Should the African Diaspora have free-visa access to Africa?

Once again African leaders are calling on unification & offerings of a welcoming back to Africa for global Africans in the Diaspora in the name & honor of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah‘s dream & legacy. This visa waiver attempts to resurrect & connect the spirit, goals & teachings of Pan-Africanism.

Ghana’s former President Jerry John Rawlings pushed for the granting of free visa & ultimately dual citizenship for African-Americans during a meeting at the White House with former President Clinton. He proposed the right of abode in a form of dual citizenship whereas African descendants in the Diaspora would get the Sankofa stamp in their passport, eliminating the need for a visa. President Rawlings at the time encouraged Diasporan Africans to return back to Africa to help build the continent & Ghana in particular, calling it “The Joseph Project“. I remember President Clinton weirdly laughing & shrugging it off as some sort of joke as if the Black Americans would just get up & go to Africa as American Jews packed up & settled in Israel. President Rawlings proposal never came to fruition for Diasporan Africans, but it led the way to granting dual citzenship for Ghanaian ex-pats living abroad. Now the issue has come up again in 2010, which many are calling the new decade of Africa with the world cup in Africa for the first time & what seems to be a new global scramble for Africa.

As a Pan-Africanist, I would love to see this happen in order to unite global Africans in & out of the continent, but I also agree with Marcus Garvey‘s quote : “Africa for the Africans… at home and abroad! I have no desire to take all black people back to Africa; there are blacks who are no good here and will likewise be no good there…”

At the conclusion of an official visit to Ghana, Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade announced his intention to introduce a legislation allowing members of the global African Diaspora to visit Senegal without need of a visa. The Senegalese leader was in Accra to participate in an International Colloquium honouring the legacy of Ghana’s first President Kwame Nkrumah. In addition, this historic legislation would include a provision allowing members of the Diaspora to acquire a special passport…” Source:Read More

Dual Citizenship
Excerpt taken from:The President’s News Conference With President Jerry John Rawlings of Ghana-February 24, 1999

Q. President Rawlings, I think I’m on the wrong side of the room. I apologize, but I have a question for you.

President Rawlings. I understand. Actually, I was actually briefed that most of the questions would be directed at the President. [Laughter] I was made to understand that, don’t be surprised if most of the questions are related to American domestic situations and not the fact that I’m here from Africa. Thank you. Carry on, please. [Laughter]

Q. Well, I’ve heard that Ghana is offering some sort of dual citizenship to African-Americans. Is that true? What does it mean, and what’s the reasoning behind it?

President Rawlings. It’s very true. Sorry, do you mind if I—is it something connected to the question?

President Clinton. Answer this one, and then if you want to call on him, it’s fine.

President Rawlings. Very soon, our Parliament will be passing the bill to grant black Americans their dual citizenship, as far as Ghana is concerned, and you’ll have the right of dual abode.

Q. What does it mean?

President Rawlings. What does it mean?

Q. Yes.

President Rawlings. You wouldn’t need a visa; you wouldn’t need whatever it is to enter my country. You will have the freedom to move around as any fellow Ghanaian, and that will not deny you your American citizenship, either.

Q. What’s the reasoning behind it?

President Rawlings. What’s the reason behind it?

Q. Yes.

President Rawlings. Do German-Americans, do Israeli-Americans—are they denied the right of their citizenship back at home? No, no, please, if I’m wrong, can you correct me?

Q. I don’t know. [Laughter]

President Rawlings. Quite frankly, I mean, I could go on and on. But the point is that, I mean, you’re our kith and kin. If others can refer to themselves as Jewish Americans or German-Americans or Irish-Americans, whatever it is, Italian-Americans, and you’re calling yourself African——

Q. Americans.

President Rawlings. ——whatever it is. [Laughter] I mean, where do you come from? After all, I mean, my continent is the mother of—what do you call it?—not all continents but humanity and civilization as we’ve come to know today. I mean, is there any reason why you should not have the right to enjoy the citizenship of where you come from?

President Clinton. I’m just sorry I can’t do it. [Laughter] I don’t qualify. [Laughter]

President Rawlings. No, no, wait a minute, sir. Hold on, Mr. President. [Laughter] No, no. You’re not going to explain this for me. [Laughter]

Let’s put it this way. I’m rather surprised that you’re asking me this question. I should be asking you, I mean, how on God’s possible— whatever it is—could you be asking me a question like this? [Laughter] Because, I mean——

Q. Would it be dual loyalty?

President Rawlings. Well, I guess that’s what we have a bit of—we don’t have any problem with that. I think—when I look into that issue, I have a problem with you, because you’re demanding loyalty to the American Constitution, and yet I cannot demand the same kind of loyalty to my country. And this is where I’m beginning to have a problem. But nonetheless, there’s no reason why I will deny my fellow black African the right to enjoy the citizenship as I enjoy as an African.

President Clinton. Let me just try to—the general rule is that dual citizenship laws are, by definition, controlled by the citizenship conditions of both countries. And it’s not unheard of for Americans to have dual citizenship.

Interestingly enough, after the fall of the Iron Curtain and the breakup of the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact, we’ve had American citizens who had roots, for example, in the Baltic States. One went home to his country and became the Ambassador. I don’t know if he had to give up his American citizenship, or not. It would be a function of the law. But there are— and the laws operate differently in different countries. But almost all countries allow some form of dual citizenship.

Now, second thing is, the President didn’t mention this, but if Ghana does this, it certainly won’t hurt in trying to get more Americans interested in Ghana, going to Ghana, and contributing to Ghana’s future. I thought it was quite a clever idea myself. [Laughter]

Thank you very much.

President Rawlings. No, no, no. Hold on, Mr. President. [Laughter] On one condition—that if you fall foul of the laws and regulations of my country, the—what do you call it?—the judiciary, the police, and the laws of my country will take their course without the American Government attempting to intervene, to say, this is a citizen of my country.

President Clinton. I think that’s what the rule is.

President Rawlings. Thank you, sir.

President Clinton. There’s a whole lot of law on that. I think that’s the rule.

Thank you.

Q. I want to say to you something.

President Rawlings. Yes, sir.

Q. You know, we the people——

President Rawlings. Yes sir.

Q. ——of African descent that are Latino, are ready, willing, and able to cooperate with Africa—[inaudible]—and our experience, the President of the Dominican Republic, and I, as a Cuban-American, reside here for—[inaudible]—are ready and willing to help you in the African initiative. And I guarantee you with my friend of the Republican Party is going to give me 100 percent support for the initiatives of the President of Africa—[inaudible]. So you have the cooperation of the Latinos, like the Jewish have for their people in Israel.— READ MORE

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13 Comments

  • Carl

    December 18, 2010 at 1:01 am

    What kind of madness is this? Ghana sells us into slavery, America would not keep that 40 acres promise, Ghana gives us 30,000 acres, but the majority of us can’t even get there and the vast majority have served some amount if time in jail, but they want the victims to come over there and help them build up Ghana and refer to us as foreigners. What kind of nonsense is this? At first, the whole 30,000 acres of land sounded good, but the more I learn about Africa and how they really don’t want to pay for what they did, in a way that we can actually take advantage of it, the more I am thinking that Black Americans should just keep our wealth to ourselves and spend that money somewhere else. To hell with Ghana, if they don’t want to at least give us dual citizenship. Take our wealth and knowledge to another Country in Africa. Go some place where we will be welcomed, in spite of our past in America and where our money and talents will be appreciated and we are welcomed with citizenship. Black Americans have to learn to cling to one another, because the perpetrators of the slave trade, Europeans and Africans, will never really do what is right by us. We need to start buying up more and more land, right here in America or anywhere else on this Planet, that will not make gestures, but sell us land and allow us to establish our own independence as a separate people if we want to, so no one can put these unreasonable conditions on us. If they do not want to recognize us as Africans, that’s fine by me. We are actually a new race now anyway, so let’s agree on that and carve out a uniques place for ourselves and our own unique name…I suggest: “THE MAAFA.”

  • Jammu Africa

    June 22, 2011 at 3:36 am

    It is the goal of The New United Republic to establish in West Africa an independent Nation-State for African Americans. It is the position of The New United Republic, that first West Africans must return the “Land” stolen from us after we were ethnically cleansed from West Africa (Mali, Senegal, Guinea and Guinea-Bissau). The New United Republics’ position is that African Americans are a New People, and as such must govern ourselves and not move in with the descendants of Africans who enslaved us, and have failed to hear our cry of distress in their countries. Brother Malcom X (Malik Shabazz) presented an appeal to African leaders in 1964 at the Organization of African Unity Conference, this appeal was ignored, with the African leaders saying they have their own problems! The New United Republics’ position is that African countries do not and will not have to pay us restitution or reparations, simply return the “Land” that we have outlined on our web site, http://www.thenewunitedrepublic.com, on the Land and Flag Page. The New United Republics’ position is that we the descendants of African enslaved people have a “Right of Return” to our ancestral homeland under international law. The New United Republics’ position is that African Americans have never willingly and freely given up their original place of Domicile, nor did they request or agree to being made legislated citizens of the United States of America. The New United Republics’ position is that African Americans should be given dual citizenship from America, because of our unique relationship with America.
    The New United Republics’ position is that it is fine for African countries to offer dual citizenship to African Americans, however it is really unreal to think that African Americans have the resources to take advantage of such an offer. African Americans need their own Homeland-Country, which is the only way The New United Republic will “Go Back to Africa”!
    Join us, we will build a great and prosperous nation for our women and children, much better than anything in Africa! Respectfully

  • maria

    January 25, 2012 at 6:23 pm

    so, it is an offer to :global africans”. but it is, more specifically to african american citizens. what about a whole world of people from african descent who are not citizens of the United States? are these other “global africans” in the counting for Ghanadian visa or to become citizens of the new united republic?

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