The Road to Unity

Setting the Context

During the largest community consultation held in 2018, The Road to Economic Prosperity: A Gathering of African Nova Scotian Communities and Neighbourhoods, keynote speaker and facilitator Nene Kwasi Kafele helped set the context for the Road to Unity for African Nova Scotians. Kafele shared that African villages are usually circular, which speaks to continuity, alignment, and interdependence. This circularity is the first element of unity, and unity is about how we organize ourselves as a community.

In addition to unity, there are five critical elements and archetypes within African communities which must all exist and be in balance to thrive: fire, water, earth, minerals/rocks, and nature. Knowing these elements helps channel a community’s focus – who to go to, when to go to them, and how to seek their support and input. When these elements are unbalanced, a community can become confused, disorganized, and vulnerable.

Road to Unity Elements

In thinking about different ways to improve economic prosperity, ANS communities need a coherent, organized vision, strategy, and plan. This requires five things:

  1. Ethical and competent leadership.

  2. Strong, progressive, and effective institutions with Africentric representation and values.

  3. Economic infrastructure that generates beneficial economic activities for the community.

  4. A coherent strategy for healing, trauma, and emotional well-being.

  5. A cultural knowledge and understanding driven by worldviews and value systems of what it means to be an African.

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