The phrase African diaspora was coined [ by whom? Less commonly, the term has been used in scholarship to refer to more recent emigration from Africa. Its constitutive act declares that it shall "invite and encourage the full participation of the African diaspora as an important part of our continent, in the building of the African Union". Much of the African diaspora was dispersed throughout the Americas , Europe , and Asia during the Atlantic and Arab slave trades. Beginning in the 8th century, Arabs took African slaves from the central and eastern portions of the continent where they were known as the Zanj and sold them into markets in the Middle East , the Indian subcontinent , and the Far East.