TAG | Africa Heritage Foundation
Atlanta City Council recognized on June 4 the importance of building business relationships between Africa and Atlanta during a ceremony on the steps of the Georgia Capitol that drew more than 40 local officials and supporters.
As part of the fifth annual Africa Day celebration, sponsored by the Africa Heritage Foundation, the council offered a proclamation signed by all its members praising the efforts of the foundation and acknowledging future opportunities on the continent.
Under the leadership of chairman and CEO, Tunde Adetunji, the foundation organizes the celebration every year to inform people on business opportunities in Africa.
” AFRICA MATTERS, AFRICA IS THE FUTURE “
The African Union Chairperson, Dr. Jean Ping, visits Atlanta, Georgia, at the invitation of the Africa Heritage Foundation. The visit is an important milestone for the Africa Diaspora community, a foundation step for Atlanta to tap into opportunities in Africa and the continent’s potentials.
The Chairperson of the African Union Commission began his second official visit to the United States with a two-day visit to Atlanta, Georgia, from 16-18 April 2011. He was accompanied by a high level delegation, including his Chief of Staff, the AU Ambassador to the US and the Director of the AU’s Diaspora Programme, amongst others. The visit, which was arranged and coordinated by the Africa Heritage Foundation under the Leadership of Chief Tunde Adetunji, represented an important milestone in the history of the AU’s Diaspora Initiative and its relations with the State of Georgia in general and the city of Atlanta in particular.
The visit commenced on Sunday, 17 April 2011 with a visit to the Martin Luther King Centre where Dr. Ping was received by the CEO, Martin Luther King III. Mr. King observed that he saw the visit as a memorial to his father, the late Martin Luther King Jr. and the vision of freedom, liberty and social justice that his father espoused. The Chairperson of the African Union Commission concurred with this view. Significantly therefore, Dr. Ping commended the doctrine of non-violence that Mr. King preached as an inspirational message that was guiding the African Union in its approach towards conflict management and resolution and peacemaking and peace building on the continent.
Subsequently, the Chairperson attended a Church service at the new site of the Ebenezer Baptist Church that Martin Luther King Jr. and his father had served as pastors. In the course of that service, he addressed the faithful on the Martin Luther King legacy and the efforts of the African Union to foster peace and development in Africa and reach out to its Diaspora population. In the aftermath of the Church Service, the Staff of the King Centre led the African Union delegation on a tour of the premises and facilities.
Later that evening, the Chairperson of the African Union Commission attended a reception organised in his honor by the Africa Heritage Foundation where he received a resolution from Senator Gonzalez James on behalf of the Georgia Senate and a proclamation by Atlanta Council Member, Michael Bond, on behalf of the City Council. The CEO of Africa heritage foundation Chief Tunde Adetunji whose visionary project of bridging the gap and building the bridge established since 1996 Olympic proclaimed and presented the award of honorary citizenship of Georgia on behalf of the secretary of state of Georgia, Brian P. Kemp, to the Chairperson Jean Ping and the AU permanent representative to USA, Honorable Ambassador Amina Salum Ali.
On 18th April 2011, the visit resumed with a tour of the Centre for Disease Control (CDC). Dr. Ping was conducted round the facility and had critical discussions with the staff of the CDC on the work of the Centre and its usefulness to and applicability for Africa. The visit underscored the need for cooperation, coordination and joint ventures to combat and prevent the spread of diseases in Africa and to promote appropriate public health policies and practices.
Following this, Chairperson Ping, on special invitation, organised by the host, Africa Heritage Foundation, addressed a session of the Atlanta City Council, in which he laid emphasis on the investment opportunities in Africa and how the program of cooperation between the city of Atlanta , the entire state of Georgia and Africa can take advantage of this for the mutual benefit of both parties. He urged the need to follow-up quickly on the visit with practical actions. Dr. Ping was also a special guest on Africa Heritage Radio and TV show at Clark Atlanta University where he focused on the important role assigned to the African Diaspora in the AU agenda and how the Diaspora can seize this opportunity to make a significant contribution to the development and integration mission of the Africa continent, and USA . He seize the opportunity to commission and endorse officially the decade long visionary initiative of the Africa Heritage Foundation in Atlanta Georgia.
The main highlight of the visit was a keynote address by Dr. Jean Ping, to Morehouse College, Atlanta, Georgia. In his address entitled “The future of the African Continent and the African Union”, the Chairperson placed the development of the African Union in clear perspective along a time continuum of the past, present and future. He began with an explanation of how and why the Union came into being through transformation of the predecessor organization, the Organization of African Unity (OAU), its design, institutional framework and the difficulties and challenges that it confronted, into the AU, and how the AU is dealing with them, particularly, its peace and security agenda, financing and constraints arising from the wider international environment.
Again, he underlined the important role that the African Union has given to the Diaspora in this renaissance project and align it to the vision that Africa wishes for its future. He saw that future as “one in which Africa stands tall among its peers in the international community. It will be one where affairs of the world are decided in Lagos, Johannesburg, Cairo, Bangui and Nairobi rather than in Washington, Moscow, Peking and London. It will be one in which our children are coming back home in droves to take advantage of the benefits of the motherland rather than becoming boat people and engaging in hazardous journeys to seek fake promises in Europe and the West… Our purpose is renaissance”.
Very often, in the course of his remark, Dr. Ping complimented the Africa Heritage Foundation and the leadership of Chief Tunde Adetunji, for ensuring the success of the visit. The compliment was also echoed by others, including the City Council and Morehouse College, where Chief Tunde Adetunji was also presented with commendations and awards for promoting and projecting positive mission and goal of AU agenda in the USA , and as well playing leadership role in arranging the meetings in particular, and more importantly for his untiring commitment to promoting strong and positive ties between the city of Atlanta, the state of Georgia, the African Union and the African continent.
The visit of the AU Chairperson is an endorsement of the Africa Heritage Foundation serious undertaken and numerous initiatives to broaden the horizon of USA Economic prospects towards sustainable development in Africa, Technology transfer, Human resources and Capacity building,Relocation and establishment of new businesses to the state of Georgia, opening of more consular operation in Atlanta ,increase of both passengers air and sea cargoes to Georgia through the airport and seaport of Savannah, international student and study abroad programme,establishment of USAFRICA business Expo, Establishment of Radio and T.V to bridge the gap of information and communication,Establishment of Library system for research and quest of Africa studies, promotion of both Eco and Cultural tourism , development of sports, sporting activities and training,Establishment of Africa village for the promotion of tourism and creation of jobs and finally established Atlanta and the state of Georgia as the gateway of Africa potentials and business opportunity’s to USA ,