African Diaspora ▎ Bloodline ▎ Heritage ▎ Migration ▎ Inclusiveness
|Music of the people of the African Diaspora|
Definition of the African Diaspora
In the early part of April 2005, the African Union Commission held a two-day meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to create a definition of the African Diaspora. The consensus of the meeting defined the African Diaspora as "Peoples of African origin living outside the continent, irrespective of their citizenship and nationality and who are willing to contribute to the development of the continent and the building of the African Union."
The following factors shaped the globally recognized definition of the African Diaspora by Africans
Bloodline and Heritage
The African Diaspora should consist of people living outside the continent whose ancestral roots or heritage is in Africa. The peoples of African origin whose ancestors within historical memory came from Africa, but who are currently domiciled in other countries outside the continent and claim citizenship of those countries. The Africans who, for various reasons, have settled outside the continent, whether or not they have kept the citizenship of an African country.
The African Diaspora should be composed of people of African heritage, who migrated from or are living outside the continent. In this context, three trends of migration were identified—pre-slave trade, slave trade, and post-slave trade or modern migration.
The definition must embrace both ancient and modern African Diaspora; and the commitment to the African course. The African Diaspora should be people who are willing to be part of the continent or the African family.
The African Union Commission also felt the definition of the African Diaspora should not be limited by time or history. Globally, Africans in the diaspora are spread out across the continents. In North America, there are 39 million from the African Diaspora; 113 million in Latin America; 13.6 million in the Caribbean; and 3.5 million in Europe.
The three D’s about Africa, death, despair and disease still prevail in the minds of many people in the world, the definition of African Diaspora, irrespective of their citizenship and nationality and who are willing to contribute to the development of the continent and the building of Africa.
No matter how they arrived in their adopted country, African Diasporans bring a distinct perspective because they have on foot rooted in Africa and one foot planted in the current world, they live. African Diasporans serve as a bridge in fostering greater understanding between the African continent and their adopted country.