In a celebratory Zoom ceremony, a five-year plan to improve the prosperity of African Nova Scotian communities was launched on Wednesday in Halifax.

The African Nova Scotian Road to Economic Prosperity Action Plan aims to boost education, employment and entrepreneurship among African Nova Scotians, among other things.

“This work is very important and long overdue,” Irvine Carvery, co-chair of the Advisory Committee, said during the ceremony.

The province will invest about $139,000 in the plan over two years and it will be a collaborative effort delivered with multiple public and private sector partners, particularly HRM, and Halifax Partnership, the city’s economic development organization.

Organizers stressed that research and data collection will be a priority.

“There is a lack of past and present economic data and qualitative research to fully understand the historic and current human rights concerns, educational issues and the economic situation of African Nova Scotians,” the plan stated.

A similar point was made by local entrepreneur Ross Simmonds back in June, when he told Entreverstor that: “We need to look at data with specifics with regards to race and look for information on what communities are underserved, underrepresented, underfunded and ultimately missing out on the tech explosion – aka, this generation’s industrial revolution.”

During the ceremony, Mayor Mike Savage said the impact of generational racism must be acknowledged and that the province must commit to building new pathways to encourage prosperity and inclusion for African Nova Scotians.

Carvery said the African Nova Scotian community will also work with and support new Immigrants. He said it’s hoped that other communities, such as First Nation and Francophone speakers, will implement similar initiatives to advance their own prosperity.