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Conversations with African Poets and Writers” is a program series in partnership with the Library of Congress African and Middle Eastern Division and the Poetry and Literature Center. This program showcases emerging African writers whose work has contributed to increasing knowledge about the literature of the continent throughout the world. The series was launched in 2011 to expose the richness, diversity, and creativity of contemporary African writing to an international audience. Previous series have featured the late famous Nigerian writer and scholar Chinua Achebe, the legend Dr. Ali Mazrui, and South Africa’s writer and poet laureate Keorapetse Kgositsile. In showcasing these contemporary novelists and poets, we hope to create a new digital archive that may be used by students of African literature, researchers in African studies departments, the African Diaspora, and individuals who are interested in a cultural exchange experience.

By Bernadette Paolo A new National Security Strategy (NSS) for the United States released in February of 2015 includes many references to trade being vital to U.S. security interests. That is why Congress must renew the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) without further delay. “The United States is safer and stronger when fewer people face destitution, when our trading partners are flourishing and when societies are free,” reads one reference in the NSS. Given this truth, it is incumbent that the U.S. Congress act swiftly to insure that trade facilitation is a priority, particularly as it pertains to the continent of Africa. The African continent is fast evolving and widely considered to be the next frontier for economic growth. In many sub-Saharan countries, GDP is expected to rise above five percent in 2015. As Africa flexes its muscle in the global market and demands more equitable business deals, as its population exceeds well over a billion people, and as the oil flows and untapped resources remain, its trading partners are becoming more diverse than ever in its history. But old and new challenges remain in the face of progress. High levels of poverty combined with a burgeoning youth population,…

Washington, DC — The Africa Society of the National Summit on Africa and the World Affairs Council – Washington, DC, will host 600 students for a Youth Forum entitled “Africa: A Continent for the 21st Century” from 8:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., on November 17, 2014 at the Ronald Reagan International Trade Center in Washington, D.C. In addition to learning about foreign policy as it pertains to Africa and the media, students from the Washington metropolitan area will learn about and discuss the issues of Energy, Peace and Security, Trade and Investment, Energy, Food Security and Agriculture, Health and Technology. Workshops will be convened for teachers and students by policymakers and leading experts in their respective fields. Linda Thomas-Greenfield, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, will deliver the keynote address. Other Opening Plenary speakers include Heidi Shoup, President of the World Affairs Council-DC; Bernadette Paolo, President and CEO of The Africa Society; Her Excellency Faida Mitifu, Ambassador to the U.S. from the Democratic Republic of the Congo; Tami Hultman, Co-Founder of AllAfrica.com; and Kenyan poet, Ana Mwalagho. Featured presenters convening workshops include Florizelle Liser, Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Africa; Dr. Raymond Gilpin, Dean, Africa Center for Strategic Studies;…

The Africa Society of the National Summit on Africa is very proud of our President and CEO, Bernadette Paolo. We are appreciative of the “Friend of Africa” African Diaspora Award which is reflective of her great commitment to the continent of Africa. It is our turn to applaud Applause Africa and all of the honorees. Patricia Baine. Africa Applause Announces 2014 Honorees for African Diaspora Awards Ger Duany, star of “The Good Lie”, to be recognized as Actor of the Year Dr. Olajide Williams of Hip Hop Healthcare to receive Advocate of the Year Award Bernadette Paolo of The Africa Society to be honored with Friend of Africa Award NEW YORK, October 20, 2014 –Applause Africa, a multimedia platform that aims to celebrate, empower and connect the people, culture and visions of Africans in the Diaspora, announced today the 2014 Honorees for the AFRICAN DIASPORA AWARDS. The 4th Annual ADA Awards will be held on November 15 at Lincoln Center’s Gerald W. Lynch Theater at John Jay College. The Red Carpet and cocktail reception begin at 6:00PM, followed by the awards show at 7:00PM. The AFRICAN DIASPORA AWARDS celebrates the accomplishments of exemplary individuals from the African Diaspora who have excelled…

Journalists need to up their game in the way they report the impact of Ebola on Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, says Bernadette Paolo, writing for AllAfrica. Arguing against the scaremongering generalizations often seen especially in Western media, she advocates being specific about the countries affected and reporting positive developments where they occur. The world has to take the Ebola virus seriously given the toll it has exacted and stands to exact on countless numbers of people, most of which, thus far, are in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone. Equally important is managing the fear this contagion is causing that may lead to determinations being made by countries that will further exacerbate the isolation and destabilization being experienced by affected nations. In addition to rendering all possible forms of assistance to the three countries most impacted and taking preventative steps in countries with an isolated case or a few cases of Ebola, caution must be taken about reporting on this disease. One way to do this is to stop referring to Ebola as impacting “West Africa.” Sixteen countries make up the region known as West Africa including Benin, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Cape Verde, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali,…

On August 5, 2014, in conjunction with the U.S. – Africa Leaders Summit, Congresswoman Karen Bass (D-Calif.), Ranking Member of the House Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health and Human Rights, along with United States Senator Chris Coons (D-DE), Chairman of Senate Subcommittee on African Affairs, and Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Ranking Member of the Senate Subcommittee on African Affairs, co-hosted the “Growth and Opportunity in Africa Forum” in coordination with the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit.

The “Africa Forum” organized by the FEEEDS Advocacy Initiative, Gallup, The Africa Society, AllAfrica and Operation HOPE, which was held July 10, 2014 for 250 invitees, is being called a “substantive success.” It was the first in a series of activities leading up to the August 5-6, 2014 US-Africa Heads of State Summit. Related Links White Paper on ‘Africa Forum’ Pre-Summit Dialogue Released FEEEDS-Gallup-Africa Society DC “Africa Forum” Kicks off Issues for the US-Africa Leaders’ Summit  

In commemoration of World Aids Day 2012 on December 1st, the US has unveiled the new US blueprint for an AIDS free generation. The President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) Bluepint: Creating an AIDS free generation, provides a roadmap for how the U.S. Government will work to help achieve a generation free of AIDS. The disease has plagued many African countries for decades and while some progress has been made in reducing the rate of infection of HIV virus and in managing the disease, there is still a long way to go. This, therefore, is good news for Africa and the rest of the world. The blueprint gives practical steps to achieve the set goal. As U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said, "Make no mistake about it, HIV may well be with us into the future but the disease that it causes need not be". As it stands today, only about 8 million HIV patients in developing countries are getting treatment. The United Nations aims to have 15 million treated by 2015.    Africa has made positive strides in this area, with South Africa being commended during the speech for its efficiency in distributing antiretroviral drugs over the…

Starring – Mickey Rourke, Kim Basinger, Anne Heche, Fred Amata, Wyclef Jean, Akon, Enyinna Nwigwe, Sarah Wayne Callies, Dede Mabiaku, Persia White, Vivica A Fox , Mbong Amata  

 E-tourism, or the ability to book hotel, flight and other travel reservations online, accounts for about 56 percent of global travel today. Yet as late as 2005, e-tourism accounted for less than “2 percent of tourism revenues in Africa.” However, the disparity seems to be narrowing due to South Africa’s hosting of the 2010 FIFA World Cup when online booking jumped to 5 percent. Now, continued growth is expected and projections predict that the percentage of bookings made online throughout Africa will reach “15-20 percent by 2015.” Although there remain challenges to overcome before more of Africa’s hotels, parks and resorts are available for reservation online such as “high cost of bandwidth, the lack of integrated, real-time reservation systems and local online payment gateways.” However, the challenges to online business on the continent have not hampered interest by major online travel agencies. As interest in tourism to Africa increases and the internet becomes more accessible on the continent, these companies see a major opportunity to expand their markets. In fact, the popular travel site Expedia has even gone so far to open a new office whose sole purpose is to focus on African travel. Many businesses which offer travel accommodation…