Africa Diaspora Homecoming Conference slated for March 5

Graca Machel, wife of the late South African president, Nelson Mandela will be one of the main speakers at the First Edition of the Africa Diaspora Homecoming Conference.

The conference is being organized by The Heritage and Cultural Society of Africa (HACSA) under the patronage of the United Nations Education Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).

The conference will be held from March 5th-11th 2017.

Other speakers at the conference include; Lord Boateng, Portia Simpson-Miller, James Barnor, David Adjaye and Fred Svanikier among many more.

The Conference, according to President of HACSA, Ambassador Johanna Odonkor Svanikier, is “a charitable initiative and residual sponsorship will contribute to a trust fund which will be created to support its work to preserve African Heritage and Culture, particularly the protection and preservation of sites associated with the transatlantic slave trade.”

Ambassador Johanna Odonkor Svanikier, (third from right) President of The Heritage and Cultural Society of Africa (HACSA) with Minister for Tourism Catherine Afeku during the launch of the conference

The conference is hinged on six themes – History and Memory for Reflection and Dialogue, Heritage and Culture of Peoples of African Origin, and Diaspora Trade and Investment in Africa.

The rest are; James Barnor Photo Exhibition, Innovation and Technology by the African Diaspora and African Literature, Culture and the Creative Arts.

There will also be a gala dinner, fashion show and concert on the evening of the 8th of March celebrating the talent of internationally-acclaimed performers from home and the Diaspora.

What you need to know about the conference

The 6th of March 1957, marked an important milestone for Ghana and the African Diaspora.

On this date Ghana became the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to gain its independence from colonialism.

This landmark conference seeks to evoke the spirit and memory of 1957 – a time when Ghana’s independence, was a source of pride for people of African descent and an inspiration for African liberation and civil rights movements in the African diaspora and beyond.

Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana’s founding President lived and studied in the USA and the UK where he became part of a group of activists who advanced the cause of pan-Africanism and kinship amongst all peoples of African descent.

As a result of his passion to unite the African diaspora, historical ties of kinship and the physical evidence of the dark history of the ‘Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade’ along its coast, Ghana was and still remains a pilgrimage destination (and for some home) for people of African descent from the diaspora.

Those who have come include amongst many others, W.E.B. DuBois, Martin Luther King, George Padmore, Malcolm X, Maya Angelou, Franz Fanon, Nina Simone, Muhammed Ali, Rita Marley and more recently, Barack and Michelle Obama.

Envisioned within the spirit of the “UN Decade of People of African Descent” and the framework of UNESCO’s History and Memory for Dialogue Section, the conference will commemorate and celebrate the legacy of Nkrumah, reflect on the country’s achievements in the period since independence, celebrate excellence found at home and abroad, and seek to forge a vision for the progress of peoples of African descent.

It will unite panelists from diverse backgrounds with a diverse group of international participants and provide a forum for building networks and opportunities for trade, commerce and investment on the continent.

The conference and its associated activities will be held in Accra from the 5th to the 11th of March.

Any surplus from sponsorship raised will contribute to a Trust Fund which will be created by HACSA to assist in the preservation and maintenance of heritage sites associated with the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade.

The mission of HACSA is to advocate for, promote and preserve African heritage and culture now and for the generations to come.