History: National Summit on Africa

In February 2000, the National Summit on Africa’s Dialogue and Celebration of Africa changed the face of American policy toward the continent. Never before had such a large community of people, representing every state in the union, come together in support of Africa. Six extraordinary regional summits and three policy forums were held in major cities throughout the country setting the stage for this significant gathering. The National Summit on Africa’s culminating event in Washington, D.C. brought together another 8,000 participants, delegates, and partners whose collective strength demonstrated to the world that Africa matters!

The National Summit on Africa was built upon a nationwide network and plans to maintain and expand this powerful network in the future. Since the historic meeting in Washington, the Summit’s constituency throughout the country has worked to get federal policymakers to implement specific sections of the National Policy Plan of Action, the first People’s Manifesto on U.S. policy vis-à-vis Africa. Through coordinated efforts, the Summit’s constituency has supported legislation that increased debt relief, expanded U.S.-Africa trade relations through the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), combated AIDS through the World Bank-AIDS Prevention Trust Fund Act, and opposed political restrictions on U.N. funding for peacekeeping operations in Sierra Leone.

As a dynamic, diverse, and inclusive organization, The Africa Society continues to pay close attention to sociopolitical developments and challenges on the African continent, and is determined to ensure that Africa remains a priority in the minds of American policymakers and the public.