The First African Convention in Malaysia

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The Memories of January 8, 2005, will forever be remembered when more than 15 African countries converged to discuss issues pertinent to their future. The event organized by Mr Anthony-Claret Onwutalobi, the organizing Chairman and founder of  Codewit Global network took place at Mary’ek Hall Kuching Sarawak. Attended by Many African Ambassadors and Government officials.

As the central point of discussion in the convention is geared toward the vision of the future of our African youths. Attended by more than 2000 African students from different universities and colleges around the globe. Prof Suleyman addressed issues on the effect of brain drain or skill labour migration on economic development: A Global perspective. His paper was thought-provoking and inspiring. Prof Suleyman reminded the African government officials of the great need of creating incentives and a stable political and economic platform that will make it possible for our skilled Africans abroad to return home. He warned that many skilled Labourers migrate overseas due to the insecurity and instability of our political system. He urged the Africans to build a stable political and economic system to address the matter.

Our Guest of Honour, Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr George Chan Hong Nam who launched the event later said .that the increasing number of foreign students studying in public and private higher learning institutions in Malaysia has brought a positive impact on the country and their presence had further enriched the multiracial mosaic of this country, said Dr Chan when opening the African Students Convention 2005 here yesterday.

Their participation in our local events and functions such as the annual Kuching Festival such last year enabled them to showcase the rich cultural heritage of their respective countries and this in turn leads to an appreciation of the diverse cultural heritage in our country

Dr Chan said that he hoped the convention, themed “Effect of Brain Drain or Skilled labour migration on Economic Development: A Global perspective” would be a wonderful opportunity for Africans, Malaysians as well as other nationalities to meet each other in the spirit of friendship.

Being the first African Convention organized by the African Students, he disclosed that the convention was the best platform to learn each other’s culture and enable greater cultural appreciation among the different nationalities in the country.

Mr Anthony Claret Onwutalobi, the Organizing Chairman of the event and the President of the African Students Association reiterated in his Speech that the coming together of Africans from over 15 African countries, including African students studying or working in various Universities, colleges and companies in Malaysia respectively is for a great purpose. In his speech, he said that it is our desire to converge all Africans (the students and working-class) via this convention for us to discuss issues pertinent to Africa and Malaysia as we explore the vision of the future on the harmonization of the economic, political and educational strata of both continents, and to discuss issues on globalization. Mr Claret said that Africa is evolving with Pragmatic progress and the sentiment of African Solidarity and unity are deeply rooted and has always found expression in our Association. Mr Claret said that the purpose of this Convention is for all future African leaders to explore the vision for our future Africa. He extends his warm greeting to the Guest of honour at the event, the Deputy Chief Minister of Sarawak, the Nigeria Ambassador to Malaysia, the Libyan, Namibia Kenya, South Africa, Indonesia, China, and the Botswana Embassy representatives and all the attendees. Mr Claret urged all African students abroad to be serious with their callings and their education, which he believes is the key weapon needed to build a new African society. However, Dr, Chan also said in his speech “that the state would continue to explore more opportunities in African countries in the timber industry

Posterity will record that History was made today, as the guest of honours Dr Chan the chief minister of Sarawak and his entourage, the African Ambassadors and representatives of different African embassies arrived at the venue. They were received by the organizing chairman Mr Anthony Claret and his Officers, including the Managing Director/ Chief executive of INTI University College Sarawak Mr William Tan, and her Vice-chancellor and University officials. In the hall, Mr Anthony Claret welcomed the audience and delivered his powerful speech on the Vision of the future of African Youth, His speech was followed by Dr Chan, the Chief Minister of Sarawak, who encouraged the African students that created such initiatives to meet and discuss their future. Later, His excellency Dr Wahab O Dosunmu, The Nigeria High Commissioner to Malaysia gave a speech and extended his tribute to the organization for such a smart move and encouraged the organization to strive without hesitation to pursue the course of representing our fatherland. As the event kicked in, The first section of the seminar was presented by Prof Suleyman from the University of Malaya on The Effect of Brain Drain or Skilled Labour Migration on Economic Development: A Global Perspective with full participation and Q and A from all the audiences. They are a lot of events in between and exotic dance and drama performed by the African students from INTI University College.

Later in the afternoon, the second speaker, Dr Julie wee from INTI  University College, Malaysia presented Issues related to Globalization and the internationalization of education – building your personal capacity to contribute to your country of origin. In her speech, she reminded African students of the need to develop their potential and to be ready to contribute to the growth of their country.

Among the highlights, The Namibian and Libyan officials who represented their ambassadors gave speeches on their behalf and encourage the association to continue its good work. The Namibian Ambassador gave the association a cheque of RM. 500 and promise their government support in subsequent events. The African students presented a series of exciting cultural experiences for the visitors and showcase their food, dances and songs. The event was successful.

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