Building Wakandas: African Union Ambassador on How the AU Is Helping All Blacks Overcome “The Seed of Divide and Conquer”

The African Union is a continental body that consists of all of the 55 African nations, and its mission can be described as overcoming the greatest weapon that colonial powers have used against Black people: the strategy of divide and conquer. The AU’s ambassador to the United States and the Caribbean, Dr. Arikana Chihombori-Quao, states that people of African descent have become the most disrespected people on earth because their voices are missing in action and there is a deficit of cooperation and trust among this group. She further says that other ethnic groups stick together like super-glue. “To gain respect we have to come together and speak with one voice. Are you really willing to leave this world the way it is for your grandchildren?” she asks the African diaspora.

Before her appointment as AU ambassador, the Zimbabwe native, who immigrated to the United States in 1977, was a family medicine doctor in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and with her fellow physician husband founded a chain of medical clinics in the region.

One of Chihombori-Quao’s mandates is to improve diplomatic ties with the U.S. and the Caribbean — although the AU maintains full intergovernmental organization diplomatic status with the United States — but the mission she truly is passionate about is mobilizing Black people and telling those who are living outside of Africa that the continent is their home too. Watching one of her African-American friends break down crying and explain to her that not knowing where she comes from is an everyday struggle compelled Chihombori-Quao even more to spread the word of unity and “diaspora returns.”

During the first-ever AU town hall in Atlanta, the AU ambassador, along with several leaders of African diaspora organizations, politicians, journalists, and educators, discussed how the people from the African diaspora can come together. The town hall meeting, titled “400 Years: Breaking through the arrested development in AFRICAN-African Diaspora Relations” took place on April 23, 2019, in the Atlanta University Center Robert W. Woodruff Library. The attendees, most of them dressed in the beautiful colors of Africa, we’re excited to speak with the AU ambassador about Africa-related projects, and several business connections were made over food and conversations. With the guidance of moderator Kwabena Boateng and host Amirah Ansaar, the groundwork of a diaspora homecoming was further textured that evening.   

Before the start of the AU town hall, Dr. Chihombori-Quao spoke with Atlanta Black Star about the state of Africa, AU’s initiatives to further develop the continent, building Wakandas, global relations and African descendants “taking the wheel.” Having built several medical clinics, an Africa House, and a cultural heritage hotel, Dr. Chihombori-Quao’s evident entrepreneurial DNA will accelerate the AU’s goals to (re)unite Black people.

















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