TAG | USAfrica Conference
ATLANTA, GA. February 2nd, 2009
Bridging the Gap & Building the Bridge – The Summary
By Maynard Eaton
“But through all that has been said and written and done in these years, there runs a common theme. Unity is the accepted goal. We argue about the techniques and tactics. But when semantics are stripped away, there is little argument among us. We are determined to create a union of Africans.” –Emperor Haile Selasie
The gap has narrowed; the bridge is being built. The breach between Africa and the African Diaspora – the sixth region of Africa – is closing because of the global economic crisis and the visionary leadership of the African Heritage Foundation.
The second annual USAfrica Economic Development Conference and Expo proved that the connectivity between Africans and African-Americans is no longer a pipe-dream; no longer a dream deferred.
“The conference represents the emergence of people and nations of the world thinking of global unity; thinking of a global economic upsurge,” said Chief Tunde Adetunji, President/CEO of the Africa World Museum and the African Heritage Foundation. “There was also a plethora of ideas and networking. The environment has changed dramatically because of Barack Obama. This conference was unique and different.”
Dr. Gerald Durley, senior pastor of Providence Missionary Baptist Church in Atlanta and a key figure in the election of President Obama concurs that this conference amounted to a transformative milestone.
“Your idea of “Bridging the Gap and Building the Bridge” was a concept whose time had come,” said Durley who lived in Nigeria from 1964 to 1966. “For far too long the Africans in the Diaspora and those who remain on the continent of Africa have been separated for a number of historic reasons. Anyone can point the finger of blame as to what created the schism, but because of your vision we can begin to make a difference by bringing people together to once again become the economic, political and educated people whom God created them to be. The vision will only become a reality when we, as you have suggested, stop using excuses for our not working together. You and I have spoken continuously about the involvement of city, county, and state agencies to become active partners to insure that this program becomes a viable force for needed and desired change among African people.”
The conference riveted, inspired, informed and impressed its vast array of participants. “We appreciate the efforts you have undertaken to highlight Africa’s cause particularly in these trying times and pray that you will continue to be the one voice that resonates amongst many,” said David Ochwangi, chairman of the Kenyan Community of Atlanta, to Chief Tunde. “It is obvious that Africa’s best days lie ahead and with your help seem more and more within reach.”
That was underscored by the powerful presence and influence of representatives of the highly regarded African Union. Their participation legitimized the clout and cause of Chief Tunde and the African Heritage Foundation.
“For the African Union representative to be there, it endorses the conference’s longevity,” said Chief Tunde. “It takes the conference beyond any other conference because already there is a communiqué to be issued. His presence has defined this conference as the solution to African problems and the solution to Diaspora problems. Now the creation of the sixth region of Africa is imminent. And the endorsement that the present situation in America has given to this conference has stabilized the Diaspora as not only the sixth region, but also a viable region that will make significant contributions to African development. This conference has really redeemed the Diaspora to be one of the key players in African sustainable investment and development. And that is exactly what Africa needs.”
What speakers and conference participants such as former Atlanta Mayor and United Nations Ambassador Andrew Young continually emphasized is that given the international economic stability Africa is the missing link in our global economy.
“Africa is fast becoming the attraction of the world. Africa is indeed on the threshold of great advances,” said Francis Atuche, CEO of Platinum-Habib Bank in remarks to the conference. “Africa represents a land of largely untapped natural and human resources. Coming together in this fashion is a great way of bridging the socio-cultural and economic divide between Africa and Africans in Diaspora. Africans themselves hold the key for unlocking the potentials inherent and therefore should take responsibility for the development of Africa.”
Chief Tunde adds, “What came out of this is the signal that the conference sends is that there is need mutual cooperation and understanding in order to move things forward. We must now move into the area of practicalization. The relationship between Africa and America has taken a new dimension from what has happened before. Definitely there are so many Presidents that have made visits to Africa but they have not gone beyond that. Now it has become necessary because America is in need and Africa is in need. What America has, Africa doesn’t have it. What Africa has, America does not have it. Actions are exactly what make this particular conference different. As much as America has demonstrated total change in choosing a forward looking administration then something is really going to happen.”
Atlanta GA 12/31/08 Press Release.
USAFRICA,Bridging the Gap and Building the Bridge, A divine blessing and a reality vision of our time.
By Maynard Eaton
Emmy Award Winner.
Chief Tunde Adetunji, the amiable, humble and charismatic President/ceo of the 12-year old Africa Heritage Foundation, says he has the answer to America’s economic malaise – its Africa, the continent of great possibilities.
“Africa is the antidote to America’s economy now,” Adetunji says. “We are calling on the new Secretary of Commerce to look into the possibility of using this as an opportunity to draw the entire 54 African nations closer to the United States in order to create jobs and opportunity for both Americans and Africans. Unless America sees Africa’s possibilities and potentials then the economy of America can never be the same. Europe is saturated but American goods will find its place of pride and markets in Africa.”
Adetunji, a true pan-Africanist, recently hosted a major economic convention titled USAFRICA conference and expo Bridging the gap and building the bridge in Atlanta, the center for Africa Heritage Foundation Inc and future home of the proposed AFRICA VILLAGE.. It was well received.
“Your innovative leadership will surely forge new bonds of greater understanding, creative cooperation and strengthened solidarity to unite Africa and America in common cause for mutual progress and prosperity,” said Isaac Farris, Jr., President of The King Center.
The appearance and participation of African Union and representative, added international intrigue, impact and importance to this annual economic , socio and cultural gathering. The African Union is a supranational union consisting of 53 African states.
“The conference was designed for the Diaspora to now see Africa as the continent of possibilities and the future. That is why it is necessary for us to bridge the gap and build the bridge,” Adetunji explains. “Bridging the gap between the indigenous, the intimate and the distant Africans. There are so many people that have the intimacy of Africa in their minds and they have no opportunity to even see Africa the way Africa truly is they have no opportunity even participate in the development of Africa.
The passionate Adetunji, who is a prince from a royal Yoruba family in Nigeria also has some advice for President-elect Obama.
“The incoming president who is of African descent has the opportunity to have the goodwill of African nations; that’s working positively for him,” Adetunji opines. “And African nations are ready to support and cooperate with him to redeem the economy of America. This will be through the influence of trade,and selling of products, technology transfer, investment and job opportunity , Brain gain ,human resources and bilateral joint education system between Africa and USA.
“One of his first missions should be a fact-finding mission on African trade and development. That is what was missing in the Bush administration. All they believed was that Africa needed aid. Africa does not need aid. There’s too much potentials in Africa.” Africa needs sustainable investment, Chief Tunde continues, “Obama becoming the President of America, has now created euphoria for the African nations now to be enthralled with American style; to be enticed by American products and the American way of life. The Obama syndrome has made people believe more that, God can use ordinary to make extraordinary. Obama’s election has Africanized America and Americanized Africa.”
On the economic front, Chief Tunde said American automakers and others only need to look at Delta Airlines example of how U.S. industry can thrive in Africa. Delta flies to Senegal, Nigeria, South Africa and Ghana. Coming soon are daily flights to Kenya, Central Africa and Egypt.
“Delta Airlines was facing bankruptcy over the years, and then they started flights into Africa,” he says. “They’re making tremendous profit and progress. The Nigerian flights from now until next year are fully booked. The demand is there. Delta should serve as an example for the car manufacturers.”
Coming up for The African Heritage Foundation is a July 2009 US-Africa Conference in Abuja Federal capital of NIGERIA and the groundbreaking of a visionary project tittled ‘ The Africa Village.’
“It is a $25 billion project. It’s a Disney World-like project that will feature the civilization, culture,character , technology and potentials of all 54 African nations, “says Adetunji. “We become more successful when we help others to be successful The African village is envisioned in all the six regions of AFRICA ,including the proposed Diaspora region . It is configured to 540 acres of land showcasing the dignity and pride of all the 54 African nation and the . iwill draw and provide endless opportunities and millions of job. Its one vision that will truly portray the world as a global village.
Adetunji has been described in many quarters as one of the most idealistic, talented , selfless, dedicated , committed and tireless human machine whose aim and objectives is to create a long lasting legacy of unity , love , peace and progress for the people of the world. He humbly submit to his principle and believe’ VISION IS GREATER THAN AMBITION’
Chief Tunde Adetunji is an acomplished, outstanding Art Historian , curator, journalist and publisher.His works has been recognised by Various intutition , universities , smithsonia institute , American association of museums and Galleries , National commision for museums and monument and the worlf interllectual properties organization Geneva .He has won numerous awards which includes Nigerian national Award , Africa best image maker and cultural Ambassador , city of Atlanta Phoenix award and the state of Georgia outstanding citizen award and Board of advisors of Metro Atlanta Chamber of commerce. Adetunji is described as a genius whose time has come .
His award winning project which started since 1996 centennial Olympics in Atlanta has gained both national and international endorsements and has drawn numerous interested groups , partners and collaborators , including the Africa Union , City of Atlanta , Martin Luther king Center, African Business round table , NE PAD, Metro Atlanta Chamber of commerce , World bank initiative on Africa , Congressman John Lewis , Fed. Govt. of Nigeria., State of Georgia, Advisory committee on international relations, Morris Brown and Historical Black colleges, SC LC,Povidence Baptist church, Andrew Young Foundation, 100 Black men of America Inc. and many others.
His famous pulication “Africa on the mountain top” is schedule for launching in July and October 2009 simultaneously with the taking off of the Africa heritage radio and television , which will promote teach and broadcast African indegenous languages , food ,clothing , music culture, technology, education and family values .
The timing is perfect for the USAFRICA initiative and Africa Village project.The emergence of Obama is a big blessing and golden endorsement to his vision.”
Please see all the links listed below , for more relative information and activities.the on the project,