The United Republic of Tanzania, a country rich in history, culture, natural resources, and economic promise will host the Fifth International African Diaspora Heritage Trail (ADHT) Conference, October 25-30, 2009, in Dar es Salaam and Zanzibar. This will be the first time the ADHT Conference has convened on the continent of Africa and promises to be a historic journey for the more than 200 delegates expected to attend.
The conference title, “An African Homecoming: Exploring the Origins of the African Diaspora and Transforming Cultural Heritage Assets into Tourism Destinations,” celebrates the linkages of people of African descent from throughout the world. The Tanzanian government is planning an unforgettable series of programs, events, and tours showcasing the vast heritage tourism products and potential of their historic nation.
Tanzanian Minister of Natural Resources and Tourism, the Honorable Shamsa Mwangunga, extended a warm invitation to the delegates of the 2008 ADHT Conference in Bermuda when she said: “I appreciate the efforts of the ADHT to bring together people from all over the world to identify places and phenomenon in order to conserve, document, and preserve the global presence and cultural influence of people of African descent and contribute this knowledge to the world stage of history, culture, and contemporary affairs.”
A highlight of the fall ADHT conference will be the official launch of Tanzania’s new heritage trail, “The Ivory and Slave Route.” This route provides a first-ever journey to sites, towns, and terrain retracing the Arab Slave Trade in Tanzania and east Africa where more than 5 million Africans were captured, enslaved, and shipped to the Middle East, India, Asia, and the West, many perishing before reaching their final destination.
Danny Glover, actor, producer and honorary chair of the ADHT Conference observed: “By convening the ADHT Conference in Tanzania, we will offer a rare glimpse into the Arab Slave Trade of eastern Africa, a major part of the worldwide enslavement of Africans that many of us in the west are not familiar with. From the slave markets of Bagamoyo (translated: Point of Despair) to the slave chambers of Mangapwane Beach, our delegates will be able to witness the barbarity of slavery and celebrate the struggle for liberation that is also a part of Tanzania’s rich tradition.”
The African Diaspora Heritage Trail Conference is open to the public and especially designed for educational, governmental, and tourism professionals. For more information about the conference, visit the ADHT website, www.adht.net or contact conference coordinator, Cyndie Graddy at (301) 650-5700 ext 507 or [email protected]