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Africa’s 1-billion people and its diaspora’s 134-million citizens in the Caribbean, the Americas and Europe constitute what is commonly known as “Global Africa”. Members of this group fought for the emancipation of black populations from the legacy of slavery and colonialism, and were active in SA’s anti-apartheid struggle. Since 1994 the bridges between Africa and its diaspora have been broken, ironically during an era when a Kenyan and Kansan — Barack Obama — was US president between 2009 and 2016. The AU’s idea of the diaspora as the continent’s sixth subregion has also become an empty gesture, largely devoid of substance. The establishment of the Institute for Global African Affairs between the University of Johannesburg and the University of the West Indies in Johannesburg and Barbados earlier in November thus represents a civil society effort to rebuild “Global Africa”. Both institutions are planning a joint master’s degree on Global Africa, which will cover important issues s...

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