Annandale’s African Alliance club unites diaspora


There are about 3,000 ethnic groups and over 2,100 different languages spoken in the continent of Africa, with rich history within each culture. The African Alliance club at Annandale was founded by students Sahra Omar and Amina Ahmed during their junior year in order to give African students a space where they can come together and embrace their cultures and celebrate their differences.

The students knew that Annandale had a Black Student Union (BSU) which focused on Black history, culture, and experiences, however they wanted to dedicate a place where African culture, history and traditions can be acknowledged. The club’s mission is to welcome students of all races to learn and embrace Africa’s history and traditions. The club works to bring the community of African diaspora together.

“African Alliance has helped students in strengthening their ties to their ancestry and traditions. We didn’t have a lot of knowledge about African nations in Annandale or have much of a relationship to our African heritage at Annandale. So it definitely helped students learn and embrace their culture.“ co-founder Sahra Omar said.

African Alliance works to put an emphasis not only on African culture and tradition but also in developing a community for all African students at Annandale. The club does not exclude anyone regardless of their race, religion, culture, or country they come from. The club is open to everyone, the objective is to work toward meeting everyone’s basic needs by supporting, inspiring, and educating one another. The goal is to educate students about the different aspects of every African culture.

“I started to see change when students began taking their time to come after school and learn more about their heritage. I was happily surprised when not just Africans but students of all races showed up to our club meetings.” Omar said.

The students held their first holiday party on Monday December 5th. The holiday party allowed students from different cultures to bring in their traditional dishes and participate in a potluck. The club hopes to foster a welcoming environment for students of all backgrounds to come and enjoy themselves.

“This meeting was very eye opening as it allowed so many students to be exposed to other African cultures. It brought me into conversations with people I had never met before and I appreciated how polite and tolerant all participants were of other cultures.” said senior Ruftana Beyene.

The club meets every other Monday in room 104 after school and works hard to unite the African community. The unification of the African community is so important because of Africa’s history and division. Due to European colonialism and colonization, African countries have been split up under the influence and power of different European countries. With time, African countries have developed past this and become united.

The importance of national unity for development is that this can further help African countries develop and ensure that these infrastructure developments aren’t done through loans from other countries, which will need to be paid later, thus slowing down proper economic growth. Africa’s success benefits not only Africans but also the world.
The continent has 40 percent of the world’s gold and up to 90 percent of its chromium and platinum. The largest reserves of cobalt, diamonds, platinum and uranium in the world are in Africa. It holds 65 percent of the world’s arable land and ten percent of the planet’s internal renewable fresh water source. Organizations such as the African Union work to promote the unity and solidarity of African countries, defend state sovereignty, eradicate colonialism, promote international cooperation, and coordinate and harmonize Member States’ policies.

“I think it’s so important to have an African Alliance at Annandale because I think that with a stronger relationship, the African community will be able to flourish in an academic environment and work together to succeed in all aspects, both in and outside the classroom,” said senior Trisha Raja.

Bringing this to the Annandale community helps bring peace amongst cultures to an already diverse school. Annandale is the home to many African immigrants, the community works together, learns together, and lives together. The amalgamation of cultures and heritages help to make Annandale a more comfortable place for immigrants which allows them to set themselves up for success and thrive.