Road map for the creation of an African diaspora credit union1. Background:
Recognizing that financial institutions are one of the most heavily regulated institutions in the United States, Africans in Boston has taken a leap of faith and committed to steering the process for the creation of the first African Diaspora Credit Union in New England.
This began when African Union Ambassador to the United States, Dr. Arikana Chihombori-Quao, reached out to Africans in Boston, in August 2018, and requested the organization to mobilize and convene Africans in the New England area, for the creation of an African diaspora credit union, which would be a significant contribution to the United States economy, and at the same time serve specific financial needs of the African diaspora in the region.
This process for creating the credit union was launched at a public meeting with the H.E Dr. Arikana Chihombori-Quao, held on September 6, 2018 at Boston University. In that meeting, she urged the African Diaspora to leverage their numbers to create a financial entity that would cater to the needs of the African Diaspora, and at the same time become a platform for investment on the continent of Africa.
This meeting was attended by over 50 African diaspora, who expressed eagerness and enthusiasm to be a part of this project.
Following the launch, Africans in Boston held consultative meetings with H.E Amb Chihombori-Quao, Financial and banking experts, and groups of African Diaspora who have been mobilizing funds for the creation of different financial initiatives, both formal and informal (social support). These meetings were aimed at understanding the banking sector, financial regulations, and identifying ways to integrate existing financial initiatives into one process for creating a single African Diaspora Credit Union. The AiB team also embarked on a grassroot campaign to raise awareness of the process in the community. This consultative process increased enthusiasm and questions among Africans in the diaspora and was the foundation for the public Conference call held on October 10, 2018.
2. Africans in Boston Conference Call, October 10, 2018 at 7:30am-10:30am
This call was advertised on the various social media that AiB uses for most of its communication, including the AiB website, facebook, What’sApp groups, to provide an opportunity for African diaspora members to participate in this grassroot initiative. It was moderated by Voury Ignegongba (AiB President) and Vivian Birchall (Executive Director). Other people in attendance included Jeff Siaw, former