Although registered in Tennessee, the African Diaspora Development Institute (ADDI) was born in the Washington DC Metro area which consists of Washington District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia (DMV) in the United States.
The idea of establishing the ADDI came to Her Excellency Ambassador Arikana Chihombori Quao after she was relieved of her appointment as the African Union Ambassador to the United States in November 2019.
The general speculation was that the ambassador was relieved of her post because she was awakening Africans, both on the continent and in the Diaspora. Her campaign against neocolonialism made the continent aware of the ills of how they have been treated over the years generally and specifically, especially how France treats its former French colonies in Africa.
In her conversation with TheAfricanDream.net, Ambassador Chihombori Quao stated that she saw it as her calling to continue to advocate for the “wokeness” of all black people around the globe, “for them to come together and build the Africa that we want to see, hopefully in our own lifetime”, she said. “As children of Africa, we must wake up from our slumber of many centuries and reclaim the driver’s seat of Africa’s development”.
Leaving the African Union gave the ambassador the latitude to establish an organization that has a vision to serve as a “bridge between the African Diaspora and Africa. This vision was born out of the realization that the exodus of Africa’s children from slave trade to more recent immigrants has resulted in Afro Descents losing the much-needed connection to their heritage”.
The mission of ADDI was born out of the realization that there is no direct link between Afro descendants and the continent of Africa. This mission is primarily in three folds:
1. To promote unity among the African Diaspora and to encourage them to participate in the development of Africa.
2. To educate the African Diaspora about investment opportunities in Africa.
3. To promote the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) to the African Diaspora.
ADDI was formed at the end of 2019, in McLean, Northern Virginia; it is therefore only fitting that the first official ADDI Chapter launch should be that of the ADDI DMV Chapter which will happen as part of the first ever ADDI AfroFest. A soft launching of all the other ADDI Chapters will also take place during the two-day event which will culminate in the Arikana Excellence Awards Ceremony on Friday September 29th 2023.
Included in this ceremony will be musical entertainment, dinner and speeches from eminent Pan-Africans. The awards part of the event will acknowledge individuals who have shown exceptional commitment and made a lasting difference in the organization. The awards will not only highlight certain individuals’ personal achievements but will also serve as an inspiration to others.
Key amongst awardees are Prof. P.L.O. Lumumba who will be given the Arikana Presidential Award and Ambassador Chihombori Quao who will receive a Life Time Achievement Award.
Prof. Lumumba expressed delight on hearing about his award and thanked ADDI “most sincerely for honoring me with the Arikana Presidential Award”.
When discussing the monumental work that Her Excellency has done, and continues to do with ADDI, her response to was simply that “we each and every one of us have a contribution to make towards the greater good of humanity… because what I’m doing must be done, and we all must be doing it”.
According to her, she does not see herself as doing anything extraordinary, instead “I feel that what I am doing what has to be done and I have been compelled to do it!” she said to TheAfricanDream.net in a statement.
In her view, it cannot be a coincidence that the uptick in the coups across Francophone Africa and the resultant resistance to the continued involvement of France in the affairs of these countries happened after she started speaking out against these injustices. The ambassador calls these events an “ideological realignment” stating that the status quo cannot go on forever.
“It is a great coincidence that ADDI DMV AfroFest is happening in the midst of the recent events taking place across the African Continent and this has not been lost on us. The plan is that part of the proceeds from the two-day event will go towards supporting the people of Niger as they face their new reality,” said ADDI to TheAfricanDream.net in a statement.
You can support this initiative by purchasing your tickets for the first-of-its-kind, two-day ADDI DMV Afrofest by clicking HERE to book a ticket, if you can make it in person, you can also purchase an online streaming ticket.
For more information on the festival, please visit www.addiafrounited.com for updates.