Tommy Kallon, President, PAAMA UK
The 4th edition of the Pan-African Peace Symposium was held on 11 November 2023 at the Baitul Futuh Mosque in London. The theme for this year was Economic Equity and Eradicating Poverty: Keys to Peace. This is a topic that is much needed in these turbulent times. The event attracted a live audience of eight hundred people from all backgrounds, with thousands more joining through livestreams on YouTube and Facebook. In attendance were very prominent speakers and guests from across the UK, USA, Africa and beyond. These included diplomats, religious leaders and civic leaders.
After the recitation from the Holy Quran with its English translation, a welcome address was given by my humble self, President of Pan-African Ahmadiyya Muslim Association (PAAMA) UK.
Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa graciously sent a message for this occasion, which was read out by Rafiq Ahmad Hayat Sahib, Amir Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya UK. Huzooraa charged the members of PAAMA “to make an effort as there is an essential need for communities and individuals alike to work diligently within their circles of influence” because “in the complex and rapidly changing circumstances that our world is currently facing, it becomes increasingly vital for every individual to play a role in fostering understanding and harmony.”
Among the speakers were Andy George, President of the National Black Police Association; Leroy Logan, MBE, Founding Member of the National Black Police Association; HE Justina Mutale, President Justina Mutale Foundation; and Mr Musa Mewa, Amir Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya Sierra Leone.
In addition, there were goodwill messages via video from Nigel Stewart, Founder and Director of the School of Pan African Thought, Dr Ibrahim Stevens, Governor of the Bank of Sierra Leone, and Honourable Melrose Karminty, Minister of Social Welfare, Sierra Leone.
Interluding the speeches and goodwill messages were video presentations of an introduction to the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa.
In the main symposium hall, there were also displays of various exhibitions from Humanity First and PAAMA UK.
An address was delivered by Azhar Hanif Sahib, Naib Amir and Missionary-in-Charge Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya USA, who reminded participants why the theme for the occasion was very appropriate.
The formal session of the event ended with closing remarks by Rafiq Ahmad Hayat Sahib, Amir Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya UK, followed by a silent prayer.
This was followed by dinner.
In a series of short interviews organised by the Ishaat team, several guests and participants disclosed how impressed they were with the smooth and successful organisation of the event. Many first-time participants could not hide their enthusiasm to attend the next edition of the Pan-African Peace Symposium.
The total attendance was 799.