The African Nova Scotian Road to Economic Prosperity Action Plan Launches

Posted: February 19, 2021

Last month, the African Nova Scotian (ANS) community launched the African Nova Scotian Road to Economic Prosperity Action Plan, a five-year collaborative strategy developed and owned by the community to advance economic development in collaboration with the Halifax Regional Municipality, Halifax Partnership, and other private, public, and community partners.

ANS Launch Event
Dolly Williams and Irvine Carvery, co-chairs of the Advisory Committee

“African Nova Scotians have always been dedicated to building a strong, vibrant, and prosperous community. This Action Plan continues the work that African Nova Scotian communities have been doing for generations and provides an actionable roadmap for realizing future opportunities for people of African descent,” said Dolly Williams and Irvine Carvery, co-chairs of the Road to Economic Prosperity Advisory Committee. “When we are successful, we will have addressed decades and centuries of systemic and institutional barriers that have prevented growth in our communities.”

To mark the launch, a virtual celebration event was held on January 19th with key partners from the municipal and provincial governments and community organizations. Each shared their excitement for the launch of the Action Plan and their commitment to supporting the ANS community in implementing the plan over the next five years.

ANS Event Drumming Session

Wendy Luther, President and CEO of Halifax Partnership, shared, “we're not aiming to grow Halifax just for growth sake. We want to build a Halifax that is inclusive, diverse, just, and welcoming for all. A city where African Nova Scotians, Indigenous peoples of color, and underrepresented groups can fully contribute to, and equally benefit from, education, employment, and economic opportunities. A city we can all feel proud to call home.”

ANS Launch Event
Wendy Luther, President and CEO, Halifax Partnership

RBC is demonstrating their commitment to ANS economic development through a $25,000 sponsorship of the Action Plan, while the Province of Nova Scotia is providing approximately $139,000 to develop and launch the African Nova Scotian Connector Program aimed at improving labour market integration and outcomes for African Nova Scotians.

“All Nova Scotians deserve equal access to fair, safe and productive environments where they can learn, work and live, and most importantly, where they can thrive,” said the Honourable Lena Diab, Minister of Labour and Advanced Education.

ANS Launch Event
The Honourable Lena Diab, Minister of Labour and Advanced Education

“I feel honoured that RBC is one of the first investors in the Action Plan, but I also know our job isn’t done yet,” said Chris Ronald, RBC Regional President of Atlantic Canada. “As Canada’s largest bank, we have an obligation to be part of the change, which is why we’ve committed $25,000 to the Action Plan. My hope after is that other companies will reach out to [Halifax Partnership], like I did, or Irvine or Dolly, and say, how can we help?”

ANS Launch Event
Chris Ronald, RBC Regional President of Atlantic Canada

The Road to Economic Prosperity Action Plan is a first-of-its-kind economic strategy for African Nova Scotians. It aims to close employment and housing gaps, increase collaboration and investment, and improve economic and quality of life outcomes for the ANS community.

Implementation will happen over the next five years with various partners and will involve an annual gathering of ANS and organizations, research and analysis on ANS community-level statistics, the development of the African Nova Scotian Prosperity and Well-being Index, and continuous community capacity building and engagement.

Road to Economic Prosperity Action Plan

“Thank you to the ANS community and to our partners for your support and contributions to this plan, particularly to those who participated in our consultation sessions to identify key issues, opportunities, and themes to be addressed,” said Dolly and Irvine. “It will take all of us, working together, to create real and lasting change and build a better future for future generations of African Nova Scotians.”

Watch the ANS Launch event

If you missed the African Nova Scotia Road to Economic Prosperity Launch event, you can watch the recording below.



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