Dudley Thompson is Africa's 'first citizen'
NINETY-FOUR-YEAR-OLD Amassador Dudley Thompson, Jamaica's former envoy to several African countries, has created history by being the first person to be made a citizen of Africa and given a passport by the African Union (AU).
The announcement was made at a recent meeting of the United Nations (UN) and Senegal by Dr Djibrill Diallo, senior advisor to the executive director of the UN and advisor to the President of Senegal on Diaspora Affairs.
The meeting was attended by the President of the UN as well as a number of presidents of countries in Africa.
Ambassador Thompson, a former Minister of Foreign Affairs, and also National Security during the 1970s Michael Manley-led People's National Party government, will be recognised by the AU for his consistent and enduring work on behalf of the African Diaspora.
Ambassador Thompson, who served in Nigeria, Namibia and Ghana, among other African nations, said on hearing the announcement: "I am elated. This news came out of the blue. Marcus Garvey, wherever he is, must be smiling right now."
The date and venue of the awards ceremony have not yet been disclosed, but persons connected to the AU have indicated that efforts are being made to hold the ceremony before the end of the year in an African country.
Ambassador Thompson has been working feverishly on the formation of a United States of Africa, a working title for the possible coming together of African states in their quest to build a stronger, more vibrant continent.
The Rhodes Scholar is pushing for the creation of a single federal government of the entire African continent, which would include the Diaspora as the sixth district.
Thompson, who now resides in Florida, USA, is keen on seeing a united Africa by 2017.
He has expressed his delight and profound gratitude to the African leaders for recognising his work on behalf of all people of African descent, work which he intends to continue in his current capacity as president of the World African Diaspora Union (WADU), a position which he has held since 2007.