Houston’s Pan African Library SAiD Institute is shining the spotlight on the vibrant diversity, progress and collective power of Africans in the diaspora through its inaugural event U.S Africa Diaspora Summit.
The summit commemorated the 60th observation of African Liberation Day and celebrated the creation of the African Union in 1963.
More than 30 African leaders and business professionals from around the globe focused on this year’s theme, “Beyond Our Borders,” discussing the collective aspirations of Africans in the diaspora, their challenges and the shared passion to solve the continents problems and unlock Africa’s potential.
The three-day summit was a mix of virtual and in-person panel discussions and networking opportunities. Several influential voices in Black Houston contributed their thoughts on globalization, migration, and good governance, including Amanda K. Edwards, former At-Large City Council Member and candidate for mayor of Houston; Mazda Denon, deputy director for the Mayor’s Officer of Trade and International Affairs; Olamide Kayode, founder and president of the Professional Association of Young Africans; Emem Isong, Nollywood screenwriter and film director and Dr. Ukeme Daniel, founder of the Beta Collective.
Said Institute founder Debo Folorunsho said the summit advocated for “the flow of people, money and trade, and the sharing of knowledge.”
“At 60 years, what do we want to do? What legacy do we want to create? For us at SAiD, the future that we want to see is the future that is more prosperous, the future that is not limited,” he said. “These days, the world is global. Let us remove all of those boundaries and let’s find a way to connect with one another regardless of the geographical boundary.”
At the center of these conversations was the long-standing debate on whether immigration from Africa has caused the continent more harm than good, and ways skilled diasporans can be proactive in the investment of Africa.
“I think more conversations like this will lead to more action and I think that is what’s imperative,” Edwards said. “There was an enthusiasm to work together so we can see the community we all wish to see and deserve.”
For more information visit saidinstitute.org.
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