AFRICAN UNION
UNION AFRICAINE
UNIAO AFRICANA
MISSION PERMANENTE DE L'UNION AFRICAINE
Avenue Moliere, 186 - 1050 Bruxelles (Belgique) Tel: (322) 346.97.47/48 Fax: (322) 346.97.28
e-mail: africanunion@skynet.be
SECOND MEETING OF CONSULTATION BETWEEN THE PERMANENT MISSION
AND THE REPRESENTATIVES OF THE AFRICAN DIASPORA IN EUROPE
Saturday 8 March 2008 - Permanent Mission Office
REPORT
Since its inception the African Union (AU), as its predecessor, the Organisation of African
Unity(OAU), but in a more explicit and stronger manner, expressed itself in favour of the African Diaspora
in the world and expressed its concern through its Constitutive Act and the decisions adopted by its
political organs. The African Union Commission has even established a Division, CIDO, within its structures
to deal with Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and the African Diaspora. With the establishment of
ECOSOCC (Economic, Social and Cultural Council), the AU made more room, a Forum, for the
representation of the Diaspora and to make its voice heard.
2. The African Union organised, in cooperation with the South Africa, major meetings of contact /
consultation with the African Diaspora in North America, the Caribbean (Trinidad and Jamaica) and in Latin
America (Brazil). It is organising a Summit for the Diaspora together with South Africa which the latter will
host in October 2008 in South Africa. In that prospect the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of
the AU requested the AU Commission to help and cooperate with the South African authorities to organise
that Summit. Thus, different Regional Consultative Conferences were organised in the various regions of
the world. All the outcomes were presented at the Ministerial Meeting held in Johannesburg, South Africa,
in October 2007. The Regional Consultative Conference for Europe was held in Paris in September 2007.
3. The Permanent Mission of the AU in Brussels organised in its premises several meetings with the
representatives of the African Diaspora Organisations / Associations in Belgium/ Brussels and ensured
that the representatives attended the Paris Conference with the assistance of the South African Embassy
in Brussels. After the Paris meeting there was the Ministerial meeting in which the Diaspora
representatives participated.
4. However, the Permanent Mission felt that there were complaints about the choice of
representatives of the Diaspora and that the Organisations were working in "isolation", separately and in
divided ranks. It, therefore, deemed it necessary to organise the different "national groupings" or dispersed
organisations for the purpose of greater effectiveness and efficiency and unity of action under a
big "umbrella" which could be called a "Federation of African Diaspora Organisations". The Mission
was aware that many were already doing some good work but there was need for cohesion and in that
way, the AU could have a major general interlocutor for a better interaction / interface with the Diaspora in
order to convey in a better manner its message and communication which would be disseminated from top
to bottom and to receive proposals and suggestions from the bottom to the top.
5. The Permanent Mission convened two consultation and brainstorming meetings with some
representatives of the Diaspora in Belgium as in the Cities of Europe, in their personal capacity, to
discuss the best ways to bring together the organisations and to structure them so as to produce better
productive results.
6. The first of those meetings with the invited representatives who came from The Netherlands,
Germany and France was held on Saturday 16 February 2008 in the Permanent Mission and the
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