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[News] Africans in Diaspora can change the ‘3Ds’ narrative says Abike Dabiri

Special Assistant to the President on Diaspora affairs Abike Dabiri has urged Africans in the Diaspora to rise up to force, to change the narrative of Death, Despair and Disease (3Ds) known for African continent, saying that with their huge impact globally, Africans in Diaspora should be a secret weapon to the development of Africa.




Abike Dabiri was the special guest at a global media briefing and unveiling of the 2017 Most Influential People of African Descent (MIPAD) honourees for top 100 under 40 people who are marking global impact held at Eko Hotels and Suites Lagos weekend. The event with theme: “Remembering Slavery: Recognizing the Legacy and Contribution of People of African Descent” was organised by MIPAD to mark the International decade for people of African Descent 2015 to 2024 and in commemoration of victims of Slavery and Transatlantic Slave Trade 2017.

Speaking at the event, Abike Dabiri said the MIPAD initiative is important in order to tell the stories of Africa by Africans themselves. ”We all have responsibility as Africans to put Africa first in all we do. The Africans in the Diaspora is the secret weapon of Africa. We have to change the narrative of the 3Ds – Death, Despair and Disease that Africa is known for worldwide. Although, Africa is currently wired with ethnic clashes, xenophobia, corruption and bad leadership but African continent is not all about problems.” Dabiri said.

The special guest of honour noted that Nigeria is blessed with abundant talents who are making impact on science, business, education, sports, entertainment among other sectors across the world. She stressed that Africans in the diaspora can help change the narratives about Africa and called for a synergy between Africans in Diaspora and Africans at home to elevate the continent to greater heights.

In support of the United Nations’ International Decade for People of African Descent, MIPAD, a civil society initiative that celebrates high achievers of African descent has officially launched in Nigeria. The honouress in the categories of Politics and Governance across Africa include Mark Okoye, commissioner for Economic Planning & Budget Development, Anambra State, Nigeria, Wael Ghonim, political activist, Egypt, Boglo Kenewendo, economist/consultant/member of parliament, Botswana, Aurthur Kalala Katalayi, advisor/ambassador/businessman from Democratic Republic of Congo, Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, National spokesman for Economic Freedom Fighters, South Africa among others.

Other honouress in Politics and Governance category for African Diasporas include Chuka Harrison Umunna, Member of Parliament, United Kingdom, David S. Wilson, senator, politician, United States of America, Paula Marcel Moreno Zapata, engineer, professor and former minister of Culture, Colombia among others.

Also speaking, Folusho Philips, chairman, Philips Consulting, among other dignitaries and diplomats commended MIPAD for the initiative.

”There is need to celebrate people when they are alive and not when they are gone to encourage others to do better”, Philips said.

He stressed the need to preserve the human legacies of past African achievers. Folusho congratulated the United Nations for passing the resolution 62/122 that recognised the International Day of Victims of Slavery and Transatlantic Slave Trade.

For Abasiama Idaresit, CEO, Africa Wild Fusion, the MIPAD award is intended to galvanize the honourees into coming together to create opportunities for Africans in order to help solve the numerous problems of the continent. Idaresit said through MIPAD, people of Africans can create values to right the negative perception in the West that nothing good comes from Africa. He expressed the believe that MIPAD would create new business opportunities to raise a new generation of professionals and successful businessmen and women who would make impact on the globe.

”We are excited about the turnout today. It is the first time this is happening in Africa and this is a special milestone for us. The MIPAD are not just people on this but every African making change out there”, Kamil Olofowobi, founder, MIPAD, said.

MIPAD has almost all the African countries nominees represented in the award.

The Award Dinner in honour of MIPAD Class of 2017 is slated for September 26, 2017 in New York City, USA, following the closing of the UN General Assembly. Former US President Barrack Obama and current UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, are expected to attend as keynote speakers.

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