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Announcement of the upcoming African Diaspora Technical Committee of Experts Meeting scheduled for 21 and 22 February 2011

The Republic of South Africa, in collaboration with the African Union (AU) Commission, will host the African Diaspora Technical Committee of Experts Meeting (TCEM) on 21 and 22 February 2011. It will be recalled that the Government of the Republic of South Africa entrenched its active participation in the African Diaspora Initiative by, jointly with the AU, organising a conference which brought together Africans on the continent and representatives of the African Diaspora from the Caribbean in March 2005 in Kingston, Jamaica. The conference was held under the theme “Towards Unity and United Action by Africans and the African Diaspora in the Caribbean for a Better World: The Case of South Africa”.

Pursuant to the success of the Jamaica conference and owing to its continued commitment to the African Diaspora Initiative, the African Union (AU) endorsed South Africa as the host of the 2008 AU African Diaspora Summit during its Executive Council Meeting held in Khartoum, Sudan in 2006.The 2008 Summit was however postponed due to political developments in South Africa.

Following the postponement of the 2008 Summit, South Africa reiterated its commitment and readiness to host the African Diaspora Dialogue. In this regard, the country‘s roadmap towards the hosting of the African Diaspora Summit was endorsed by the AU July 2010 Kampala Summit. The key elements of the roadmap are therefore predicated on the hosting of the TCEM on 21 and 22 February, followed by the Ministerial in September 2011 and the Summit in 2012.

It should therefore be underscored that the convening of the TCEM marks the practical commencement of the implementation of the key elements of the African Diaspora Summit roadmap as endorsed by the AU. Further, for its part and in preparation for the TCEM, South Africa convened National Technical Committee of Experts as a platform for continued National consultation and participation of key stakeholders in South Africa’s engagement in the African Diaspora.

In this regard, the main objectives of the TCEM are, among others, to take stock of factors that might have arisen since the postponement of the 2008 Summit; review what the Ministerial and the Summit should achieve and propose bankable projects for consideration by the Ministerial meeting. In terms of the review, focus will be on the Draft Summit Declaration, Minister’s Programme of Action and previous outcomes reports. Proposals for bankable projects will be made within the ambit of the previously agreed areas of cooperation namely, political, economic and social areas of cooperation.

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