Greetings Your Excellencies, Clergy, Organizations and Beloved Afrikan Peoples on this good day,

It is with great pleasure that Afrikan Unity of Harlem, Inc have this privilege to make reports on the “Horn of Africa in Crises and Future Prospects”,  conference, which was held with great success. Co partnered with The Department of African American Studies York College CUNY, The Institute of Development and Education for Africa (IDEA), Inc and The Department of International and African Studies Lehman College CUNY. The conference was able to host leading African scholars to present their work for scholarly discourse.

At this moment we like to thank the Horn of Africa Embassies and Missions here in the Diaspora for your support and  recognition of the conference. Truly it is a blessing to have guidance from our African Leadership for without a head or vision the people will perish. The gathering was pleased to know that our office received direct calls from the office of the Ambassador to the African Union in New York, congratulating the conference and giving  moral support to its success. Also from the Ethiopian Missions office of Political Affairs, who were sending  representatives but they where to no avail. Regardless of your  present or not, we are confident that our shared  responsibly to the African Nation will always be maintained. 

The conference was called to order with February 27th 2010 at the P.S.  76 Phillip Randolph School auditorium at  approximately 2:15 pm Eastern Standard Time.  The conference commenced with a prayer of Unity from a           representative from the  Israelite Board of Rabbis of Saint Albans, New York Brother George Brown (Yousf Meier), who agreed with the gathering that there is only but one God Almightily, and all African Black people are to live         accordingly to that divine unity. As tradition for Africans born in the West to do, for the remembering and horning of the spirits of our African ancestors, special pouring of  Libation was offered By Candace Queen Mother Abbess Bishop Shirley Pitts, Queen Mother of Harlem. 

This conference was the fourth of its kind presented by AUH, Inc’s with scholars coming from Holland,               Connecticut, and New York, with audience participation from Washington D.C. and from various NYC boroughs concluding the following objectives:

      To establish forums concerning the Horn of Africa’s past, present and future developments.

      To strengthen the mind set in ethics among East African communities now living in the Diaspora

      To encourage these communities to work together to set a model for the Horn of Africa

      To understand the issues of pre/post colonization and the changing of the African civil structure

     To identify gaps in knowledge and understanding of the Horn and create an ethic in those areas

     To promote collaboration between East African communities and their Embassies in the Diaspora.

The panel of African scholars showed resilience in their various fields of knowledge concerning the ancient,  present and past standing of the Horn. It was found by Teaching Fellow Abdi Latif Ega of Columbia University topic: Text as Technology: Counter Moves with in the Metro, that there is a need for the Pan African moment to include Somalia and other Horn of Africa countries less focused on in its dynamics.  Historically the movements included areas like Marcus Garveyism and fighting for Africa like that of the invasion of Italy into Ethiopia. It was expressed that the Horn of Africa needs to have the same drive and more representation from its scholars in programs such as this. Human civilization and development in the Horn needs to be reconstructed to achieve a clearer per  colonial picture of civilization. It was express by ¨ Dr. Booker T. Coleman (Kaba Hiawatha Kamene)   lecture, researcher and historian Topic: The Geography and History of  the Ancient Cushite  Kingdom that      indeed Egypt (Kemit) had a rich culture and tradition however when you look at the geographic and history of  the ancient Cushit Kingdom, you will find that Kemit was a daughter of pervious civilizations spring form the Horn of  Africa out. The original peoples of the world, those who spring out of the earth and completely indigenous are those who are found in Tanzania and Uganda. He also presented a serious of pictures of antiquity to show the African world and how we as a people can learn from our ancestors to build a even better future.

Each scholar presenting their work for discourse also addressed the audience inquires concerning various prospects of the Horn and Africa’s people. Professors Aregawe  and Ghelawdewos both presented the cultural conflicts between neighboring groups living in the Horn and outside forces over land resources, which proved that a collective system of governance needs to be in place. As of now sub groups have used political systems to organize their separate interest which keeps their shared  country divided. But in most cases they shaer the same language and traditions.  These old systems due to ethnic personalities and colonial occupation has caused the people to not move forward as a collective because there is not in place a centralized people interest government. Professor Mesfin on his topic The State in the Horn of Africa, showed how the Horn like other parts of Africa are still utilizing post colonial land boundaries from which its people have been forced to live in made shift territories that are leading at lot of the     current conflicts. The need to  examine the States in the Horn and to usher  in an African way of cohesive governance he expressed, will alleviate tension and unrest in many areas.  After a 2 hour discourse it was removed by Dr.     Ghelawdewos  Araia, President of African Idea and professor at  Lehman College and seconded by the gathering, that there should be an African Unity Coordinating Committee to be established to   implement the following agenda: To organize a mini conference to discuss the format of a Task Force with the following missions and       objectives.

Self reliance and sustainable development harmonious with our natural environment.

Banking systems and Taxation, currency, and investments in natural resources (export/imports to and from      Africa to the Diaspora).

Developments  of Africa centered Education / Spirituality

Claims/ Recording of our History( Our Story)

Condemn Africa Military Command organized by the Western Hemisphere.

This committee was established with the following participants:

Candace Queen Mother Abbess Pitts Founder of the Essie Davis Memorial Scholarship Fund Committee, Queen Imani Johari Julia Peterson, Tyrone Newton community volunteer and activist, Juanita Gore-Thomas Founder of Kathleen’s and Catherine’s Children, Inc, Mokonnen Mokonnen, Dr. Mesfin Araya, Professor and Chairman of    African American Studies, York College CUNY, Dr.  Aregawe Berhe Author, Founder and Chairman of the Tigray Alliance for National Democracy (TAND),  Ato Kassayi Hailu President and Founder of AUH, Inc and Sister Ivory Ann Black II Woletta Sellassie, Executive Secretary of AUH, Inc. and Dr. Ghelawdewos  Araia  President of  African Idea and professor at Lehman College.

Following the conference a meeting was held March 1st 2010, where it was farther expressed that the African Union has called for the establishment of a United States of Africa and the development of the African Union 6th Region in the Diaspora to be a part of Africa. It was agreed that the only way Afrikan Unity of Harlem, Inc and the Community to  properly function, there must be an issuing of a Charter to the organization from the African Union to assist in efforts of  uniting African Diaspora peoples with “The Center of African Unity of Harlem”, as its base.

The meeting also called for a physical meeting with the Ambassador’s office of the AU to discuss these items in the nearing future. It was recognized that in organizing with various organization, AUH, Inc must continue to express that there is no need to stop or halt their current works, but rather organizations must continue to carry out their own missions but no longer in stagnated pockets.  Now as a collective we all make up the various departments of the 6th Region. Talks will need to happen to structure how each organization would operate as the governing body for the African Diaspora. It was also expressed that various African scholars must hold a conference solely to put together the collective story of the African experience from past to present, to issue it as the collective history of the African 6th Region Diaspora.

Along with this the development of the Diaspora needs to reflect the highest levels of moral and ethics towards the African peoples in the field of governance which all recognized as a concern concerning the current situation of the African continent. It was discussed that when the scramble for Africa took place after the Berlin conference of 1884-5, foreign systems of governance were institutionalized that were not conducive  to the African peoples’ culture and traditions. By this unfamiliar systems were established to feed the need of occupation and the exploration of African resources.

As Africa gained its independence, these systems where left in place and have maintained to carry out the pervious agenda of occupation which are a part of today’s corruption in areas like church and state. It is believed that if we as a people are using these foreign ways of government, then it can only be corrupt because the leadership are not in true mental or physical control of its nation and resources, but are serving in various offices and departments caring out the works of occupation.

The clear example used was that of South Africa. When the country finally ended apartheid and the release of Mandela after 27 years of imprisonment, the country not knowing how to maintain an order after so many years now of occupation, decided to keep the governing bodies and systems in place to ensure stability.  However this showed only to continue the systems of apartheid, as African people who once were fighting oppression, now have to fight the same system in the hands of its own African leadership. This situation is being felt not only in Africa but globally where ever her peoples live. This is why it is imperative for African heads of State alongside with local and national leaders to conduct talks on what does an African governing system look like, while recognizing our cultures and traditions which historical has already laid the foundation of such a governing system.

We must recall the times prior to the scramble for Africa, as a people we live in our respective Kingdoms or Empires who internally spoke various of languages,  held many traditions and customs. By which as a people we had to know several languages and ways of life of our surrounding brothers and sister in order to trade, barter and in cases marry. But never acting as a one solid nation with the same collective governance or a recognized collective order of leadership. Now in this 21st century here in the Diaspora we have the first opportunity to make collective governance possible which can serve as a model for the African continent.  The uniqueness of the Diaspora with its 567 year history of fighting all areas of colonization is that we are all here regardless of what side of the paradigm we come from. Regardless if we were born on the continent or Diaspora, we all have contributed to the collective freedoms from the first beginnings as a totally free people fighting on the continent as was seen by the Ashanti, Zulus, and the Abyssinians who by the grace  and spirit of God, defeated all areas of colonization. The revolts on the ships of captivity leading to the Haitian, Jamaican and other Islands in the West and continent revolutions, to the abandonment of the plantations in the South of the Americas, to the freedom fighters for civil liberties in the North. As a people sharing in this common experience, it is only forth coming that a collective union and governance be upheld.

Most Respect

Sister Ivory Ann Black II Woletta Sellassie

Executive Secretary

Afrikan Unity of Harlem, Inc

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