Cabinet calls for revival of global African family

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Pretoria - As South Africa gets ready to host the Global African Diaspora Summit, Cabinet has urged that the summit's outcomes contribute towards building a "solid foundation for reviving our global African family".

The summit, which will be held under the theme, "Towards the Realisation of a United and Prosperous Africa and its Diaspora", will take place in Sandton on 25 May, African Day.

It will bring together various stakeholders from all over the continent and the African diaspora across the Atlantic.

Cabinet said the summit would help create sustainable partnerships and development for the people of the continent and beyond.

"It will devise strategies on how to deal with skills development, boost African trade and investment in infrastructure development whilst strengthening the Pan-African agenda," Cabinet spokesperson Jimmy Manyi said on Thursday.

He added that as the host country, Cabinet has called on all South Africans to welcome guests from other continents and Heads of State.

President Jacob Zuma also shared this view with the country when he addressed the New Age/SABC Business Briefing in Mangaung this morning.

The President said South Africa was proud to host the Diaspora Summit as the continent valued the significant role the African diaspora played in the struggles against colonialism and apartheid.

"We continue to perceive the diaspora as vital in the pursuit for a peaceful and prosperous Africa," said Zuma.

The hosting of this summit, according to Zuma, is in line with government's foreign policy objectives, which include the determination to consolidate the African Agenda and strengthen Pan-African solidarity.

"We look forward to hosting Africans from Africa and around the globe in this historic conference."

As confirmations for attendance are pouring in, ranging from heads of state to Africans in the diaspora across the Atlantic, Cabinet also called on South Africans to welcome the guests.

The summit will consider, among others, issues such as the possible inclusion of the diaspora as the sixth region of the African Union.

Other objectives, according to the International Relations and Cooperation Department, will be the creation of sustainable partnerships between the African diaspora and Africa through a realisable Programme of Action; sustainable dialogue partnerships for a better Africa and its diaspora; and the promotion of South-South cooperation in the betterment of the African continent and its diaspora.

The summit is expected to endorse certain programmatic activities, which will include the AU Diaspora Volunteer Programme, whose role is to associate the diaspora directly with the development efforts on the continent and give concrete meaning to concept of one African family.

On other international matters, Cabinet wished the people of Lesotho well ahead of their elections, saying this will to consolidate their democracy.

Manyi said: "Since 2009, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) worked with the country's political parties to amend its electoral legislation for more proportional representation in Parliament and a strengthened Independent Electoral Commission."

The Kingdom will hold elections on 26 May.