According to the CIDO director, Dr. Jinmi Adisa’s letter of invitation, “The Declaration of the First Global African Diaspora Summit held in Sandton, South Africa, on 25 May 2012 adopted five Flagship or Legacy Projects that would give immediate, urgent and practical meaning to the implementation agenda. These projects included the African Diaspora Volunteer Corps, the African Diaspora Skills Database, the African Institute for Remittance, the African Diaspora Investment Fund and Development Market place for African Development.
In the aftermath of the Summit, priority has been assigned to development appropriate implementation frameworks for the projects. As part of tis process, the AU Commission in cooperation with the World Bank is organizing a Consultation/Workshop in Washington DC from 25-28 March 2013 on how to operationalize the Legacy Projects. The objective of this Workshop is to lay the groundwork for project documents in each of the various areas to facilitate the implementation process.
The Consultation/Workshop will involve brainstorming sessions each of the main project areas to elaborate on desired and/or expected outcomes, deliverables, program, components, tools, actors and instruments, funding requirements, manpower support needs and a review monitoring and evaluation process that would include indicators and benchmarks for assessing progress and performance.
The brainstorming session will set the pace for review and finalization of project documents that will then be submitted to a workshop of Experts from all the 54 Member States of the Union in June 2013. The outcomes of that meeting will then be submitted to the executive organs of the African Union for consideration and or approval.”
I said finally, we are going to do something or at least have a follow-up on the enormous amount of time and money it took to put together the Global African Diaspora Summit – which took 8 years in planning. It had seemed that it would be one of those “Summits” that we always have and nothing comes out of it.
But more importantly is what I see as a different behavior on the part of the African Union organizers of the event. There is what I would call an efficiency quotient here. I guess if you are going to be in the presence of somebody who is going to give you money, you better be at your best behavior. What I mean by that is the kind of rapid-fire execution of the preparations before the meeting. Information and travel arrangements have been implemented well in advance. Tickets were booked, confirmed and provided to attendees well in advance. Arrival information and how to get to your hotel in DC were also well provided in advance. Just to make sure for myself, I had to call the airline, make sure this time I was confirmed on the flight, select my seat going and coming back. Then I called the hotel, and said wow, what’s going on here. Is this a different AU or what?
Well, we have been picked up from the hotel with vans owned by people I would call North Africans, great. We are being taken to the World Bank, and from what I can see on arrival here, it seems like a very tight program with very few people, because the round-table only seats about 38 people.
Well, we are going to begin the discussion on the implementation process of the Flagship or Legacy Projects of the African Union.