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Saviours’ Day 2020 International Affairs Workshop

By Jehron Muhammad | Last updated: Mar 4, 2020 - 9:51:45 AM

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DETROIT—This year’s annual Saviours’ Day Convention played host to two of the African diaspora’s most outspoken voices, the Honorable Vanessa R. Williams, International Conference of Black Mayors CEO, and Her Excellency Dr. Arikana Chihombori-Quao, the former African Union ambassador to the U.S.

Attorney Joseph Makhandal, Hasuan Muhammad, Yonasda Lonewolf, Nuri Muhammad and Akbar Muhammad (at podium).

Overseeing the International Affairs workshop, Nation of Islam International Representative Abdul Akbar Muhammad, who has traveled to over 150 countries, including 40 on the African continent, addressed how he came to not only spend 12 years living in West Africa, but also how he received dual citizenship, which includes a Ghanaian passport.

During the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan’s world tour, which included being received by Ghanaian President Jerry John Rawlings, the Minister was asked if he had established an NOI office on the African continent, Min. Akbar said. The Minister’s response was no. Pres. Rawlings then encouraged Min. Farrakhan to consider Ghana, Min. Akbar said.

Within a year, with Akbar Muhammad at its helm, the NOI opened an office in Ghana.

Dr. Chihombori-Quao, who is originally from Zimbabwe and is a medical doctor and an entrepreneur whose family owns several medical clinics, said Africa suffers because of the division of Africa via the 1884 Berlin Conference.

“What they put in place 135 years ago remains in place to this very day,” said Dr. Chihomboro-Quao, who had been relieved of her AU ambassadorship because of her stinging criticisms of France and its neocolonial polices.

“They sat across a big map of Africa and proceeded to chop up Africa and to share it among themselves like a piece of cake,” she said.

The more powerful countries like France and England got the larger portions of the African continent, she said. Not only did they divide the continent among themselves, they cut up Africa into manageable nation’s states, she added.

In addition, she said, they forced their European languages on the indigenous Africans, dividing them in language as well as in geographic regions. So, the African continent once comprised of kingdoms now consists of many small manageable, by its colonial masters, ineffective nation states.

Back row from left: Rafael X, Attorney Joseph Makhandal, Bro. Talib Muhammad; Americos Muhammad. (Front row); Dr. Arikana Chihombori-Quao (left); and Honorable Vanessa R. Williams.

Ms. Williams opened her remarks thanking Dr. Chihombori-Quao for her stand. “Because we are talking about global issues and you’re in a room full of people (who) have gone through a great deal of pain … then God blesses us with a sister that comes from our home continent and she says forget the African Union, she is the ambassador for Africa. God brought a woman to say to her (African) children, come back home,” she said.

Ms. Williams, who claims former City College of New York professor Dr. Leonard Jeffries as a mentor and friend, said, “He always says that as African American people, we are the best of all global Africans because we have all of Africa’s tribes coming through our veins and our blood. So, we are the best of the nation and the strongest of the nation.”

Coordinating the workshop was Bro. Earl X, assistant to Akbar Muhammad and owner of a Tanzania-based mining concession business where, besides the U.S., he takes up residence.

Bro. Earl X said Africa represents a vast business opportunity, with 16 percent of the world’s population, one of the globe’s fastest growing middle classes and the planet’s most valuable real estate and untapped riches.

Africa has “vast amounts of oil, mineral resources, arable land and human capital,” he said. “Africa holds approximately 30 percent of the earth’s remaining mineral resources, more than any other places on the planet.”

The workshop also included representatives from many parts of the African diaspora, including the Caribbean and Europe. Representing the Indigenous Nations Alliance was activist Yonasda Lonewolf. Representing a view from the Caribbean was Americos Muhammad, who has worked with Islamic communities in both Cuba and in the Puerto Rican diaspora.

Representing the NOI’s European office based in London, Student Minister Abdul Hakeem Muhammad gave a “barn burning” sermon of encouragement and warning, telling the African diaspora that their role and responsibility not only includes setting up businesses on the African continent, but also putting backbone in the backs of African leaders who in many cases, because they cater to their former colonial masters, have failed in their responsibility to the masses of their people.

“You have to go to Africa to be in government and help to put a board in some of our brothers’ and sisters’ backs,” he said. In terms of “corrupt (African) leadership,” he said, “When you and I get in the room (with them) we can straighten their behinds out. It is our job. We were born in the West and know every aspect of his (the White man’s) thinking that has influenced corrupt leadership.”

Hasaun Muhammad, who works with cultural icon Russell Simmons and a host of other prominent figures also serves as an advisor to African governments and entrepreneurs. 

A defining moment in his international work is related to the 2010 Haiti earthquake experience. When the earthquake occurred, his brother, who is an emergency worker, called and expressed a desire to send a team to Haiti. The request resulted in the two of them “organizing the first private planes to go to Haiti filled with medical doctors, nurses and other medical practitioners to reopen hospitals and do other medical emergency work.”

Bro. Hasaun Muhammad added that whenever he’s with an African leader or a government official and Min. Louis Farrakhan’s name comes up, the conversation always includes acknowledgement that they have been inspired by his words and that they continue to listen to the Minister to this very day.