North-western Provincial Minister Nathaniel Mubukwanu has commended the U.S government for passing the 400 Years of African-American History Commission Act.
The bill will oversee the planning process to mark the 400 years anniversary milestone of African descent coming to America in the transatlantic slave trade (1619-2019).
Mr Mubukwanu disclosed this after participating at the Africa Homecoming joint planning tourism and trade conference held in Virginia at the invitation of the Diversity Restoration Solution (DRS), an African American diaspora group. Zambia has been selected as the hub for the pilgrimage of the Global Center of Restoration of the African-American Diaspora in 2019.
The Minister who led the Zambia delegation which included Senior Chief Imwiko of the Baroste Royal Establishment and other government officials hailed U.S Congressman Bobby Scott, Virginia House of Delegate representative Marcia Price and Mayor for Newport News Mckinley Price for paying a courtesy call on the Zambian delegation during the conference.
Mr Mubukwanu is confident that through such initiatives, Zambia is expected to increase its tourism inflows from the U.S while other developmental projects on the sidelines of the conference included collaboration on possible twining of Newport News city with the Mongu Municipal Council.
And during a courtesy call on the Zambian delegation, members of the U.S Congress also announced that the State of Virginia has earmarked US$50 million for activities to mark the commemoration of the 400 years milestone from the time the first slave ship landed in America from Angola under the British rule.
“The conference has been successful, we were able to put in place a more concrete plan which will be rolled out and acted upon by the respective countries participating in this pilgrimage program.
“We were officially informed by Members of the Congress that the U.S Government passed a bill to set up the African-American History Commission to oversee the planning process of the 400 years of commencement of slavery from Africa,” he said.
The Conference was also decorated with an awards Dinner at which awards were exchanged. During the awards U.S Senator Mark Warner thanked participants for working towards reconnecting families and communities that were separated by slave trade.
“As we approach the 400 years anniversary of the arrival of Africans in the English colonies at Point Comfort, Virginia in 1619, this event is particularly meaningful. In anticipation of this milestone, I worked with Senators Cory Booker, Tim Kaine and Roy Blunt and Representative Bobby Scott to establish the 400 Years of the African-America History Commission.
“The commission will be tasked with telling the whole story of the Africa-American experience, from the tragedy of the 20 enslaved Africans who landed in Virginia nearly 400 years ago, to the important contributions of the African-American community over the past four centuries of American life,” Mr. Warner said.
The project dubbed “2019 Africa Homecoming Project” is being spearheaded by Diversity Restoration Solution and have proposed to the Government of Zambia to build a multi-million dollar state-of-the-art Restoration Center headquarters for Africa in Zambia.
The DRS is a business tourism and international project development firm specialising in linking together the U.S. and African businesses and organisations.