I sent out the below email to the friends and supporters of Africa Agenda on July 10, a day after our event in Greeley Colorado. The event was a discussion, Obama Ghana and John Atta Mills: Engaging Africa about economic growth, development and democracy, in reaction to the president’s visit to Ghana July 10 and 11.
I like to share that with you.
Friends and supporters of Africa Agenda
On July 9, in Greeley, Colorado, our organization held an important discussion about President Obama’s historic visit to Ghana which starts July 10 in Accra. We like to report back to you about the outcome of that event. In the meantime, as the build up to Obama’s visit to Ghana continues, the White House has been taking text messages from all over the continent. According to NPR’s Ofeibea Quist-Arcton stationed in Accra, questions have come in from over 50 African nations directed at Mr. Obama.
The U.S. President will be responding to some of these questions which are being selected by African journalists after his address to Africa in the Ghanaian parliament early Saturday morning.
For now, our meeting in Greeley, Colorado came out with the following recommendations.
In a room packed full with people from all over Africa and the world; we not only challenged each other to take hold of the future of Africa but came out with ideas about how to go about this.
1. We must not continue to be a continent of hand-outs from the West. African nations must produce and be productive as partners in a global economy. How to go about this remains a challenge.
2. Our own people should and must begin to take charge of the future of Africa. We must lead and not be led.
3. We have to take ownership and define for ourselves what constitutes real news about Africa. News about Africa must not be driven by a quest for profits and ratings by news organizations. Rather, news about Africa must be put into context and take into account the cultures and traditions of African societies.
4. Responsibility today includes not only talking about our problems but also bringing together our communities to help solve problems, dialogue and learn from each other.
5. Each person has to go back into their communities and do something to help change attitudes, thoughts about Africa for the better. We must get involved and not be observers anymore.
In essence, that is what this event accomplished. We left the event feeling uplifted, empowered with information and ready to battle for change. The East African Community Center in Greeley where this event took place is a veritable theatre for that self-reliance and empowerment that we like to highlight. The organization has a website where you can learn about their activities and involvement in the community.
Our thanks to the Africana Studies program at UNC Greeley Colorado, especially to Dr. Anita Fleming-Rife, for their support of our initiatives.