Washington State Africa Network
National Summit on Africa

Meeting Report

Sunday, August 8, from 3:30 to 6:00 P.M.,
Emerald City SDA Church, 801 25th Ave (on 25th north of Cherry), Seattle WA 98122


The main discussion of the meeting was the goals and objectives of the organization. At times ideas for a name and mission statement floated through but primarily we wrestled with the basic nature of the organization. Suggestion ranged from just organizing a delegation to the National Summit to a full-blown Information/Cultural Center for all activities African. Another thread debated whether we should have an Africa focus, or focus on some of the needs of the African refugee community. Over the coarse of the discussion there was a consensus that we had to be more active than just organizing a delegation to even get a delegation, and we didn't have the resources to orchestrate a physical center of any size or any social services. Mind you this point took an interesting two hours to reach. It was decided that we should put our efforts into organizing and expanding a Washington-Africa Network in the state. This is to be a "virtual center", but it is intended to link people to real resource they can call upon to get information about Africa. Part of this process will be establishing a list-serve so there can be more two-way communications. The goals of this network are to parallel the goals of the National Summit:
  1. To further educate the Washington State public about Africa and engage more Washingtonians in the policy-making process;
  2. To develop new grass roots constituencies for Africa and help existing ones expand their scope; and
  3. To energize this broadened constituency to craft a shared policy agenda aimed at informing and reshaping the policy making process on U.S.-Africa affairs (i.e. recruit people for the Washington State Delegation to the National Summit on Africa.)

The fund raising committee is now going to try to translate this into measurable objectives and apply for grants to create the Washington-Africa Network and get funding to help send the Washington State Delegation to the National Summit. The nucleus of the Washington-Africa Network may be viewed at, http://www.ibike.org/africamatters/network.htm )

The last half-hour of the meeting was spent discussing the delegate selection process.  It was felt that we needed to be more precise about the responsibilities of the delegates. This was referred to a subcommittee that drew up the following statement: "Subcommittee statement" Anyone with an interest in working for the betterment of U.S.-Africa relations is eligible to stand as a delegate. The minimum qualifications are that each delegate:

  • must live in the state that she or he represents;
  • must be prepared to take an active role in the state delegation activities;
  • must be prepared to travel to Washington, D.C. to participate in the national summit event (President Day weekend, February 2000)

"Taking an active role in state delegation activities" is defined as:

  1. Keeping yourself informed about current events in Africa;
  2. Working to further educate the U.S. public about Africa and engage more Americans in the policy-making process;
  3. Working to develop new grass roots constituencies for Africa in Washington State and help existing ones expand their scope; and
  4. Raising money or making donation to help defray the cost of attending the National Summit on Africa. Keeping in mind that the more money the Washington State National Summit Delegation raises, the more money we will have for future projects benefiting Africa.
  5. Attending delegation meetings and events or keep up with the minutes of the meetings, participating through e-mail and serving on "virtual committees."
  6. Continuing after the summit to be involved in the first three activities.

Those interested in being a delegate should:

  1. Taking an active role in Washington State National Summit on Africa activities
  2. Read the materials on the National Summit on Africa
  3. Try to attend the Washington State Delegation National Summit on Africa Orientation and Policy Plan of Action Workshop, Sept 12;
  4. Try to attend the Washington State Delegate Selection meeting October (TBA), and;
  5. MUST file in writing to stand as a delegate by October 1. [You need not attend the meetings to be a delegate, but it will likely help.]

To file to stand for a delegate position, provide a written short statement including:

  1. Your name;
  2. Which position(s) you wish to stand for;
  3. Your background in that area; and
  4. What you have done and/or what you plan to do to satisfy the requirement "to take an active role in state delegation activities."

Delegate filing statements may be filed by email to Washington_Africa_Network @ ibike.org (remove spaces). Statements are due by October 1.
"End of subcommittee statement"

The next meeting is Sunday, September 12, from 3:30 to 6:00 PM, location to be announced. We will breakout into groups to discuss the five thematic areas. This will be an important orientation and workshop for people who want to be a member of the Washington State Delegations AND for people who want to provide input into our policy priorities.


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