H.E. MOUSSA FAKI MAHAMAT
S.E. ANTONIO GUTERRES
COMMISSION UNITED NATIONS
S.E. Michelle BACHELET
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
Office of the United Nations in Switzerland
MARCH 1, 2022
YOUR EXCELLENCIES CHAIRPERSON, SECRETARY GENERAL & HIGH COMMISSIONER :
It is no longer an open secret that African students and black immigrants are facing racism in Ukraine and at the borders of Poland. In fact, African students and black immigrants in Ukraine are stranded or pushed to the back of the train line as they attempt to flee war in Ukraine. Being black is difficult in today’s world, whether in times of peace or in times or war. The world is rightly in solidarity with Ukraine during this political conflict when so many nations had been at war for a long time and besides, the migratory movement remains a very lucrative business for some nations, alas! And the fact that no one seems interested or compassionate enough in helping the black community or students stranded in the war zone make me deeply sad.
Let it be said, economists use their precious time to warn that the war in Ukraine could push petrol prices up and increase inflation in Africa. Is this the most important thing to worry about in the world? Human lives are at stake here and we cannot pretend not to see what the reality is at the ground and care less about young people’s lives who have been abandoned to themselves while every side enjoys cutting a piece of their own cake.
We know very well that this crisis will directly impact economies across the world and this is also true for African young entrepreneurs who work hard with no support from any African government and travel the world to realize their dreams. These dreams are the engine of the Panafrican economy even though our leaders don’t pay attention to their struggle. As a Media Entrepreneur and Founder of TROPICS MAGAZINE and the TROPICS BUSINESS SUMMIT, I have made it a mission to stand up against any form of injustice and I have made it a life mission to get entrepreneurs to solve real problems impacting people’s lives today.
Africa is integrated into the global economy so the war’s impact on the global economy, as we have seen in the latest breaking news will affect the entire globe. For example, there are significant agricultural and educational trade agreements between the African continent and the remaining four. The ongoing war could also affect supply chains and raise the cost of imports and result in affecting people’s livelihoods even more. African entrepreneurs and young people watch the news in dismay and remain truly concerned about the role that the African Union Commission and the United Nations will play to bring peace and protect the civil society and most importantly, the students, regardless of their race and backgrounds. This is the time to prove that the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) masterplan by the United Nations and the Agenda 2063 blueprint by the African Union Commission are not just slogans. I truly hope that your respective offices will help the Young Leaders as they contribute to “The Africa We Want” and most importantly, let’s “Leave NO ONE Behind”.
Today, it is more than urgent for Africa to invest in its own educational infrastructure because it is unacceptable to see African students ridiculed and mistreated outside our borders as they go there to access a so-called quality education and return (sometimes) to serve their continent. It is not because someone leaves their country to study abroad that they become less than human. I am appalled to see that even in times of war, some lives are worth more than others… and that some media filter the news simply because some lives are more important than others.
I am a DOer, and I have never waited for any system to support my efforts nor return the favor. My team and I were already working on structuring the Tropics Leadership Academy online after we closed out our 5th Annual TROPICS BUSINESS SUMMIT (www.tropicsbusinesssummit.com), last October, but I think a lot more needs to be done from hereon in.
We are going to make this institution a reference point and a “must” for all BLACK and especially AFRO-CARIBBEAN students looking for a quality education and academic courses based in one or more African countries along with a hybrid format online as in face-to-face. Just as education is a fundamental right, all lives are equal. If Ukraine and Poland and their henchmen still have not understood this basic principle, it is up to entrepreneurs everywhere throughout the continent of Africa and the Diaspora, to stop being spectators and Twitter fanatics.
Entrepreneurship means providing tangible solutions to real challenges of our time. My reaction to the treatment of black students in Ukraine is not to whine nor post a status because it’s what is trending now on social media. I have experienced three wars in my country of Congo-Brazzaville so no one can tell me about it. I lost my only elder brother and my maternal grandmother while fleeing and saw how bullets whizzed past me and took lives 50 cm away from me. Unfortunately, the decision to engage in war is solely made among the men who rule and sadly, it is women and children who suffer the consequences.
My own weapon is education, awareness and the awakening of mentalities, nothing else. I persist and sign that we are going to create our own universities and mark my words, there will come a time when people will need to come and train with us, because one thing is for sure: Africa IS the cradle of humanity. No one can take that title and scientific fact away from us, and the millennials and Gen-Z should be aware of this.
For the past three months, the Tropics Team has been working on launching the Leadership Academy. Anyone who is interested in becoming involved and wants to lend a hand, or bring resources to the table, should follow us – the time for announcements will come in October 2022 – we hope to have you among us.
With each one’s contribution, we can break the mold and act where we are, but together we are able to transform Africa and the world. The entire cohort of young “African DOers” standing besides me firmly believes in this ideal today more than ever.
Vénicia Stelle Guinot
President & Founder, TROPICS GROUP OF COMPANIES
Executive Chair, TROPICS BUSINESS SUMMIT
7x Awards-Winning Serial Entrepreneur & Chief Editor, TROPICS MAGAZINE
Global Advisor, CHAMBER OF COMMERCE LUXEMBOURG – CAPE VERDE (CCLCV)
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