Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. announced today the creation of an African Advisory Council, which will work with the Bronx African community to resolve its emerging issues and make recommendations on strategies to improve the quality of life of this growing population.

The council will encourage continental Africans, including people of African descent, to actively participate in the economic, social and cultural developmental aspects of the borough and at the same time will strive to cultivate relationships and enhance communication and interaction between the borough’s African community and the larger Bronx community.

“At the beginning of my administration I promised to work with all Bronx residents working to build a better borough, to build ‘One Bronx’,” said Borough President Diaz. “I want to strengthen the level of involvement of our African community in the development of the borough while I learn more about its social, economic, and cultural issues.”

The advisory council will have a committee for economic, social, interfaith, civil participation and arts and culture, and will also assist in any outreach conducted during emergencies, such as the mosque fire that took place in the Morrisania area on September 17, 2009.

“This council provides a tremendous opportunity for the borough of The Bronx, whose majority of residents traced its ancestry back to Africa”, said Sheikh Moussa Drammeh, member of the council.

According to recent reports, the African population in the Bronx has grown considerably in recent years: the census reported 12,063 sub-Saharan Africans in 1990, while the most recent census estimate was 61,487.