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Sahndra Fon Dufe: Envisioning Africans Redefining Success – My ADIS24 Experience (III)

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In essence, the three-day event at ADIS24 in Silicon Valley focused on the contributions of the African diaspora towards Africa beyond remittances, with a focus on tackling the climate change crisis. The investment summit’s final day was particularly memorable. Wearing beautiful ethnic attire, I participated in enriching discussions throughout the manor. The former Minister for Tourism and Culture in Mali, Hon. Ramatoullaye Diallo N’Diaye, delivered an electrifying speech that vividly portrayed the limitless opportunities available for the African diaspora. Susan Ellenberg, President of the Santa Clara Board of Supervisors, also praised the African Diaspora Network for its intentional efforts to promote diaspora engagement on the continent and recognised the pivotal role played by ADN in initiatives such as the YALI Legacy localisation project (Yali LL). This project brought together YALI alumni for meaningful networking opportunities during the event.

YALI, which was launched by former President Obama when I was in my early twenties, is a beacon of hope for African youth. During the event, I noticed the gleaming smiles of African entrepreneurs and YALI fellows radiating with youthful exuberance for all three days. Their cheers were infectious, especially when their organisation was recognised by Almaz Negash. I had the pleasure of interacting with a few of them, such as the gorgeous Angolan climate geoscientist Nair De Sousa, Senegalese skincare distributor Yama Ndiaye, Nasser Diallo, and Riantsoa Mialinarindra, among others. I experienced firsthand their passion and dedication to shaping Africa’s future.

The ADN plans to raise $30 million by 2028 to support its impactful initiatives and further empower the African diaspora. One overarching impression I took from ADIS is a resounding applause for the founder. Almaz Negash, the organiser, is not new to this; she’s true to it.  

During my time at ADIS24, I had the pleasure of meeting many interesting individuals from the African Diaspora. My contact list is practically overflowing with names. It warms my heart to think about the dedicated volunteers, some of whom came from Europe, who selflessly gave their time to support this vision. I salute them with the utmost respect as I reflect on our beautiful shared experience at ADIS. As a first-time attendee, I was deeply inspired and decided to volunteer to support ADIS. I am prepared to do it repeatedly, driven by the project’s profound mission that transcends any individual and promises to benefit future generations of the African Diaspora.

During a post-event dinner filled with lively conversations and the clinking of glasses, a particular moment stood out. It was a gathering around a dinner table that felt like a tapestry woven with tales from all across Africa. Someone sparked a conversation that struck deep into our roots, and we were all curious to listen. There were ten of us seated around the table, representing different corners of the continent, including Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, Angola, and my own country, Cameroon. As the night wore on and stories flowed like rivers, They posed a question that sent ripples of reflection through the group: “How far back can you trace your family tree?”

The answers were as diverse as the nations we hailed from. Some knew and some didn’t. Some could recount generations upon generations, their family histories intertwined with folklore and legends passed down through time. Others, like myself, could only trace back to grandparents or great-grandparents; the threads of ancestry are sometimes frayed but still hold strong.

What struck me most was not just the depth of our individual stories but the collective tapestry they formed. Each narrative was a thread in the rich fabric of the African Diaspora, weaving together tales of resilience, migration, and heritage. As I listened to tales of triumphs and trials, of journeys across borders and oceans, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of unity in our diversity. We were all storytellers, custodians of our pasts, and architects of our futures.

In that shared moment, I realised the power of our collective narrative — a narrative that deserves to be preserved, celebrated, and passed on to inspire generations to come. And this is the beauty of a gathering like ADIS. There’s so much to be done, and who better to do it than us?

As an attendee of ADIS24, I was inspired by the focus on equity-driven solutions to our shared challenges. Almaz highlighted key partnership areas for collaborating with Africa, such as food security initiatives in Egypt, Libya, and Rwanda that support one million small-scale farmers. Disaster relief support was also spotlighted, exemplified by South Africa. We also discussed economic opportunities for diaspora entrepreneurs, access to loans, grants, and educational skills, along with IREX programs and partnerships to support African entrepreneurs in energy and tech, exemplified by Flutterwave’s success in Nigeria. The importance of mentorship and access to investment was prevalent.

As the diaspora, we must think outside our national borders. We should mentor YALI students, invest in businesses that create jobs, build capacity, and replicate successful models like Kenya’s Green Project. Collaboration is essential in achieving these goals and fostering sustainable development across Africa.

Before leaving, I took the opportunity to study the Hayes, which was a treat, especially its downstairs archives. I also took in some local sights, enjoyed cafes, attended a church service, caught up with family, and boarded a plane home. I believe this event was a moment of reawakening for Africans in various parts of the world. The concept of migration has evolved from merely “seeking greener pastures” to “creating greener pastures.” But as every African overseas, this is a clarion call to be bold, live your dreams, and make a resounding impact in your endeavours.

Introducing Sahndra Fon Dufe! 🌟 📚 The Master Storyteller 🚀 Creative Genius ✨Brand Communication Wizard. Discover captivating worlds in words, with African Pictures International's Founder and the brilliant mind behind the enthralling Yefon Book Series, and Children's Books! 📲 Connect on IG & LinkedIn: @sahndrafondufe 📲 📘 Read her spellbinding novel on Amazon 📘 Details below. Get ready to be amazed – Sahndra is here to enchant you! ✨ Stay beautiful, my friends. SFD.

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