The Daylight Africa in collaboration with African Diaspora based in New York City in the United States of America (USA) with other African countries including Nigeria and Senegal, recently converged at the Paradise Suite Hotel to celebrate the 20th anniversary of African Union (AU).
The 20th anniversary of the AU also witnesses the launching of the Daylight Africa Scholarship.
Claude Koudor, Political Advisor of ECOWAS who was speaking on behalf of the President of ECOWAS Commission, Dr Omar Alieu Touray and the ECOWAS Resident Representative in the country, said: "It is an honour for ECOWAS to be invited by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and Gambians Abroad, in collaboration with the African Union Day Foundation, as special envoy to deliver a statement commemorating the 20th anniversary of the transformation of African Union from the Organisation of African Unity, and also to celebrate our brothers and sisters who are living in the Diaspora and are contributing tremendously to the political and social-economic stability of Africa."
The ECOWAS Political Advisor thus expressed appreciation to the AU, UNDP, and African Diaspora based in New York City, USA for the laudable initiative of organising such kind of ceremony in The Gambia, saying: "You made no mistake for organising such kind of forum in the country. This convergence is also an opportunity for you to enjoy the warm Gambian hospitality. I also appreciate the efforts of The Gambia government in providing the enabling environment for this weeklong ceremony to take place without any hindrance," he posited. Political Advisor Political Advisor
The African Diaspora, Koudor went on, is broadly defined by the African Union Commission as "peoples of African origin living outside the continent, irrespective of their citizenship and nationality and who are willing to contribute to the development of the continent and the building of the African Union."
"The definition of African Diaspora vigorously underscores the significant role the African diaspora plays in the development of the continent, therefore, such initiative should be supported at all levels "and the slogan for this year's commemoration is "Our Africa, Our Future."
He thanked the MOFA, AU and leaders of the African Diaspora for successfully organising the chain of activities in respect of the commemoration of the 20th Anniversary of the transformation of the Organisation of African Unity to the African Union.
Daylight Africa leader, Queen Mother Blakely, a Pan African American activist, spoke on the African Union Day Foundation and expressed delight over the celebration.
Musa Camara, Director for Diaspora and Migration at the MOFA underscored the significance of the convergence; while welcoming the guests to the smiling coast of Africa, The Gambia.
Mutiu Olawoye, one of the coordinators of the forum gave an introductory remark on the transformation of the OAU to AU.
Meanwhile, Shekina Chinedu spoke on the experience, opportunity and challenges of investment in The Gambia.
Sheikh Omar Jallow, director of Performing Arts, and Literature at the NCAC received the Hodan Nalayeh Award from the African Union Day Foundation.