African Diaspora Day celebrated in the UK

June 30, 2012 in Blog

On July 6th, professor Gus John will take part in the African Diaspora Day celebrations, by speaking at a symposium organised by Africa UK.

The African Diaspora Day has been observed in the UK by the African Diaspora since 2003. Its aim is to celebrate the contributions of UK-based Africans to the UK and to Africa.

This year, Africa UK (part of the Common Ground Initiative) will host a symposium and a reception in Kensington’s Town Hall. Professor Gus John is among the speakers invited to join the event. Read the rest of this entry →

African leaders meet in Johannesburg to discuss diaspora

June 9, 2012 in Blog

The first ever Global African Diaspora Summit was held in Sandton, Johannesburg, South Africa, on Africa Day, 25 May 2012.  The meeting was attended by Heads of States and representative of the 54 Member States of the Union, the Government of the Caribbean Community, South and Latin America.

During the Summit, the Heads of State approved a Declaration and a Programme of Action in which the African Union (AU) commits to cooperate in political, economic and social areas, in order to strengthen ties within the African family spread around the world.

Professor Gus John’s contribution:

As a member of the African Union‘s Technical Committee of Experts, Gus John travelled to Pretoria, South Africa, ahead of the Global African Diaspora Summit, where he helped preparing working documents for Ministers of AU and Diaspora States that later attended the Summit.

With a mandate from the AU’s African Diaspora Reunification Initiative, Gus John is currently organising a UK African Diaspora Chapter (the objectives of which are contained within the Declaration mentioned above). More information about this project will soon be released.

Picture: “U.S. Africa Command C4ISR Senior Leaders Conference“, by “US Army Africa” (Flickr)

Grenada Peace Centre Proposal (Addendum)

March 29, 2011 in Gus talks, Projects

"Grenada - Fort George", by "roger4336" (Flickr)

The following project was sent to the Government of Grenada on March 29th, 2011.

On 3rd January 2011, while on an assignment in Lagos, Nigeria, I sent Senator Arley Gill a proposal for the establishment of a Peace Centre on Fort George (seen above) and set out some possible uses for the transformed Fort.

In the week beginning 20 February 2011, I was a delegate at the African Union/African Diaspora meeting in Pretoria, South Africa. As part of the itinerary for that meeting, delegates were taken on an official tour of Freedom Park, which is located on a 52-hectare site on Salvokop Hill at the entrance into Tshwane (Pretoria) from Johannesburg. The South African government describes Freedom Park, with its ‘Garden of Remembrance’ as:

‘a meeting place, a venue for the gathering of clans and nations; a place to listen to the voice of silence, a place to pray; a sacred place, a step to the heavens and to our humanity’.

On previous visits to South Africa I had heard of but not visited Constitution Hill in Johannesburg. Now the site of the Constitutional Court and a monument to peace, reconciliation and multiculturalism, it was the Old Fort Prison Complex ‘commonly known as Number Four, where thousands of ordinary people were brutally punished before the dawn of democracy in 1994. Many of South Africa’s leading political activists, including Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela were detained there’. Read the rest of this entry →