TAG | Ambassador Amina Ali
Report of the Visit of the Honorable Ambassador Amina Ali, Permanent Representative to the United States, visit to the African World Museum and Africa Heritage Foundation
This is a report of the visit of the Honorable Ambassador Amina Salum Ali’s visit to the Africa World Museum and Africa Heritage Foundation on April 29, 2007 through May 1, 2007.
Laying the Foundation
The Africa World Museum and Center; Africa Heritage Foundation’s participation in the 1st Pan African Conference held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in November 2006 served as a springboard to heighten awareness of the Africa World Museum and Center; Africa Heritage’s Foundation mission. The Museum and Center represented the State of Georgia at the 1st Pan African Conference to establish an effective and mutual relationship for business opportunities between the State of Georgia and African Nations. This historic meeting served as a prelude to Chief Tunde Adetunji visit to Washington, D.C. where he met with the Honorable Ambassador Amina Salum Ali, Permanent Representative to the United States, and extended an invitation to her to visit the Museum and Center in Atlanta, Georgia.
Significance of the Ambassador’s Visit and Why It Is Necessary
After an extensive meeting with Chief Tunde Adetunji in Washington, D.C., the Honorable Ambassador Salum Ali accepted the invitation and answered the call to understudy some of the Museum and Center’s programs and projects. The Ambassador met with Museum Executives to gain a greater understanding of the Museum and Center’s decade of work to build upon national and international relationships. During her visit and after maximum exposure to the Museum and Center’s programs and projects, the Ambassador gained a clear cut indication of the mission and vision of the organization, what it stands for and how it promotes African Diaspora programs.
The need for the Ambassador to visit the Museum and Center and witness first hand the programs and projects cultivated by the Museum resulted in a greater understanding of the Museum and Foundation’s promotional and foundational capabilities and were highlighted by the great appreciation she expressed towards the Museum and Center for its efforts to promote Africa in the international landscape. After an extensive meeting and detailed discussions of the museum with various representatives she became very convinced that there is need for private organization collaboration and working relationships.
The Ambassador’s visit was tantamount to her experiencing the numerous cultural offerings the Museum and Center sponsors directly from the original source and she recognized the Africa World Museum and Center; Africa Heritage Foundation has built credibility with its programs offered throughout the years.
What Took Place during Her Visit
The Honorable Ambassador Salum Ali met with the “who is who” in the state of Georgia and also established a dialogue with community and government leaders; and local business people. The Ambassador had the opportunity to explain the operational aspects of the African Union and its mission.
A colorful reception was held for the Ambassador whereby all the important entities of government; national congressional leaders, the City of Atlanta, the County of Fulton, The State of Georgia and business and community leaders representing various disciplines to include tourism, academia, cultural executives, and civil rights were present to make the event memorable.
During the reception Chief Tunde Adetunji presented a detailed program of the museum as well as the foundation. Ambassador Amina Salum Ali responded with a positive statement and expressed African Union support, why they are behind the program and how it will benefit the people.
Chief Tunde Adetunji and Ambassador Amina Salum Ali recognize the “Bridging the Gap and Building the Bridge” initiative will draw the state closer to the African nations and the establishment of the Africa Village Project will create employment opportunities. It will also be a great venture for the State of Georgia to bridge the gap of understanding and provide opportunities for the citizens of Atlanta and Georgia; and Africa.
The Honorable Ambassador Salum Ali lauded the work of the Africa World Museum and Center; African Heritage Foundation, for their mission and presentation, particularly the mandated program that was executed in pragmatic time. She also praised those who worked this project, gave her commitment and pledged the support of the African Union, the African Nations and different organizations.
Professor Olatidoye from Clark Atlanta University provided a detailed visual presentation on the African Village Project to the Honorable Ambassador Salum Ali. The African Village Project will serve as the economic hub for business and trade opportunities between African Nations and people in the Diaspora. The African Village Project is viewed as an award winning project that will become a permanent site for a Multi-Functional State-of-the-Art Facility that will promote and showcase international tourism, bilateral trade, educational and cultural programs; and create economic growth opportunities for small businesses. Professor Olatidoye discussed the structure of the Africa Village Project to include plans to house and incorporate representatives from the 53 African Nations and the fact that the project will be the first of its kind in the world.
The Fulton County Government, made a presentation on how they have been supporting this project and they called for immediate progress on the Requests for Proposals (FRP) and visual design of the project in time to meet to meet the targeted launch date for the project at the “Bridging the Gap and Building the Bridge” conference in October 2007.
Ambassador Salum Ali was captivated by the many presentations given and she was enthusiastic about the ten year history of the Africa World Museum and Center, the establishment of the Africa Heritage Foundation, the quest to bring the African Union to the state of Georgia and the significant community outreach programs and initiatives provided for by the Africa World Museum and Center and the African Heritage Foundation.
Bridging the Gap and Building the Bridge Conference
The October 2007 international conference, “Bridging the Gap and Building the Bridge” was eulogized by Chief Tunde Adetunji, Chief Executive Officer of the African World Museum and Center; Africa Heritage Foundation. Expectations are that there will be over 200 global participants comprised of African Union Representatives, African Country Representatives, academia, and participants from the tourist, educational and cultural sectors. Host country representatives will include national, regional and local government representatives, business leaders, community leaders, business executives, individuals from educational and cultural sectors and participants wanting to learn how to enter the African market for business opportunities. Chief Tunde explained the conference will embrace these people and explain why there is a need for people in the Diaspora to participate and invest in Africa. The conference will showcase the formation of the six regions which represent the Diaspora and that will contribute to the development of Africa and also provide external support to the other five regions.
Ambassador Amina Salum Ali fully agrees that the conference has a big role to play in promoting unity within the African people and Africa-Americans and will serve as a headway to cooperation between Africa and the United States. The conference will prove Atlanta and the State of Georgia as a gateway for the promotion of the African Village.
The Africa World Museum and Center; Africa Heritage Foundation showcases the values of Africa and provides African services. Annual and special occasion renderings include providing tourism information, celebration of the African Independence Anniversary, Hosting of African Trade Delegations, African Language Courses, Taste of African Event, Educational Services on Fashion Folklore and retail of authentic African apparel, the promotion of African family values and additional museum services that the Ambassador found befitting for an organization of this statute. The Ambassador was very pleased with all of these programs.
Visit to the Chamber of Commerce
The Chief Executive Officer of the Africa World Museum and Center; Africa Heritage Foundation has been a member of the Chamber of Commerce for over ten years. Chief Tunde Adetunji created a niche for African business opportunities and laid the ground work necessary for the Honorable Ambassador’s visit to the Chamber of Commerce. Ambassador Salum Ali was welcomed by Chamber Executives and the May 1st visit established meaningful protocols for future business opportunities. Commerce and economic propensity for Africa was at the top of the agenda followed by discussions on how the state of Georgia can participate fully in the African market and how African businesses can flourish here in Georgia. Chief Adetunji addressed how best the Chamber of Commerce could promote African and business opportunities in Georgia; he also took the meeting as an opportunity to promote both the October conference and the African Village Project.
Klaus Kleber, representing the Metropolitan Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, responded to the ongoing initiatives and expressed how the projects have the full backing of the Chamber and how the Chamber has given full support to the “Bridging the Gap; Building the Bridge” conference. Mr. Kleber was very grateful to the Africa World Museum and Center; Africa Heritage Foundation for organizing the Ambassador’s visit.
Business Meeting at Providence
Ambassador Amina Salum Ali attended a business meeting at Antioch Baptist church secretariat, to meet business people at the grassroots level here in Georgia. Joe Beasley, Church Leader and Chief Adetunji participated in the forum, Mr. Beasley presented the group and Chief Tunde presented the vision and mission of the Africa World Museum and Center; Africa Heritage Foundation. Small business owners were honored to meet with an authority of the African Union, the Honorable Ambassador Amina Salum Ali, who addressed the gathering of people. The Honorable Ambassador spoke to how small scale businesses can participate in the business of Africa and how African nations can provide the opportunity for service oriented businesses to flourish in Africa. She spoke on the Diaspora civil society and ECOSOC, a unit of the African Union designed specifically to embrace people at the grass roots level who have a passion for African business. The Honorable Ambassador was very thankful for Africa World Museum executives arranging the forum and she was also thankful to the people for the interest they have shown.
Visit to the King Center
Chief Tunde Adetunji provided the opportunity for the Honorable Ambassador to pay respect to both fallen civil rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mrs. Coretta Scott King, founder of the Martin Luther King Center for Non-Violent Social Change, when he made arrangements with Director of the Center to host the Honorable Ambassador Amina Salum Ali. The visit opened up a great opportunity for leaders of Africa taking cognizance of the idea of non-violent social change, promulgated by Dr. King to address civil unrest here in the United States and adopted by the Organization for African Unity (OAU), now the African Union to address its mission and objectives.
The Ambassador was able to reflect on the vision of Dr. King, what he did in his lifetime and how it impact the formation of the African Union. She took time to go through the archives of the Martin Luther King Exhibition and some of the materials of Dr. King as well as Mrs. Coretta Scott King. The Ambassador was very grateful for the visit the Center. She remarked how Dr. King’s life and work has a lot of impact on our youth today and how each generation should emulate his teachings and instill it in themselves. At the end of the visit, the Ambassador laid a wreath at the mausoleums for Martin Luther King and Coretta Scott King. The visit strengthened the significance of the civil rights struggle and how important it is for cooperation between the African World Museum and Center; Africa Heritage Foundation, the Martin Luther King Center and the African Union.
Overall Significance of the “Bridging the Gap and Building the Bridge” Conference
The overall significance of promoting the “Bridging the Gap and Building the Bridge” conference has had a significant impact on the City of Atlanta and State of Georgia. The continued opportunity for growth in the southern region of the United States and the economic benefits the conference will generate are highly anticipated as a means to support African Diaspora programs. The relationship established between the African Union, the Africa World Museum and Center and Africa Heritage Foundation; the City of Atlanta and the State of Georgia proves the readiness of Africa to establish and maintain a long term interest and cooperation with the State of Georgia.
The expectation of the parties, as constituent elements of humanity and participants in the global arena, are that a suitable environment has been created for discussion and debates between Africans and African-Americans. The Ambassador’s visit planted African Union recognition in the state and there is a reinstated hope and aspiration for the people and confidence to participate in the African economy. The Ambassador’s visit was very encouraging and gave a clear cut indication of exposing the potential of Africa and the need for global participation. The visit has endorsed the Africa World Museum and Center; Africa Heritage Foundation as a significant representative of the African Union in Georgia.
Chief Tunde Adetunji.
President and Founder.
Africa World Museum&
Africa Heritage Foundation.