End of Year Message from AIDO President

Happy New Year 2024 and gracious global greetings!

It gives me special joy, honor, and a sense of satisfaction to wish you all, AIDO members, our friends, supporters, and well-wishers wherever you are my warmest greetings as we conclude 2023 and enter the New Year, 2024. I take this opportunity to wish you the very best in all your undertakings with blessings and success.

The past year has been quite fruitful and full of outstanding milestones for Aidoers across the globe. Through strong and effective partnerships with Youth for Human Rights International, the CARICOM Reparations Commission, the AIDO Royal Community and the Diaspora Royal Kingdom, AIDO’s mission to contribute to the development of a united global Africa has been significantly advanced. With the unwavering support and dedication we have witnessed these past twelve months, I am confident that we are on the right path to promoting unity and cooperation among all our valuable stakeholders.

I am pleased to share with you some of our milestone activities in 2023 which have served to highlight the important pioneering and leadership role of AIDO in the Reconnection Agenda between Africa and her diaspora; underscore the importance of the Human Rights and Reparations agendas championed by AIDOers; and demonstrate the valuable community development activities of AIDO in Africa. Beginning with the historic African Royal Pilgrimage to Kingston, Jamaica in the Caribbean, the delegation included two kings, two queens, a princess and a prince from Uganda, Cameroon, South Africa, Nigeria and Ghana respectively, invited jointly by the CARICOM Reparations Commission (CRC), the University of the West Indies (UWI), The Centre for Reparations Research and the PJ Patterson Institute for Africa-Caribbean Advocacy. The royal pilgrims participated in the symposium titled “Reparations & Royalty, Africa & Europe: Exploding myths, Empowering truth” which was hosted by Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, Vice Chancellor of the UWI and concluded with a statement by Jamaica’s former Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Percival Noel James Patterson. The week-long visit afforded Africa’s Jamaican children the opportunity to meet, African royalty, many for the first time.

In May AIDO held yet another major event hosted by Kenya in its historical city of Mombasa on the Indian Ocean. In line with our tradition, each year we hold the Annual Convention that brings together hundreds of our members, followers, well-wishers, sponsors, and supporters to celebrate the year and take stock of the activities undertaken. AIDO Chapter Kenya deployed commendable efforts, time and resources driven by laudable creativity, foresight and tenacity which translated into an incredible event. Through great public relations and persuasion, the event was a point of convergence for civil society and government officials, including the Governor of Mombasa County, Members of the Kenya National Assembly, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and several private sector institutions.

The AIDO 2023 annual convention, attended by over three hundred enthusiasts, witnessed a first-time pilgrimage from the Americas, which included diaspora Africans from Jamaica, Guyana, Barbados, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, the United States of America,Germany, United Kingdom and Canada. From the African continent itself, kings and queens from South Africa, Ghana, Nigeria,  Uganda, and Cameroon were joined by Kenyan Kings His Majesty Nabongo Peter Mumia II, King of Wanga Kingdom, Kenya and His Majesty Dr. King MaKorani-a- Mungase IV of Pokomo Royal Nation.

One of the major features of the 2023 AIDO annual convention was the centrality of human rights and therefore the key message expressed during the four-day conference. Several speakers emphasized to all the people and political decision makers as well as opinion leaders about the African traditional values of solidarity, brotherhood, generosity, and integrity in their relations with others. The December 1948 Universal Declaration on Human Rights (UDHR) made by the United Nations as well as the 1235 Kurukan Fuga Manden Charter by Emperor Sundiata Keita in Mali were brought to light and shown to be encapsulated in the phrase: the “Golden Rule” and the current African philosophy: “Ubuntu.”   

The conference accordingly witnessed the solemn signing of a declaration by the Royalties and later followed by all the participants in the convention, as a renewed undertaking by all to live by the demands of the UDHR, the Kurukan Fuga Charter, the Golden Rule and Ubuntu henceforth, and to be resolute in our call for reparatory justice for African chattel enslavement in the Americas for over 300 years.

As a characteristic of all AIDO annual conventions, the event in Kenya witnessed the bestowment of royal honorary honors and titles to several outstanding guests as well as the coronation of a few high-profile persons by the most senior Kings and Queens present. Most of those coronated were Africans of the ancient diaspora.

The guests to the Mombasa convention, mostly those who came from the West Indies and North America proceeded to Uganda where they participated in several traditional ceremonies and cultural displays on the invitation of His Highness Paul Sande Emolot, Papa Emorimor III , King of Iteso and the head of the Iteso Cultural Union, (ICU). Many of us, AIDO Global members, joined in the elaborate ceremonies which lasted about three days.

In late June 2023, AIDO leadership joined the African Union and CARICOM in Bridgetown, Barbados as part of the delegation to participate in a study tour aimed to discuss the strategy to harmonize African governments’ approach to the subject of reparations as elaborated in the CARICOM ten-point plan. Recognizing the critical role civil society has always played and must continue to play in the development of a road map, our views were sought to complement those from CARICOM and the African Union Diaspora Unit.

In line with our close and well-established working relations with partner non- governmental organizations, AIDO was invited to co-sponsor Youth for Human Rights International’s Annual Summit 2023 at the United Nations headquarters in New York – USA.Accompanied by Queen Grace Eganda and the AIDO Vice President Amb. Ireneo Namboka, we participated in the event where we played key roles at several program items including facilitating discussion groups, making statements, giving awards, and travelling outside this city of New York to New Jersey to visit historical sights of the initiators of the Youth for Human Rights organization. 

In September 2023, AIDO Chapter Germany hosted an Africa Day event in Düsseldorf city. The Chairperson, AIDO Advisory Board, Princess Ulrike Pohlman and Princes Filda Braun Lolem extended invitations to several AIDOers from the United Kingdom and continental Europe to attend the event. It was a beautiful and very successful event, using culture to spread the message of Ubuntu in Germany.

The continued expansion of the Diaspora Royal Kingdom is central to the Reconnection Agenda, for the unity, development and advancement of Africa and the African diaspora. The AIDO royal community has been facilitating collaboration and has welcomed over 50 diaspora royals back to Africa and to the over 645 kingdoms that are part of the royal community. Through the reconnection agenda, the reach and impact of Indigenous African Traditional and Cultural Leaders and their tribes is being extended through initiatives in culture, education, spirituality, and recognition (enstoolment, chieftaincy and queenship) as well as through trade and investment. 

From 15 – 20 October 2023, AIDO facilitated the African diaspora’s 2nd reconnection pilgrimage to Uganda. During the visit, Africa’s sons and daughters supported several community projects – including the commissioning of solar security lights donated to the Serere Health Centre IV and donations of medical supplies and gifts for newborn babies, as well as donation of academic supplies, iron sheets and sports equipment for Olio Primary school in Serere District. Other actions also included the commissioning of the $5 million dollar, Soroti Royal Resort and Heritage Centre Project. The events were jointly carried out by AIDO Network International, the Diaspora Royal Kingdom and Iteso Cultural Union(ICU). In addition, AIDO Uganda Chapter with support from AIDO Global hosted a reconnection dinner that brought together some royals from the diaspora royal kingdom, Ugandan traditional leaders and officials from the government to thank them for their support towards the work accomplished.

Also in October 2023, His Royal Majesty Dr. Haye Makorani-a-Mungase VII, King of the Pokomo in Kenya invited and received royal delegations from the Caribbean, USA, different African countries and AIDO’s Global President to the Pokomo royal Kingdom of Tana River where several events took place including the enstoolment of royal delegates from the diaspora by senior Kings and Queens who travelled to fulfil their royal protocols. The delegation, led by Queen Asianut Acom II (Dr. Hilary Brown), also supported several projects in the Tana River Nation, including roofing a community mosque and supporting Moslem women to establish a tailoring project with a donation of tailoring machines.

Finally, In November 2023 AIDO Network International hosted an unforgettable End of Year Annual Royal Gala Dinner in London. Driven by the need to create better awareness about mental health, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa where victims of the conditions suffer serious and ill-informed prejudices, the event attracted more than expected interest and support at the evening event. The experience at the Royal Gala Dinner was invaluable. We are infinitely grateful for the humanity, true sense of universal brotherhood and solidarity shown by those who so selflessly gave, to support AIDO’s mission to give hope and a voice to the voiceless.

Turning to the future, in 2024, AIDO plans to continue pursuing the human- rights cause of Ubuntu through constant engagement with policy makers, traditional cultural leaders, faith institutions and the media through our country chapters’ unwavering support. This will, particularly involve advocacy with African governments to join in solidarity with the Caribbean and American historical diaspora in pursuing European nations and the USA to acknowledge the facts of a very cruel history. The end result sought is not just money as many construe or fear. It is seeking of mutual respect and justice after five centuries of denial, dehumanization, and exploitation. It is a dialogue that African nations need to join in solidarity with diaspora Africans. AIDO for one, won’t relent or be discouraged.

Lastly AIDO, having attentively followed what is being or not being done in the realization of the first UN International Decade for People of African Descent, is set to work with all well-wishers to make it possible for the Decade to be renewed.  This way, the initiatives started – often towards the end of the first Decade can be developed to full maturity. Without the renewal of the Decade all will be lost. 

We shall be elaborating a detailed action plan and sharing it with all our partners at the end of January for those interested in contributing with ideas, finances, and any other form of support.  

On behalf of AIDO Network International management, we wish you a very happy and prosperous 2024.


His Highness Papa Paul Jones Eganda

Founder President, AIDO Network International

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