by Staff Writers
Cali, Colombia (AFP) Sept 12, 2013
South Africa's former president, a NASA scientist and an Italian minister were among guests at a meeting in Colombia Thursday aimed at fostering cooperation between leaders in Africa and of African descent.
The group is expected to launch a fund to support access to higher education and cultural exchange for communities with African heritage, as well as for equitable access to international development funding.
The group also proposed creating an association for African-descended mayors, with a view toward encouraging trade.
The meeting in the southwest Colombia city of Cali and the northwest city of Catagena -- both of which have large black populations -- runs until September 18. It is the third iteration of the summit, which was previously held in Nigeria and Senegal.
An opening ceremony Wednesday night featured Colombia President Juan Manuel Santos.
Among the estimated 2,000 participants were ex-president Thabo Mbeki, who held office in South Africa from 1999-2008, Italian integration minister Cecile Kyenge, and a Colombian scientist of African descent, Raul Cuero, who works at NASA.
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