Introduction

Introduction

The AU -the African Union- is the linear descendent of the Organization of African Unity (OAU). The OAU ceased to exist in 2001-2002 with the birth of the AU. The AU is the African government-centred, continent-wide body of 53 member’s states (morocco has not joined) established to represent the joint interest of African countries, and to eventually create a Union of African States, which will be a single country of Africa to replace the current 54 countries. The AU has laid out, on paper a roadmap for the creation of a real Pan African unification, and the Diaspora is a big part of those plans.

In 2003 the AU amended his constitution called the AU Constitutive Act) to clarify its fundamental relationship with the Diaspora and to invite the Diaspora to join the organization to help African unify.  

In article 3(3q) of the AU’s amended Constitution, “the AU hereby” ….. invite(s)  and encourage(s) the full participation of the Diaspora as an important part of our continent, in building of the African Union”

The advent of the African Union (AU) can be described as an event of great magnitude in the institutional evolution of the continent. On 9.9.1999, the Heads of State and Government of the Organisation of African Unity issued a Declaration (the Sirte Declaration) calling for the establishment of an African Union, with a view, inter alia, to accelerating the process of integration in the continent to enable it play its rightful role in the global economy while addressing multifaceted social, economic and political problems compounded as they are by certain negative aspects of globalisation.

The main objectives of the OAU were, inter alia, to rid the continent of the remaining vestiges of colonization and apartheid; to promote unity and solidarity among African States; to coordinate and intensify cooperation for development; to safeguard the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Member States and to promote international cooperation within the framework of the United Nations.
Indeed, as a continental organization the OAU provided an effective forum that enabled all Member States to adopt coordinated positions on matters of common concern to the continent in international fora and defend the interests of
Africa effectively.

Through the OAU Coordinating Committee for the Liberation of Africa, the Continent worked and spoke as one with undivided determination in forging an international consensus in support of the liberation struggle and the fight against apartheid. (source:OAU)

The Vision of the AU

·    The AU is Africa 's premier institution and principal organization for the promotion of accelerated socio-economic integration of the continent, which will lead to greater unity and solidarity between African countries and peoples.

·    The AU is based on the common vision of a united and strong Africa and on the need to build a partnership between governments and all segments of civil society, in particular women, youth and the private sector, in order to strengthen solidarity and cohesion amongst the peoples of Africa .

·    As a continental organization it focuses on the promotion of peace, security and stability on the continent as a prerequisite for the implementation of the development and integration agenda of the Union .

The AU exists from several commissions of these commissions the Economic, Social and Cultural Commission (ECOSOCC) is the firts to invite the Diaspora to take part. The ECOSOCC is a grouping of 150 community-bases organisations, which are also called NGOs (Non-governmental Organizations) and civil society organizations. The Diaspora has been designated 20 members of that 150

The AU defines the African Continent as being divided into 6 geographical regions:

  1. North Africa
  2. South Africa
  3. West Africa
  4. East Africa
  5. Central Africa
  6. the Diaspora

In 2005 the the AU defined the Diaspora as “…peoples of African descent and the heritage living outside the continent, irrespective their citizenship, and who remain committed to contribute to the development of the continent and building of the African Union.

Geographically, this large population, variously estimated as between 150 – 350 million folks, is to be found in;

  1. The USA
  2. Canada
  3. The Caribbean
  4. Central and south America (including Brazil , Surinam and the Guyanna’s)
  5. Europe

To accept the invitation to participate as part of the AU the Diaspora need to be organised.

Find hereunder the history. (The election shall only take place when the AU is ready (in a practical way) to involve the Diaspora in the AU process/policy.

Our remark is that because of the focus (on their country of birth) from the Diaspora groups, and the struggle for equality and live from some of the members of the groups it is very hard to organise the whole Diaspora community, and get their focus on Africa.

That is why the ADCC is searching for a way to support/educate the weak Diaspora here, to get them to a higher level of (self-)support, and inform them about the ongoing process of Africa and his Diaspora. We are aware that this is a different approach, but we are also aware the fact that the other way did not (fully) succeed.

We now have the awareness that our education project is a success (see the pictures an letters of appreciation), and that "success starts with education". That is why we shall focus on big Diaspora educational projects, Mostly in Africa, but also in the countries of the Diaspora members.

The ADCC  is not neglecting the below procedure, and shall/will participate.

It was our intention to folow the below procedure, but the economic hard times for the Diaspora and our positive experience with the projects are asking for a different focuspoint (education-emancipation ,and entrepreneurship).

The interim ECOSOCC had agreed a date in march 2007 to represent the first gathering of the permanent members of that AU commission, including voting members from the Diaspora. Hoever that has been changed to December 2007.

On March 21, 2007 , a public Town Hall meeting was held in The Hague at the South African Embassy to take the first major step in organizing the Diasporan population of Europe . At that meeting, a comprehensive explanation of the AU-Diaspora organizing relationship was presented to a diverse and relatively large audience. Consequently, an Interim African Diaspora Community Council (ADiCC) was selected by the attendees at that first Town Hall gathering.

That ADCC was authorized to take over the planning and strategy necessary to complete the task of organizing the Netherlands section of Europe and with getting a body of AU Diasporan Representatives elected to present the European Diasporan agenda to the African Union in December, 2007. That planning and strategy must comply with the following stipulations from the AU:

(a.) Diasporan Representatives must be elected  by and through community gatherings. AU Diasporan Representatives are not to be self-appointed or appointed by individual organizations.

(b.) Diasporan Representatives to the AU are not to be officials already elected to governmental positions in their respective territories.  

(c.) Diasporan AU Representatives are to include women and youth, with the minimum allowable age being 18.

The Interim Community in The Hague , which became a permanent body at the second Holland Community Town Hall meting on April 14, 2007 , is the original ADCC of the Netherlands section of Europe . Other interested Diasporan residents (Countries) of this geographical region can join the ADCC, or they can initiate African Diaspora Community Counsels from their own local communities.

The African Diaspora Community Counsel in The Hague would be happy to advise and assist other Diasporans in establishing their own local ADCCs.

Upon request, we will immediately send out the approved minimum qualifications for ADCC membership and the primary and secondary goals of the ADCC.

The date of the second Holland Community Town Hall meeting was Saturday, the 14th of April 2007 . Diasporans in  Holland were publicly invited.

At that gathering, we started the process of nominating AU Diasporan Representatives from this part of Europe

We are now in the process of waiting for the AU, but are very busy wth the (new) projects.

Where can we find participants.

Where can we find African descendent in every town/province in the Netherlands?

The Netherlands 385 inhabitants per km² is divided in 12 provinces (458 Dutch municipalities) these are (from left to right and north to south):

  1. Groningen
  2. Friesland
  3. Drente
  4. Noord Holland
  5. Flevoland
  6. Overrijsel
  7. Zuid Holland
  8. Utrecht
  9. Gelderland
  10. Noord Brabant
  11. Zeeland
  12. Limburg

Some Numbers:

In The Netherlands there are 385 inhabitants by km² (Source: CBS)

The cities with the large group of African Diasporas are;

 

 

 

 

 

City

Inhabitants

n. western

% non western (immigrant)

 

Amsterdam       

         743.079

255.099

34,3%

 

Rotterdam

592.669

208.550

35,4%

 

Den Haag 

475.627

153.452

32,3%

 

Utrecht

280.949

58.522

20,8%

 

Eindhoven 

200.803

31.301

15,0%

 

Tilburg  

200.380

26.732

13,3%

 

Groningen

172.166

 

 

 

Almere

178,466

44.827

25.1%

 

 

 

 

 

 

(source: CBS )

 

 

 

 

In sum there are 1.148.680 Diasporas in The Netherlands . These subdivide Diaspora in;

Country

number

 

Surinamese

164.000

These numbers don't include the third and fourth generation.

Moroccans

323.272

 Moroccans are not taking part in the A.U

Antilleans / Aruba ’s

130.111

 

Cabo-verdians

20.137

 

Ghana ’s

19.487

 

Egyptians

18.952

 

Somalians

19.875

 

 

 

 

Angolans

12.281

 

Congolese

8.400

 

Eritrea ’s en Ethiopians

10.948

 

Nigerians

7.298

 

Sudanese

7.626

 

Somalia ’s

25.001

 

 Zambia

1.090

 

Zimbabwe
1.090
 
South Africa
15.718
 
     

0thers

214.673

 
     

(source: CBS )

 

 

 
999.959

 

 

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

Keep in mind that even for the CBS is very difficult to get the exact numbers of the second generation.