News Column

IDB Launches Network to Better Connect Communities of African Origin to Governments

May 21, 2014

WASHINGTON, May 21 -- The Inter-American Development Bank issued the following news release:

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the National Association of Mayors and Governors of Cities and Department s with People of African Origin (Amunafro) have launched a new digital platform that will allow citizens to propose solutions to problems affecting their communities.

The Web site seeks to strengthen Afro-Latin American and Afro-Caribbean communities by posting citizen ideas to improve their communities, allowing online votes to select the best projects, and then letting people track the results.

Suggestions with the greatest support will be studied by mayors and governors in a bid to address the challenges they face in their cities and departments.

The platform was launched on the international day of cultural diversity for dialogue and development. It also contains social media components ( and @SomosAfroORG) to help people make the best use of the tool. The goal is to turn the greatest number of proposals into viable projects.

More than 150 million people of African origin are spread throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, including 80 million in Brazil and nearly 12 million in Colombia. Social and racial exclusion is one of several factors responsible for these people being concentrated in low-skill and low-paying jobs, with little prospects for social advancement. Health care and education services are often subpar.

Despite this discouraging outlook, people of African origin have made vital contributions to the economies of the region. They produce goods and services at all levels and represent a market of more than 150 million consumers. stems from one of the commitments made at the Third Global Summit of Leaders of African Origin, which was held in the Colombian cities of Cali and Cartagena in September 2013. The pledge was to encourage the use of new tools for social participation that have a positive impact on local development and the exchange of good practices on social, economic, cultural and community issues.

Governments and civil society organizations that wish to join the initiative can send an email to or

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Source: Targeted News Service

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