ASI offers several types of conferences, ranging from the International African Science Conference (IASC) to Africa Focus. ASI also offers workshops and seminars on a wide range of subject matter. Each of these events are developed in detail to assure participants full knowledge of issues.
This round table forum discussed support work being performed by the African Diaspora towards developing energy resources and enhancing the power grids within of Africa’s countries. We showed how the African Diaspora can collaborate in Africa’s future energy development. The facilitator encouraged lively discussion within the round table, with inputs from all attendees. Discussions included information about current activities in Africa’s carbon based energy sector, as well as developments in the utilization of alternative energy sources.
Contemporary conditions throughout the world dictate that individuals can no longer isolate themselves and solve problems with only local resources. If an organization is to be effective in solving problems which affects an entire people, then it must work with many individuals and organizations which are also attempting to help those people. For this reason, African Scientific Institute (ASI) has sought the assistance of Black scientists to enhance our people. We have joined hands with many individuals and organizations and have formed relationships in various areas throughout the United States and foreign countries to assure successful conferences.
ASI has offered conferences to the public since 1970. One of our conference formats is the INTERNATIONAL AFRICAN SCIENCE CONFERENCE (IASC).
IASC objectives are immediate, intermediate, and long range in scope:
The immediate goal of this conference is to increase public awareness of Black scientists from around the world. Through the efforts of the participants, an interface is established between the lay and scientific sectors that allows the people in general to gain respect for Black people. This respect from your fellow man is a necessity for survival. This conference is a small stepping stone to show the public that Blacks have, can, and will achieve scientific prominence in the world! This conference represents an extension of A.S.I.’s belief that a technical organization should do more than just promote the development of only its membership.
The conference was initiated, under A.S.I. auspices, by a group of physical and life scientists. They wanted Black scientists and engineers to play a more important role in the area of science. Therefore, they formulated the idea of a conference that was broad in subject matter, international and interdisciplinary in scope, and whose format would allow for both formal and informal contacts among the participants and audience.
As important in this reasoning is the relation science/ technology has with society. Technology does not exist because of its own good. It exists for people; its goodness and the progress it brings, can only be judged in relation to how it meets the needs and desires of society. With this in mind, IASC is presented on the level where it would be attractive to the layman. It is he/she, who uses the reasoning from the information scientists and engineers, that will make the ultimate decision on the morality and desirability of a technological innovation.
The intermediate objective of this conference is to initiate projects on a pilot basis by drawing upon the expertise of Black scientists in conjunction with our institutions of higher learning.
Long range objectives of IASC will be enduring. We will establish systems to perpetuate the development of our youth into areas of higher learning, including scientific knowledge. Such systems will no longer over-depend on others’ interests in us. We will enhance ourselves because we so choose.
ASI, with support from UNESCO, presented ” The African Diaspora Scientific Community Mobilization for Africa Initiative” in Paris, France.
During the conference we explored how highly skilled African Diaspora scientific and technical experts and their international colleagues and partners could address development issues pertaining to infrastructure on the continent of Africa.
The purposes of this conference were:
- To bring together African Diaspora scientists, futurists and technology experts and their international colleagues and partners to “brainstorm” and determine who can assist towards alleviating some structural poverty
- To address developing infrastructures within Africa.
- To increase networking within the African Diaspora, and also link notable African and non-African people with the next generation of Black scientists and technologists.
Every country throughout the world has concerns and problems which are continually being addressed by their various leaders. Countries in Africa are no different.
While each country in Africa is unique and requires specific solutions to respective problems, there are general problems which exist in each country and require solutions which are common across national boundaries. To resolve problems, each country must clearly state which problems have highest priority. Many countries have attempted to do so by initiating and developing plans.
Before such plans can be implemented, clarification of existing conditions, resources, and problems, both specific and general, must be made.
Concerns, problems, and solutions are addressed at the AFRICA FOCUS Series.
- Addresses a host of problems and opportunities from many international sources. From these same sources, you can assist in developing a list of priorities for initiating achievable solutions for short, intermediate, and long range goals.
- Identifies available resources which assist in Africa’s development and bridge relations between Africans and African Americans. No one wants to “reinvent the wheel” and minimize the effectiveness available to address issues.
- Defines where many Africans and African Americans are in relation to many dynamics of international forces in a rapidly changing world.
- Identifies international financial sources interested in efforts to enhance African countries.
- Identifies multinational corporations and organizations operating in Africa.
- Initiates a databank of international resources interested in African development.
Each workshop evaluates implementation processes in relation to immediate, midrange, and long range effects of changes occurring throughout the world. Each country, whether in Africa, Europe, past Soviet Bloc, the Americas, Asia, Mideast, etc. is seeking “its share” of world resources… finances, raw materials, human brainpower.
Communique of the Global African Diaspora Summit, 25 May 2012, Sandton, South Africa
by African Union Commission (AUC)
JOHANNESBURG, South-Africa, May 28, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ — The first ever Global African Diaspora Summit was held in Sandton, South Africa beginning on 23 May 2012, and concluded on Africa Day, 25 May 2012. The meeting was attended by Heads of States or representative of the 54 Member Countries of the Africa Union, Governments of the Caribbean Community, North America, South and Latin America.
The Summit began with welcome remarks by the Host, President Jacob Zuma which was followed by the remarks of Dr. Jean Ping, the Chairperson of the AU Commission, Honorable David Dinkins, former Mayor of New York , an Eminent person from the Diaspora, Honorable Arnold Joseph Nicholson, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Honorable Samuel Hins, Prime Minister of the Republic of Guyana, on behalf of CARICOM, Mr. Esteban Lasto, the Vice President of the Republic of Cuba and President Nguema of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea. The opening session was concluded with the opening remarks of President Boni Yayi, President of the Republic of Benin and Chairperson of the Union.
In his opening Statement, President Zuma expressed the gratitude of his Government and the people of South Africa to Heads of States and Governments that have taken the time from their busy schedule to attend the event and acknowledged the sterling work of the AU Commission in preparing for the Summit. He linked the historic event to the impetus that led African leaders to create the Organization of African Unity and the centenary celebrations of the ANC as the first African liberation movement. He further acknowledged the vision and commitment of the first generation of African leaders and their vision to see Africa taking its rightful place, with respect and dignity in global affairs.
In turn, the Chairperson of the AU Commission, H.E. Dr. Ping, thanked the Host President, President Jacob Zuma for his hospitality. In similarity with President Zuma, H.E. Ping traced the historical Global Diaspora Summit to the vision and agenda of the first generation of African leaders. He then provided a detailed overview of the events and processes that culminated in the Draft Declaration presented to the Summit. He observed that the Declaration offers a basic law and a working document that will support the objectives of rebuilding the Global African family. He concluded on the note that Member States and all other stakeholders must recommit themselves to the implementation agenda by providing necessary resources for the program and sustaining focus and interest in its consolidation and advancement. He pledged the dedication of the African Union Commission to this process and appealed to African leaders to ensure that the Declaration will be a living document that generations after us will come to applaud, respect and continue to implement.
Subsequently, the addresses of the Minister of Jamaica, Eminent Representative of the Diaspora, the Prime Minister of Guyana and the Vice President of Cuba, expressed their support for the AU’s Diaspora Initiative. Each recalled the involvement of their people in the struggle for African liberation and pledged to work with the AU to ensure realization of its objective.
Finally, President Boni, Yayi, the Chairperson of the Union, noted that processes of Regional Consultative conferences developed and consolidated the views, desires and objectives of Africans over all the world into the Draft Declaration that is now before the Assembly. He observed that the Summit was initially supposed to be held in 2008 but that the period since then had been put to good use in order to refine and consolidate the documents. He expressed gratitude for the work of the AU Commission and the South African government in preparing for this Summit and urged all leaders and Ministers to rededicate themselves to implementation of Summit outcomes and to provide necessary resources for this process.
Subsequently, a closed session of the Assembly considered and approved the Draft Declaration that was formally presented by Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane Minister of International Relations and Cooperation of South Africa. The integrated Draft Declaration that was adopted had four basic elements. The first was a political declaration embodying vision, purpose and objectives. The second was a Program of Action that highlighted areas and programs required to support the implementation agenda. Third were implementation and follow-up mechanism embodying the instruments that would be employed to facilitate implementations of the outcomes and fourthly, five legacy projects that would give immediate, urgent and practical meaning to the Declaration.
The meeting ended with closing remarks by the Host, President Jacob Zuma and President Boni Yayi, the Chairperson of the African Union.
Lee O. Cherry, one of the representatives from the African Scientific Institute, not only assisted in providing input to the “Civil Society” Declaration of the Global African Diaspora Summit, he also participated in the Science and Technology Program for the Diaspora Seminar, sponsored by South Africa’s Department of Science and Technology. Several of the focal points of this seminar were presented during sessions held among Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Heads of State to be included in the final Declaration of the Civil Society document.
About 50 Global Delegates worked on the Declaration of the Civil Society document during the pre-summit gatherings and during the Summit itself. Notables such as Mel Foote of CFA, Amb. Erieka Bennett of the African Diaspora Forum, Amb. Vincent Okobi, Oscar Brathwaite, Barryl Biekman, David Horne, Alfred Sears, James Early, Sidney Martin, Prof. Gus John, Roland Ndip and others all contributed to the success of this vital and historic Summit.
We thank Amb. Mbulelo Rakwena of South Africa and Dr. Jinmi Adisa of the Africa Union (Director, CIDO-AUC) for their dedication and hard work towards coordinating affairs of this great Summit.
Pictures from the Summit: