Wednesday, 30 May 2012
Chairperson Ping: the Spirit of Global Pan-Africanism must Prevail in the African Family
Johannesburg, South Africa 25 May 2012 - “Our presence here today marks the celebration and fulfillment of the dreams and visions of our illustrious predecessors such as Marcus Garvey, Sylvester Williams, Kwame Nkrumah, Sekou Toure, Ben Bella, Haile Selassie, Julius Nyerere, Gamal Abdel Nasser, Nnamdi Azikiwe, Nelson Mandela and the entire corps of the first generation of our captains of state who sweated and labored to ensure that Africa is one and projected as such in a dynamic and meaningful way on the world arena”.
Dr. Jean Ping, Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC), was speaking while addressing the Global African Diaspora Summit holding today, Friday 25 May 2012 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa.
The opening ceremony was chaired by Mr. Boni Yayi, Chairperson of the African Union and President of the Republic of Benin, in the presence of Mr. Jacob Zuma, President of the Republic of South Africa, Heads of State and Government of the AUC and the Caribbean Community, South and Latin America States .
Chairperson Ping underlined that “History is in the making today” taking place on the Africa Day, celebrated on May 25 all over the African continent and its Diaspora, forty-nine years to the day, African leaders established the Organization of African Unity (OAU), 25 May 1963. “This year’s Africa Day is being witnessed by our brothers and sisters in the Diaspora re-kindles the spirit of global pan-Africanism . I thank God that we all form part of this historic event a prelude to the 50th anniversary which will take place next year”, Mr. Ping noted.
The Chairperson recalled that the history of the initiative of bringing the African family together. He expressed satisfaction with the successful holding of the Global Diaspora Summit in South Africa, commending the South African Government for hosting this important historical event. Mr. Ping called on the parties to reinforce regional Diaspora networks that would serve as interlocutors for AU goals and objectives. “Concomitantly, we must now devote more efforts to establish appropriate structures that would facilitate more effective Diaspora participation in the affairs of the Union”. He emphacised.
The Commission of the African Union , Chairperson Ping said, shall dedicate itself to ensuring the implementation of the outcomes of the Global Diaspora Summit. “It is our plea and submission to our leaders that this Initiative will be a living project and the Declaration would be a living document that generations after us will come to applaud, refine, respect and implement”, he said. (see complete speech of Chairperson Ping on the AU website: www.au.int .)
Former President of the Republic of South Africa, Mr. Thabo Mbeki, former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Mr. Olusegun Obasanjo, as well as Mr. Erastus Mwencha, Deputy Chairperson of the of AUC and the Commissioner of Political Affairs of the AUC Mrs. Julia Dolly Joiner were present at the Summit.