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Hopeful vision for Africa to be presented

By LIBBY NELSON, Times Staff Writer
Published October 14, 2007


With speakers from St. Petersburg, South Africa and Sierra Leone, African People's Solidarity Day will make a case Tuesday for African unification as a solution to the continent's problems.

The event at Studio@620 620 First Ave. S in St. Petersburg, should give audiences a different view of Africa's problems, Uhuru Solidarity Committee member Sandra Thompson said.

"You get the impression from the information that we often have access to that there's no hope for Africa," Thompson said.

"But these speakers have a very hopeful and positive vision for Africa itself and for African people everywhere, that by unifying they can solve all of Africa's problems."

Solidarity Day, in its second year, is a fundraiser for the Uhuru Movement's African People's Solidarity Committee, which promotes African unification.

The keynote speaker, Omali Yeshitela, is chairman of the African People's Socialist Party, the leading organization of the Uhuru Movement.

The two other speakers, Mfanelo Skwatsha and Chernoh Alpha M. Bah, promote unifying African countries to reclaim Africa's resources, Thompson said.

Skwatsha is a member of the National Executive Council of the Pan Africanist Congress of Azenia, a South African liberation movement active during apartheid.

Bah, a former child soldier in Sierra Leone, is a journalist and the director of the Africanist Movement of Sierra Leone and West Africa.

Both have come to the United States for Solidarity Day and will be speaking at events in Philadelphia and Oakland, Calif.

"I think that people will take away a new understanding of what's really going on in Africa today, why the poverty is so widespread and some concrete solutions that people here can contribute to," Thompson said.

The event begins at 6:30 p.m. The sliding-scale fee starts at $10.

Libby Nelson can be reached at 727 893-8779 or

[Last modified October 13, 2007, 22:14:56]

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