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African and Diaspora Lawmakers Collaborate for Africa’s Benefit

  • Policy makers and civil society members from Africa and the Diaspora meet to discuss recommendations on Africa’s growth and development
  • The ideas will be shared at the African Union Heads of State Summit on the Diaspora to be held May 25, 2012 in South Africa
  • The meeting also facilitated the formal establishment of the Parliamentary Forum for African and Diaspora Parliamentarians

NEW YORK, February 16, 2012 -- Parliamentarians from Africa, Brazil, Poland and the United States participated in a historic forum to discuss recommendations for Africa’s growth and development to be shared at the upcoming African Union Heads of State Summit on the Diaspora, scheduled to take place May 25, 2012 in South Africa.

Organized by the World Bank’s African Diaspora Program, the Pan-African Parliament and the United Nations Office for the Special Advisor on Africa, the forum gave policymakers and prominent civil society members from Africa and the Diaspora a unique opportunity to collaborate on common inputs for the summit.

“Parliamentarians and other elected officials have an important role to play in shaping the policies of their countries,” said Cheick Sidi Diarra, United Nations Special Advisor on Africa. “Their role is central when it comes to economic and social development but also conflict prevention. More importantly, Diaspora parliamentarians can play a crucial role in influencing their countries’ policies towards Africa.”

The preparatory meeting also facilitated the formal establishment of the Parliamentary Forum for African and Diaspora Parliamentarians.

“I am pleased with the outcomes of this event,” said Sally Dormeyan, Operations Officer, African Diaspora Program. “We now have a shared understanding of how the Parliamentary Forum for African and Diaspora Parliamentarians will operate and I believe this body has an important role to play in mobilizing the African Diaspora’s contribution to Africa’s growth and development, as well as promoting and encouraging the return to countries of origin of many African Diaspora(ns).”

The Pan-African Parliament (PAP), will be organizing another parliamentary preparatory meeting two days prior to the Heads of State Summit on the Diaspora in South Africa. African and Diaspora parliamentarians will utilize this forum to finalize their inputs and recommendations on Diaspora engagement for the African Heads of State and support them in their quest to ensure that their contributions reflect the voices of all members of parliament and the people of the constituencies that elected them.

The African Union hopes that the Parliamentary Forum will help galvanize African Diaspora participation in Africa’s policy dialogue and national development. This enthusiastic collaboration between African and Diaspora leaders has the potential to enhance Africa’s integration in the global economy by facilitating greater access to global decision-makers and thought leaders.




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