--- so when they decide to pay a visit to Africoonia, their American
citizenship can be revoked while they're abroad and they won't EVER be able
to come back...
Africans mull citizenship for slave kin
By DULUE MBACHU
Associated Press Writer
Thu Jul 20, 6:20 PM ET
ABUJA, Nigeria - African and black American leaders meeting this week
debated an unusual proposal to spur investment and interest in the
continent - securing African citizenship for American descendants of
Africans taken away as slaves.
The idea came out of a summit bringing African governments and the U.S.
private sector together in search of partnerships to end Africa's poverty.
Presidents from 12 African countries attended the four-day conference, along
with former U.S. President Bill Clinton and World Bank President Paul
"Just as the people of different races in America have a place they call
home, I believe we should have a place we call our ancestral home," said
Hope Masters, daughter of the U.S. civil rights campaigner for whom the Leon
Sullivan Summit is named.
Anthony Archer, a Santa Monica, Calif.-based lawyer, is heading a committee
to consider how citizenship could be awarded.
"Dual citizenship will start the process of mutual and spiritual
reconciliation of differences between the two continents that came as a
result of slavery," he said. "If we can feel like we really belong, we'll
feel more joyful about participating."
Key challenges include determining the ancestral homelands of black
Americans, Masters said. The upheaval of the slave trade left many without
knowledge of their place of origin.
One possibility is granting continent-wide citizenship to slave descendants
through the African Union, Archer said. Another is to work for citizenship
of blocs of countries through regional organizations. It was unclear what
rights would be granted under those scenarios.
A third proposal would have countries grant citizenship independently to
those who seek it.
Masters said the proposal will be further developed before the next summit
in 2008. She said African leaders support the concept, noting that Nigerian
President Olusegun Obasanjo has urged black Americans "to see Africa as your
Among the Americans attending the Sullivan meeting in Abuja were executives
from companies including Chevron Corp., Coca-Cola Co., General Motors Corp.,
and DaimlerChrysler AG.