PRESIDENT Mugabe returned home yesterday from South Africa where he attended the first Global African Diaspora Summit held in Johannesburg.
He was met at the Harare International Airport by Vice President Joice Mujuru and other Government officials.
Held on Africa Day, the summit sought to find ways of enhancing co-operation between the continent and its Diaspora.
In his opening remarks to the summit, South African president Jacob Zuma underscored the need for Africa and its Diaspora to work together in more organised ways than before to advance the African agenda worldwide.
“This agenda should speak to the critical issues facing the continent and the Diaspora,” he said.
“Together we are faced with the challenge of defeating the political and economic conditions that, as we speak, condemn the majority of our fellow humans, particularly in poor countries, to the conditions similar to the ones on the slave ships that took our kith and kin from the continent.
“We must end the existence which make our people to suffer endlessly from malaria, TB and Aids and many preventable and curable diseases.”
President Zuma said pioneers of Pan Africanism had a vision to see Africa taking its rightful place in global affairs “and not Africa being impoverished through endless exploitation of its raw materials”.
Several delegates spoke on the need for Africa and its Diaspora to work closely in promoting African interests.
African Union chairperson and Benin President Thomas Boni Yayi underscored the need for Africa and its Diaspora to unite their potentialities — human and material resources — to achieve political, economical and social stability.
Addressing the same summit, Cuban vice president Esteban Lazo said Africans must unite in confronting dangers afflicting the continent.
He said Cuba stands ready to engage and promote relations with Africa.
The summit discussed a number of issues including the creation of the AU Diaspora Volunteer Programme that would associate the Diaspora directly with development
efforts in Africa and give concrete meaning to the concept of one African family.
It also brainstormed on the need for the creation of an African Diaspora Development Fund and Remittances and Financial Instruments.
Among other things, the summit supported the development of a skills database of Diaspora professionals.