Several international VIPs are set to attend the fifth Annual Ateker International Development Organisation’s (AIDO) Convention in Mombasa.
The event aims to welcome “home” African descendants living away from the continent, some of whom have never stepped foot in Africa.
“The event under preparation is hugely significant for both Africa and the descendants of Africa living far away from the continent. As the dedication of the decade reflects the importance of people of African descent, Africa has an opportunity to show the love, compassion, empathy and true solidarity with her historic diaspora. Symbolically, the diaspora will be welcomed home on Kenyan soil,” Dr Mary Shuttleworth of Youth for Human Rights says.
Among the most notable figures include Paul Jones Eganda and Queen Grace Eganda, the founders of the AIDO Global Network and Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, the Vice Chancellor, University of the West Indies & Chairman, CARICOM Reparations Commission.
The Prime Minister of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana Brig. (Retired) Mark Phillips and Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda Gaston Brown are also scheduled to attend the convention running from May 24 to May 28.
AIDO brings together different stakeholders within the cultural, community, educational, faith, and sporting sectors, to challenge Human Rights abuses and use culture to promote unity, development and social change.
“Africa is to welcome as guests, scores of her grandchildren coming to set foot for the first time on the continent or soil of their forefathers’ origin, 500 years ago. About just a year before the end of the international decade for people of African descent, spurred by the vibration of the Atlanta historical event, AIDO was energized to undertake an even more audacious project in 2023,” Shuttleworth says.
AIDO is a not-for-profit, apolitical and knowledge-based non-governmental organisation headquartered in London with Paul Jones Eganda as its Global President.
This year’s convention themed “Culture, Ubuntu and Reparation” seeks to enable attendees to network with Kings and Queens, experience diverse cultures and interact with business moguls.
Other VIP guests expected in the convention include Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Antigua and Barbuda Anthony Liverpool, Director Interfaith and AIDO Ubuntu Advisor Martin Weightman, Chairman of Antigua & Barbuda & Vice Chair Dorbrene O’Marde and the King of Cameroon & President, African Indigenous Governance Council Dr Robinson Tanyi.
Others include the King of Accra City and GA Mantse State Dr Nee Tackie, Queen of the Mzilikazi – Zulu Nation Mzilikazi III, Prince of Zulu Royal Kingdom and Chairman AIDO South Africa Phurma Dlamani, Toro of Bade, King of Fulani Nation – Nigeria Bashir Abdulsalam and Paramount Chief of Embo – Kingdom Dr Patrick Marshelle.
AIDO aims at transforming societies through cultural restoration, reviving African traditional governance institutions alongside ethical standards and moral values as the basis for peace, security and prosperity whilst being the voice of the voiceless throughout the world.
AIDO’s membership is open to all, even though the great majority are people who consider Africa to be of their place of origin.
“This openness has led to the exponential expansion from seven to 657 cultural establishments in 12 countries, with a membership of 2.1 million as of October 2022,” AIDO says.
While most members live on the continent of Africa, there are significant numbers resident throughout Europe, Asia, North America, the Caribbean and Latin America.
“Taking Kings and Queens from Africa to the Americas was lived as a dream by Africa’s grandchildren and therefore the next logical act, AIDO and all partners felt, was to actually transform the life-long dream of many of them into reality. This was to organise a similar grand pilgrimage – but this time round, for the offsprings of the African men and women who were forcefully captured, taken in bondage and enslaved, five centuries ago to come to Africa – Kenya, and be welcomed home!” Shuttleworth adds.
Inspired by the 2015 declaration by the United Nations of the International Decade for People of African Descent, AIDO promotes culture as an important tool for healing, repair and reconnection with the diaspora.