headquarter in Tripoli with the possibility of branches all over the world

2, Conferring the honourable presidency of the Association to the Brotherly Leader Muammar Al “Kaddafi”

3, Constituting a committee for representing the union and managing its affairs consisting of chairperson and vice-chairperson  and a group of members in accordance with the attached resolution; provided that, all the continents and head state representation would be observed in the committee  and the aforesaid committee’s task would end by the next conference convening

4, The committee constituted under the preceding paragraph shall draw up the by-laws and rules of the association to be presented to the conference next year within maximum two years from its date

5, The general conference of the Association will meet periodically pursuant to the rules and the period set forth by the rules and regulations

6, Calling the African migrants who could not attend the conference for joining the Association

African News Hungary interviewed some of the delegates to know their views about the historical conference.

 United Kingdom

Mr. Fola Kudehinbu, Chairman African and Caribbean Chamber of commerce and Enterprise, explained that the Conference definitely met his expectation in the sense that it was the first of its kind to bring Africans in the Diaspora together in such a full force. “Meeting other Africans from other countries in itself is enough, “he said. 

Ukraine

Dr. Felix Otusile from Nigeria worried about too many promises, saying that “our” action should speak louder. He added that the only thing we need is to work and work in order to achieve the noble objectives put forward at the conference.

 Netherlands

Princess Abzé Djigma from Burkina Faso said that the conference was good however she feared that lack of focus and the inability to pinpoint our goals may jeopardise the whole intention to move the conference forward. 

 USA

Mr. Omowale Clay did not mince words about the Conference when he told African News Hungary that it was a stepping stone in the right direction. He emphasised on the importance of Conferences like this, saying it was to bring people together “which this Conference has achieved immensely”. Clay added that people should remember that whatever you put is what you get.

 Faya Coffield

My expectation is that people like you from Budapest and people like me from Atlanta and people of African descent can unite in order to return to Africa as our homeland, or we should be able to stay abroad without oppression. I am glad the conference is in the right direction to achieving this goal.

 Hungary

Mr. Gibril Deen said that he enjoyed every aspect of the Conference, especially the networking and interaction with fellow brothers from all over the world. According to him, it’s a forum to truly discuss the plights of Africans in the Diaspora in order to find permanent solution. “Brother Gadaffi should be commended for a vision of this magnitude,” affirmed the Mahatma Ghandi Organisation president.  

For Mr. Raymond Irambo, another delegate from Hungary who represented African Hungarian Union (AHU), it’s a well chosen theme, because a meeting of this nature was quite overdue. While stating the fact that Africans’ problem in the Central Europe is quite different from other places, he pointed out that the success of the conference is in the continuation.

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Posted by on Jan 31 2011. Filed under Africa & World Politics, Articles, Columnists, Hakeem Babalola. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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