|Shey Tatah & Rahime Diallo at AEP Conference|
The second AEP expert meeting that took place last year in November 2012 in Paris at the Hotel la villette had other side meetings and events, amongst which were interviews conducted with some of the participants from the various countries and organizations. One of these captivating interviews held with Rahime Diallo one of the Project officers presently working in Holland with African Policy centre stole the show. Some Africans believed that Fulanis are only good at rearing cattle, but Rahime Diallo is a proof against that belief. He is 100% Fulani maybe this is one of the reaons some believe he has more than one Nationality. He challenges this thought by starting and stating clearly in this exclusive interview his background and the role he has played and still playing as a project officer for the setting up of a solid and united African platform network.
As a humble steward that he is, gives honor to God (Allah) making a clear cut and link between his name Rahime and AbdouRahime, calling himself a servant of God and not God. He is multi-lingual and uses these competences to bridge the differences that may occur in the course of this project. Shey Tatah asked Rahime what exactly he does in Holland and he had this to say;
"The African diaspora policy has reached a certain position. It is not a network. It is a very powerful small entity working on the policy level advising very important decisions; Policy leaders at the national level, transnational, supranational and international level. For example GFMB we are consultant for what matrix could be afforded or about to draft the problems. Normally we are only users but we have to be inventors, to conceptionalize and re-integrate"
Rahime goes further to admit and acknowledge the exisxtence of other African diaspora organizations who are also working day and night to better develope our continent Africa linking it to the Theme of the conference Good Practice: :
"There is a lot of African organisations, a lot of knowledge, good practice and we need to first promote, to research, to display and make more visible and to inform those who are …. that they have reliable focal points of organisations that they can work with and they can learn from because somehow the EU is a complex multi organisation and they need someone when they are willing to do projects they need to have focus and they have so much expectations amongst us Africans."
Shey went further to ask Rahime to state clearly the name of this platform as the name Umbrella as shared by Faal Djifill has been replaced with Platform. Here is hwo Rahime presented it:
"The name is Africa Europe Platform (AEP) which is part of the project of EADP project, which is the European Wide African Diaspora platform for Development. All what I said before is translated in this activity because for the first time an African organisation somehow granted by the theme in a three years project with other partners to implement such ambitious project creating a network amongst African diaspora organisations in twenty nine European countries including member states of cosnolica, Switzerland is great and this as an acknowledgment. They have to trust that they can do this and do this alone. There are five organisations implementing as partners from France in Paris, on the second expert meeting where we are here now, second is AFFORD based in the UK, C JMD based in Brussels, ADPC and ICMPD(International Centre for …..)
Rahim therefore saw eye to eye with Djibrill Fall on the choice of the word Platform to umbrella Organization a definition Djibrill learnt from a cameroonian. Rahime smartly shared this stating that he is not more into terminologies but results.
"... I am focusing more on the content and what is more concrete happening am not a friend of debating on terms or words however for me I support the idea platform because it is about to create space because who am I to cover another organisation, it can be that this organisation is covering me. Do I want to be an umbrella organisation, no. I want to create space for those exra-ordinary active motivated organisations. That means we are doing it on a platform and this means covering can also be invisible, that we can see what people are doing and make it more visible, promote it and this is what is important and the third aspect is create freedom . and the last thing on a platform it creates space to the linker."
Shey Tatah took Rahime Diallo back to the 1st Expert meeting in Frankfurt March 2012, seeking to know if any achievements have been made so far and the difficulties encountered if any.
Rahime admitted that it was all about implementation but also adds that they are now aware of what they are doing. "I can tell you that is it really a lot of work, it is a lot of hard work but being with all of you, it is so inspiring and also so strong. This gives us anough energy as stating why we do this, most important to note, we know that it can work and it will work."
He went further to acknowledge one challenge which is diversity with various different working environments. Some with structures and others without. They are fighting on basic levels to survive. But also on the other hand the motivation to work together with each other and also to identify the added value, eg if someone in Hungary is facing discrimination, somehow they improvise means to raise funds....
As a project officer, they have those five Organizations somehow interwoven, the work is done by these officers. You may want to watch the interview of this first part. The visit ...
These officers work at the impementation levels while each of the project officer has a co-ordinator who is usually the director. These officers in few months have achieved to launch a website, 2 successful expert meetings, newletters. A word of thanks was expressed from both parties, while Rahim asked for africans to give the women and the youth the chance especially as the young generation have a new and nother approach. We should be able to learn from then and help them have their own platform. Although we are far from achieving our goals, we do need support from all established and strong African Diaspora organizations
www.AE-PLATFORM:ORG for more and also follow the online courses offered by AFFORD. This will help kill those one man shows Organizations and encourage others to work hand in glove. You may see the last part of the interview here
By Shey Tatah Sevidzem