Global Summit of Presidents and Mayors of African Descent
By: Adeyemi Ademiluyi (Visiting Researcher in DAPA)
We are the descendants of Africa, regardless of our citizenships. We are one people spread out all over the world and we need to come together. By coming together we can support each other to improve the education of our children, improve access to higher education, support business and fight racism and inequality.
This is the spirit and energy with which representatives from Senegal, Nigeria, Uganda, Madagascar, Belize, Honduras, Ecuador, Peru, U.S.A. Colombia and many others came together for the third 2013 Global Summit of African Leaders, Mayors and the diaspora. The Summit took place in Cali, Colombia, bringing together more than 2000 participants of African descent: mayors, leaders, ex-presidents, scientists, business owner’s, fashion designers, and musicians with a focus of uniting the entire African diaspora to address the injustice and inequality facing people of African descent.
The first Global Summit was held in Nigeria in 2011 and focused on shared human development objectives; the second held in Senegal in 2011 focused on tackling HIV in urban areas.
CIAT took part in the event, hosting a stall and showcasing a flagship collaborative project between Colombia and Senegal. Senegal has evolved highly effected means of dealing with a “difficult and highly variable climate”. In particular, for the people of Kumasi, dealing with water shortage is not only a part of their lives but a part of the culture and the history of the people. Ten agricultural stakeholders from Colombia went to Kumasi to learn agricultural and water management practices and witness both traditional and innovative coping strategies in practice. In May of 2014 a team from Senegal will visit Colombia to gain a better understanding of the difficulties and triumphs involved in translating these practices across continents, and learn how they can continue to support the farmers of Colombia. This process is documented in a CIAT blog titled When Colombia Met Senegal: A photostory. Like the Global Summit, connecting, and sharing learning is the aim of the Colombia-Senegal partnership.
Whilst attending the Summit, CIAT representatives also met with Dr. J. Garvey and Madame Josefina both of whom are bridging the gap from the Americas to Africa. Dr J. Garvey is co-funding and working on a project aiming to help farmers from northern Ghana to advance their agricultural practices and was looking for more partners with a ground presence in his project region. Madame Josefina had learned of the miracle plant moringa, and was looking to promote business partnerships for production of the plant in the drier areas of Latin America for animal fodder and particularly for the its medicinal properties. CIAT will connect Madame Josefina with the CCAFS Systemic Integrated Adaptation (SIA) team who are already working with moringa production in northern Ghana.
The summit was inspiring. It brought so many people, from so many countries, sectors and professions together under one roof with one overarching goal: to unite and better the lives and living conditions of Africans and the descendants of Africans every where.