January 26, 2005:
Two African organizations, viz. the Association of Higher Education and Development (AHEAD), and the South African Rainbow Association – Ottawa (SARA), met at the South African High Commission, and resolved to bring together all African Diaspora organizations and individuals in the National Capital Region and the rest of Canada under one umbrella association.
April 25, 2005
The two above-mentioned organizations convened the African Diaspora Forum at the National Library and Archives in Ottawa with the support of the South African High Commission and funding from the International Development Research Centre (IDRC). The forum was attended by representatives of many local African Diaspora organizations as well as African diplomatic missions, NGOs, and Canadian government agencies, viz. IDRC and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). The main theme of the forum was to explore ways of mobilizing human and other resources within the African Diaspora in Canada for the purpose of channeling them towards the development of African countries. After lengthy and fruitful discussions, the participants unanimously adopted a motion to call a general meeting of the African Diaspora organizations with the aim of forming an umbrella association.
May 25, 2005
Local African Diaspora organizations met at the South African High Commission and agreed to form the umbrella association. They also elected a 13-member interim committee, which continued to promote unity among the different African Diaspora organizations.
April 10, 2006
The interim committee called a meeting of the African Diaspora organizations. The participants of the meeting elected a Board of Directors consisting of 12 members, and adopted the name of the African Diaspora Association of Canada (ADAC) as well as the constitution/by-laws and objectives of the association.
May 20, 2006
During the formative years of ADAC, the corporation of the City of Ottawa under former Mayor Bob Chiarelli, made available the Heritage Board Room at City Hall for several meetings of the Board of Directors of the association. On this day, the Board of Directors met at City Hall and elected a 7-member Executive Board of Directors consisting of Matshela Molepo (President), Vusi Moloi (Secretary), Bernard Maitland (Treasurer), Assia Turenne (Vice-President and Director for Resource Mobilization), Abdinur Yusuf (VP and Director for Public Relations (PR) and Outreach), Saaka Minimaana (VP and Director for Policy, Strategy and Programming) and Tsala Mosimakoko (VP and Director for Women and Youth), who were charged with the responsibility of managing the day-to-day activities of the association. The meeting also appointed Florence Chumpuka as legal counsellor of ADAC. Since then, the following changes were made in the composition of the Executive Board of Directors: Emily Rubomborus (Secretary), Vernon Jorssen (VP and Director for Resource Mobilization) and Constant Mudekereza (VP and Director for PR and Outreach). Assia Turenne now serves the association as auditor.
August 29, 2006
In accordance with the laws of Canada, the Executive Board of Directors applied for the incorporation of ADAC at the federal level with Corporations Canada at Industry Canada, and successfully registered the association as a not-for-profit organization and was issued with the Letters Patent, File number 437406-1.
September 12, 2006
Marguarite Keeley, Executive Director of the Centretown Community Health Centre (CCIC) offered ADAC a long-term venue at her centre for monthly meetings of the Board of Directors. This arrangement continues under the new director, Simone Thibault, who took office in July 2007.
October 31, 2006
H.E. Bawoumondom Amalete , the Ambassador of the Republic of Togo and the Dean of the African Diplomatic Corps in Canada, offered ADAC the use of temporary office space and facilities, e.g. mailing address, telephone, fax, etc., at the Embassy of the Togolese Republic. He also promised to support ADAC in its endeavour to mobilize the African Diaspora in Canada for the benefit of African countries.
November 2, 2006
Eugène Omboli, Member of the Board of Directors, and Saaka Minimaana, VP and Director for Strategy, Policy and Programming, represented ADAC at the launching of Force Leadership Africain (FLA) – (www.forceleadershipafricain.org) in Montréal, Québec. Eugène Omboli delivered a solidarity message to this sister organization and invited its members to attend our launch in Ottawa. Eugène and Saaka networked with other participants at the launch and further agreed with FLA representatives to explore opportunities for collaborative initiatives and to sustain mutually beneficial synergies. Saaka now serves on their Board of Directors on behalf of ADAC.
January 11, 2007
Dominique Dennery, president of Dennery Resources, a consulting firm that offers courses on strategic planning to government departments, companies, etc. gave a training session to ADAC’s Board members and partner organizations on visioning and strategic planning. The purpose of the session was to transform ADAC into a vibrant and successful organization.
March 15, 2007
Bryn Ludlow, a graphic’s designer from Toronto, was awarded the prize money of $100.00 for her design that was chosen for the ADAC logo. The competition ran between September 2006 and March 15, 2007, and was open to all youth of African descent in Canada.
April and June 2007
On behalf of the African Union, the South African Embassy in Washington invited and sponsored representatives of many Diaspora organizations from USA and Canada to the Regional African Diaspora Conferences in New York on April 19, 2007, and June 22-23, 2007. ADAC was well represented at both conferences and played a vital role in organizing a united front of the Canadian Diaspora, which participated actively in discussions and formulation of decisions, and thus enhanced the Canadian presence and identity in the North American African Diaspora. The ADAC delegates met with H.E. Ambassador Amina Salum Ali, the Permanent Representative of the African Union’s Mission to the United States. She accepted an invitation to attend the launching ceremony of ADAC in Ottawa. One of her major priorities is to establish contact and work with African Diaspora organizations in North America.
The South African government also convened similar Regional African Diaspora Conferences in London, Paris, Brussels, New York, Brasilia and the Caribbean on behalf of the African Union. The purpose of these conferences was to harness the collective wisdom of the Diaspora around the world to generate valid recommendations that define the role of the Diaspora in the economic development of African countries and their interaction with these countries. These recommendations served as a basis for discussions at the summit of the Heads of African States that was held early this year in South Africa.
August 16, 2007
Lucien Bradet, President and CEO of the Canadian Council on Africa (CCAfrica) confirmed his organization’s offer to host the website of ADAC.
September 24 – October 2, 2007
Saaka Minimaana represented ADAC at the 2007 Robert H. Brown (RHB) African Affairs Series in Washington as a guest of the Constituency for Africa (CFA). The theme of the RHB Series was “Working with the African Union to Build Diaspora Links”. On September 26, 2007, Saaka attended the roundtable discussion highlighting solutions to combat child trafficking in West Africa as part of the RHB Series on Capitol Hill during the Congressional Black Caucus Conference. Saaka made use of this wonderful opportunity to cement ADAC’s relations with the CFA and to cultivate new ones with other African Diaspora organizations in the USA. During the RHB Series, he also established contacts with representatives of governments and NGO’s from some African countries.
November 14, 2007
Matshela Molepo, President, delivered an address on the “Involvement of Youth in Community Development” and “Participation of Youth in Elections and the Political Process” at the Congolese Youth Cultural Celebration organized by the Amicale des Jeunes Congolais du Canada (AJCC) at the Tom Brown Hall at 141 Bayview Road in Ottawa.
November 14, 2007
The International Development Research Centre (IDRC) approved a grant in support of ADAC’s activities for the period 2007-2008. These funds were earmarked specifically to launch ADAC and provide it with a strong structure and foundation by networking and building partnerships across Canada, as well as to support our agenda for the current year.
January 16, 2008
Saaka Minimaana participated in the World Bank Teleconference on leveraging remittances to Africa in support of development and establishing an African Diaspora Fund. The teleconference started at 10:00 a.m. and lasted about 90 minutes. There were also participants from Senegal, Ghana, South Africa and the USA. Discussions on this subject are on-going and now include issues around the economy, education, health and culture. The World Bank is hosting a workshop on May 27, 2008 to discuss how the Bank can work with the African Diaspora in Africa. Vernon Jorssen, VP and Director for PR and Outreach and Saaka Minimaana will represent ADAC at this meeting.
January 22, 2008
Constant Mudekereza, VP and Director for PR and Outreach, and Matshela Molepo made a presentation on the policies, objectives, programmes and activities of ADAC to the Heads of African Diplomatic Missions at the Mali Embassy at 50 Goulburn Avenue. They also solicited the support of the African Diplomatic Corps for ADAC.
February 8, 2008
Vernon Jorssen, VP and Director for Resource Mobilization, and Saaka Minimaana participated in the “Black History Month Edition” organized by First Friday at the Manyata Courtyard Café at 55 Avenue Road in Hazelton Lanes, Lower Level, Yorkville. This event occurs on the first Friday of each month. The two ADAC representatives briefed the many African Diaspora organizations, companies and individuals attending this event, about the history, policies, and programmes of ADAC, and networked with the many of them.
February 12, 2008
ADAC representatives met with the High Commissioner of Guyana and the Dean of the Diplomatic Missions of the Caribbean Community (Caricom), H.E. Rajnarine Singh, at the High Commission of Guyana at 151 Slater Street, Suite 309, and briefed him on the policies, objectives, programmes and activities of ADAC. They also requested him to invite them to the meeting of the Heads of the Diplomatic Missions of Caricom.
February 14, 2008
ADAC representatives met with the High Commissioner of Zambia and Chair of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), H.E. David C. Saviye, and other Heads and officials of the Diplomatic Missions of SADC at the Chateau Laurier, 1 Rideau Street, and briefed them on the policies, objectives, programmes and activities of ADAC. They solicited the support of the SADC Missions for ADAC.
Black History Month, February 2008
Saaka Minimaana was interviewed by a number of Ottawa radio stations about ADAC. They included Nexus Africa on Chin Radio 97.1 fm, CKCU 93.1 fm, and Société Radio-Canada On-line. All three stations were interested in what the organizations stands for, its target audience, and future plans. The questions were varied and ranged from the genesis of ADAC to its intended outcomes. Other issues of interest centred on Africa and the African Diaspora, the Canadian experience for African immigrants and our relations with our US counterparts.
Nexus Radio and CHUO conducted their interviews in English only, while CBC did a 24-minute English and 10-minute French interview.
April 3-5, 2008
In accordance with the expressed objective of ADAC to partner with groups that share our vision, Saaka Minimaana, attended the African American Unity Caucus 2008 Leonard H. Robinson, Jr. Leadership Retreat in Potomac, Maryland under the theme “Advancing A Strategic Agenda for the AAUC.” The AAUC 2008 Leonard H. Robinson, Jr. Leadership Retreat provided an opportunity for reflection and priority establishment for the next year. The general goals were to: (1) strengthen the AAUC Committees (i.e. – Governance, Policy, Next Generation, Women) by identifying capacity building and connectivity indicators; (2) move the program and its committed members to an intergenerational action-oriented posture that demonstrates collective work, recognition and advancement; and, (3) set the stage for the development of a mission-driven ten month coordinated effort for the next year that will provide a “success” report at the AAUC in 2009. The Retreat achieved its objectives. Proceedings of the Retreat will be published, including a follow-up agenda and objectives for the coming year.
June 2, 2008
ADAC was formally launched at City Hall, 110 Laurier Avenue East, Ottawa, ON . The ceremony consisted of two parts:
- The main event occurred in the A.S. Hayden Hall (Council Chambers) from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., ending with a keynote address by Lucien Bradet, CEO of the Canadian Council on Africa. The MC, Jocelyne Constant, managed the entertainment provided by Sandra Griffith-Bonaparte and the vocal group Impassioned 4 Him, as well as the short supportive speeches given by:
MELVIN FOOTE, PRESIDENT AND CEO, CONSTITUENCY FOR AFRICA
H.E. BAWOUMONDOM AMELETE, AMBASSADOR – TOGOLESE REPUBLIC TO CANADA AND DEAN OF THE AFRICAN DIPLOMATIC CORPS
JOHANNE DESCHAMPS, MP
YAOVI BOUKA, VP AND TREASURER, FORCE LEADERSHIP AFRICAINE
HON. IRWIN COTLER, PC, MP
HON. JASON KENNEY, PC, MP AND SECRETARY OF STATE (MULTICULTURALISM AND CANADIAN IDENTITY)
- A networking event followed with food, soft drinks and wines in the Jean Piggot Hall from 8:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
The event was well attended by an estimated 200 people, including African and Caribbean Diplomatic Missions, Canadian companies with business interests in Africa, NGOs and African Diaspora organizations. Dave Smith, a well-known philanthropist, donated the food and soft drinks for the networking portion of the event.