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21st Century Pan-Africanism: The decade of the African Diaspora Part I

After thousands of conferences, Ndabas, roundtable discussions, forums and meetings talking about the need for African people — those on the continent and those off — to unify for positive […]


After thousands of conferences, Ndabas, roundtable discussions, forums and meetings talking about the need for African people — those on the continent and those off — to unify for positive action, action is now upon us. From January 2015 to December 2025, the Decade of the Diaspora (Not the same as the U.N.-designated Decade for People of African Descent 2015-2024, which is so far showing no real practical advances) is now being formally announced in this column by the Sixth Region Diasporan Caucus/Pan African Diaspora Union.

The unity and partnership of African descendant folk now has a specific time frame in which to focus the highest levels of its creativity, innovation, hard work and goal-directed energy to accomplish the United States of Africa, aka, Union of African States, in an all-out progressive assault. Failure is not and will not be an option. Why that raison d’etre?

African descendants have most often flailed away in individual pursuits towards the restoration of dignity, esteem and respect in over 70 countries for a long time. Although there have been notable successes — the election of President Barack Obama, for example; the release of Nelson Mandela; the ascendance of Barbados to the status of an independent republic; the creation of the Central American Black Organization (CABO); the recent designation of CARICOM (Caribbean Economic Community) as an official spokesperson for the Diaspora in the African Union (AU); and the continuing attempt to organize the European Diaspora under a common set of principles, among others.

Black folks in general are still at the bottom of most measures of power, leverage and significance in the world. As Marcus Garvey and many others have said, until Africa is unified as a force to be reckoned with, Black folks wherever they are will remain disregarded and dispossessed.

In order to be truly free, Africa must be operationally united. In order for Africans living in other parts of the world to be truly respected in affiliation with Africa’s transformation, the Diaspora must substantially help push this tremendous rock back up the hill. The Diaspora cannot share in the harvest without fully participating in the tillage and labor.

The Decade of the Diaspora is the time period in which African folk here, there and across the globe must rise to the challenge of bringing themselves back from obscurity. Within that decade, the diaspora will demonstrate clearly that it is indeed the 6th Region of Africa and the missing piece of the necessary puzzle to bring all the king’s horses and all the king’s men and women back together again.

During this period, the diaspora will substantially unify itself internally, so that it can more effectively help continental Africa unify itself totally. That work has already begun in earnest and has begun to bear fruit.

PADU, the Pan African Diaspora Union, is a partnership between the SRDC (Sixth Region Diasporan Caucus);  the UNIA-ACL (Universal Negro Improvement Association- African Communities League); CABO (Central American Black Organization); African Diaspora Union-Europe; and other such groups. And the list is growing.

This coalition of equals brings together a formidable reference point  for other Diasporan groups to come together, work together, and actually get significant things done. Wherever Black folks live, love, lay and lose, there are efforts, projects, ideas and events they can participate in, lead, coordinate, announce, and provide credibility to and for that will help achieve the goal of African unification.

No one person or group can, will, nor should do it all. This is a collective effort of cumulative microsuccesses. Together it will all work to bring all Africa and Africans together.

Actually, the sole remaining question is what will you do to participate positively in the Decade of the Diaspora? And, when will you get started? It is not coming, it is here.

Professor David L. Horne is founder and executive director of PAPPEI, the Pan African Public Policy and Ethical Institute, which is a new 501(c)(3) pending community-based organization or non-governmental organization (NGO). It is the stepparent organization for the California Black Think Tank which still operates and which meets every fourth Friday.

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