South Africa/Caribbean Diaspora Conference to Initiate Dialogue


Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Delano Franklyn has hailed the upcoming South Africa/African Union/ Caribbean Diaspora Conference as a forum that will provide opportunities for and initiate dialogue towards the development of mechanisms to unite Africans in South Africa and the Diaspora. Speaking to journalists at a press launch on Wednesday (March 9), at the Ministry, Senator Franklyn said the Conference would also help to identify solutions to mutual challenges.
Some of the outcomes expected from the Conference are collaborative programmes on common areas of interest; concrete proposals for trade links in specific areas, and commitment to solidarity as well as mutual support in international forums. The conference has been themed, ‘Towards Unity and United Action of South Africans and the African Diaspora in the Caribbean for a Better World: The Case of South Africa’ and will be co-hosted by the Jamaican Government, from March 16-18 at the Jamaica Conference Centre, in Kingston.
Senator Franklyn said the Conference Secretariat had been established and is located at the South African High Commission. Staffing for the Secretariat is provided by the South African and Jamaican Governments as well as by the African Union (AU).
“The contribution of the Caribbean region to the struggle against Apartheid in particular, and colonialism in general, has for decades been an inspiration to the masses on the African continent. As one of the earliest countries to condemn Apartheid and long respected for its support of African liberation, it is only fitting that the inaugural South Africa-AU-Caribbean Diaspora Conference should be held in Jamaica,” Senator Franklyn stated.
In his address, High Commissioner of South Africa, H.E. Thanduyise Henry Chiliza, stated that the Conference sought to plot a way forward for the unification of the global African Diaspora to engage in dialogue.
“It is my hope that the conference injects fresh impetus to the Pan-Africanist movement in the 21st century and strengthen the resolve and determination of all people of African descent to confront, decisively so, the plight and predicament of the African continent,” the High Commissioner said.
The Conference was proposed by the Government of South Africa as part of the celebrations marking the 10th Anniversary of democracy in that country. The event is also a contribution to the efforts by the African Union to connect with the African Diaspora.

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