Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Friends of Congo Representatives Visit Detroit

Friends of Congo Representatives Visit Detroit

by Abayomi Azikiwe
Editor, Pan-African News Wire

DETROIT--Two representatives of the Friends of Congo, Maurice Carney and Kamale Musavuli, visited the city on May 19 where they addressed a community meeting sponsored by the Khepra Study Group. The event was held at the Dexter/Elmhurst Center located on Dexter on the city's west side.

Carney and Musavuli discussed the history of Congo with special emphasis on the impact of slavery and colonialism in this central African country. The two highlighted the role of African Americans in exposing the atrocities committed by Belgium during the 19th and 20th centuries in Congo. Special mention was made of missionary William Sheppard, historian George Washington Williams as well as organizer and public lecturer Malcolm X, whose 84th birthday was comemorated at the event on May 19.

A video was shown of the extreme exploitation of the abundant natural resources of the now Democratic Republic of Congo by multi-national corporations supported by the United States government. The Friends of Congo leaders appealed to the African American community to oppose the continuing interference in the internal affairs of this nation.

Evoking the legacy of Congo's first Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba, the activists pointed out that Ghana's first President Kwame Nkrumah was very concerned about development in this nation. Musavuli cited Nkrumah's book, "Challenge of the Congo", which was published in 1967.

Friends of Congo is demanding that the wealth of the DRC be utilized for the benefit of the people and not the foreign corporations and the elites within neighboring states aligned with the United States.

Background Taken From Friends of Congo Web Site

The Friends of the Congo (FOTC) is a 501 (c) 3 tax-exempt advocacy organization based in Washington, DC. The FOTC was established at the behest of Congolese human rights and grassroots institutions in 2004, to work together to bring about peaceful and lasting change in the Democratic Republic of Congo, formerly Zaire.

The Friends of the Congo is led by people of African ancestry and others of goodwill. We believe that with strong support from friends of the Congo throughout the globe , the vast human and natural resource potential of the Democratic Republic of Congo can serve as an instrument to meet the great needs of the people of Congo and Africa.

• Work with Congolese institutions from diverse sectors of the society who are working on behalf of and in the interest of the masses of Congolese.
• Provide opportunities to help develop and reconstruct the Congo.
• Work to elevate the quality of life of the people of the Congo and by extension African peoples throughout Africa and the globe.

The ultimate vision of the FOTC is to see a strong vibrant Congo where the Congolese control their own destiny and utilize their country's vast resources as an engine for their own development and that of Africa and the African diaspora.

The FOTC is a made up of the following components:
1. Board of Directors
2. Executive Leadership
3. Board of Advisers
4. Coalitions in the DRC
5. FOTC Support Networks
6. Friends of the Congo throughout the globe

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