On August 31 each year, the International Day for People of African Descent is observed to celebrate the diverse heritage and several contributions of people of African descent.
Over the last few decades, efforts have been made to shed light on issues affecting people of African descent worldwide, African communities and, as well as efforts to improve the situation for many of these communities. From art and literature to science and research, the African diaspora has had a significant positive impact. African communities, in all their richness and diversity, have left their mark on many parts of the world.
According to a wikipedia estimate, here’s an estimate of Africans in diaspora according to countries;
Brazil: 14,517,961 (2010)
United States: 46,936,733 (2020)
France: Approximately 3.3–5.5 million
Germany: c. 1,000,000
Pew Research Centre explains that getting exact or updated statistics is quite a challenge because of the problem of undocumented migrants. The list extends to other nations as well.
Amazing individuals of African descent, who have changed and impacted positively on the world is endless. From Martin Luther King Junior to Maya Angelou, Muhammed Ali, Oprah Winfrey, Barak Obama, Rosa Parks, Serena Williams, Anthony Joshua and Hariet Tubman among others.
Take a look at one of IBIENE’S previous articles on Famous People in Diaspora and their African Ancestry.
Most of these highly-educated achievers from music to medicine draw on parental ambition and resilience fuelled by lack of opportunity at home.
For instance, in the US, Nigerians are the most highly educated of all groups, with 61 per cent holding at least a bachelors degree compared with 31 per cent of the total foreign-born population and 32 per cent of the US-born population, according to 2017 data from the Migration Policy Institute.
Other African countries with people connected back home have amazing data to prove of the contributions Africans have made and are still making in diaspora.
While some progress has been made at legislative, policy and institutional levels, people of African descent continue to suffer intersectional and compounded forms of racial discrimination, marginalization, and exclusion. The lack of recognition remains one of the major barriers impeding the full and effective enjoyment of human rights by people of African descent.
The year 2020 did mark a turning point in the way these issues are being addressed at international and national levels. The murder of George Floyd, galvanized people to protest racism and racial discrimination and prompted important global discussions on racial justice.
On 19 June 2020, the Human Rights Council adopted the resolution on the “Promotion and protection of the human rights and fundamental freedoms of Africans and people of African descent against excessive use of force and other human rights violations by law enforcement officers”.
In commemoration of this day, the U.N. hopes to further enable the pillars of the International Decade for People of African Descent; recognition, justice, and development. This celebration also aims to provide an opportunity for people to learn more about African heritage and culture through film, dance, music, and art presentations, as well as other manifestations of political and scientific contributions of people of African descent.
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