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Inaugural Meeting of The Africa Society Youth Committee- May 16, 2013

On Thursday, May 16, 2013, The Africa Society of the National Summit on Africa held the Inaugural Meeting of The Africa Society Youth Committee. The Chevron- sponsored event themed “Empowering Youth for Africa’s Future,” was intended to provide a networking platform for young African professionals, as well as to introduce the newly formed Youth Advisory Committee.  The role of this Committee is to consult with leadership of The Africa Society on critical matters related to its mission including planning, programming and community relations, as well as to actively engage young professionals in Africa-related policies and activities.

Special presenters who spoke during this occasion included His Excellency Cyrille Oguin, Ambassador to the United States from the Republic of Benin; Mr. David Gilmore, Director of Public Affairs and Diplomacy Bureau of African Affairs, U.S. Department of State; and Ms. Jaclyn Cole Adkins, Assistant Public Diplomacy Desk Officer for West Africa-Office of Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, Bureau Of African Affairs, U.S. Department of State.

Bernadette Paolo, President and CEO of The Africa Society, presented opening remarks. Morgan McClain, Program Analyst, Private Capital Group for Africa, USAID and Chika Umeadi, Chikablogs.com later provided an overview of the mission of the Youth Advisory Committee (YAC).

The special guests for the evening later shared their experiences and ideas, which was followed by a series of questions and answers. Over all, it was a well-attended, goal achieved program.


Americas-Africa Business Forum: New Commercial Partnerships for Economic Growth-April 16, 2013

The Organization of American States (OAS), together with the government of Trinidad and Tobago, organized the “Americas-Africa Business Forum: New Commercial Partnership for Economic Growth,” on April 18, in Washington, DC.

The event was inaugurated by the Secretary General of the OAS, José Miguel Insulza; the Assistant Secretary General of the OAS, Albert Ramdin; and the Secretary General of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), Sindoso Ngwenya.
The forum was attended by officials, diplomats and entrepreneurs from the Americas and Africa, among them the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Kamla Persad-Bissessar; the Prime Minister of Haiti, Laurent Lamothe; the Minister of Finance of Mozambique, Manuel Chang; the Minister of Finance of Panama, Frank De Lima.


Africa Society’s Ambassador Andrew Young Lecture Series Paid tribute to Chinua Achebe, Featuring Professor Ali Mazrui on  April 25, 2013 at the Embassy of Federal Republic of Nigeria

The best known African author, the late Chinua Achebe, was memorialized by another heralded African writer, Professor Ali Mazrui, on Thursday evening, April 25, at the Embassy of Federal Republic of Nigeria in Washington, DC.  His Excellency Dr. Adebowale Adefuye, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Dr. Johnnetta Betsch Cole, Director, Smithsonian National Museum of African Art also spoke about the enormous contribution made by the Nigerian-born Chinua Achebe.

Dr. Leroy P. Gross, M.D, M.P.H., President and CEO of Inomed Inc., and Africa Society Board Member gave remarks on behalf of the Board of Directors.  Bernadette B. Paolo, Esq., President and CEO of The Africa Society served as Mistress of Ceremony.  The tribute, sponsored by Chevron, also featured Kenyan poet and author, Ms. Anna Mwalagho.


Screening of Black November

On May 8, The Africa Society of the National Summit on Africa hosted a screening of Jeta Amata’s film,Black November: The Struggle of the Niger Delta” at the Kennedy Center of the Performing Arts. The colorful pre-screening reception was held at the Terrace restaurant, after which the guests were seated at the Terrace Theater for a powerful two hour journey through the Niger Delta. To grace the occasion, Vivica A. Fox, Mbong Amata and Enyinna Nwigwe, some of the actors starring in the film, were present at the Kennedy Center. 

Black November Screening

Photo Credit: Paul Morigi-Getty Images, North America

President Banda’s Reception

The Africa Society of the National Summit on Africa, along with The Whitaker Group, The Moffett Group, The Corporate Council on Africa, and The Constituency for Africa, hosted an honorary reception for Her Excellency Joyce Banda, President of the Republic of Malawi. The President and her delegation were received at the National Press Club during her first trip to the United States as Malawi’s Head of State. Among the guests at the reception were the members of the African diplomatic community, US government officials, business leaders and NGOs.

President Banda's reception

GAVI Alliance with Embassy of Ghana

On Thursday, May 3, 2012, The Africa Society of the National Summit on Africa, The Embassy of the Republic of Ghana and the GAVI Alliance held a reception celebrating Ghana’s historic milestone in saving and improving the lives of children and the people of Ghana. Ghana, in partnership with the GAVI Alliance, became the first African country to simultaneously introduce two new vaccines against pneumonia and rotavirus. The reception was followed by a panel discussion of the issues. Presenting on the panel were Alex Palacios, Special Representative of GAVI Alliance; Dr. Marc LaForce, Former Director of Meningitis Vaccine Project; Dr. Daniel Feikin, Director of Epidemiology at International Vaccine Access Center; and Dr. Claudia Castillo, Alliances Specialist for Comprehensive Family Immunization at PAHO.

Gavi Alliance with Embassy of Uganda

Photo credit: Miles Sedgwick/2012.

The Africa Society Hosts the First Lady of Ghana, Dr. Ernestina Naadu Mills

The Africa Society of the National Summit on Africa, in conjunction with the National Museum of African Art, hosted a luncheon for Dr. Ernestina Naadu Mills, the First Lady of the Republic of Ghana on March 9, 2012. The luncheon, which was sponsored by the World Cocoa Foundation, honored Dr. Mills on the numerous achievements on the advancement of education, and the health of women and young girls in Ghana. 

The gathering, which brought together various stakeholders from both the State Department and the private sector, was a celebration marked with tributes to the First Lady for her many accomplishments and accolades for  her selflessness and humility.  Dr. Mills who began her career as a teacher spoke about her passion for improving the well-being of women in Ghana which led to the establishment of the Foundation for the Child Education Ghana (FCEG).  Over the years, she has spearheaded a number of other initiatives pertaining to the betterment of women and children.  At the luncheon, she called for the strengthening of partnerships between The United States and Ghana in the improvement of education,  and maternal and child health in her country. 

Dr. Ernestina Naadu Mills

Pictured above from left to right: Bernadette Paolo, President & CEO, The Africa Society of the National Summit on Africa; First Lady Mills; Dr. Johnnetta B. Cole, Director, Smithsonian National Museum of African Art; Bill Guyton, 

The United Nations Foundation and The Africa Society Host a Panel Discussion on Economic Growth in Africa 

On June 6, 2012, The United Nations Association- National Capital Area Chapter (UNA-NCA) and The Africa Society on the National Summit on Africa hosted a panel discussion on economic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa. The discussion was geared towards highlighting the advances in GDP growth that Sub-Saharan Africa has made in the past ten years as well as the effects that sustainability could have on the individual economies and poverty reduction on the Continent.

The well-versed and knowledgeable  panel was comprised of Volker Treichel, Lead Economist, Operations and Strategy at the World Bank, Susan Lund, Director of Research at the McKinsey Global Institute and Dr. Ezra Saruma, former Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic development for Uganda. The very informative discussion led by the panelists, experts in their various fields, led to an interactive question and answer session. Throughout the program, the younger participants in the event were engaged, asked thought-provoking questions and shared their ideas on the future of African countries’ economies.

The United Nations

The United Nations

Photo Credit: UNA -NCA

The Africa Society Hosts Africa Day on the Hill

On June 20, 2012, The Africa Society of the National Summit on Africa, in cooperation with the Congressional African Staff Association, hosted the Second Africa Day on Capitol HillAfrica Day on the Hill is an annual celebration that celebrates various achievements on the African continent. This year’s celebration honored Africa’s Renaissance, featuring African entrepreneurs who have impacted the continent through their contributions in business. The Titans, Sir Lucky Omoluwa and Captain Hosa Wells Okundo, were recognized not only for their entrepreneurial achievements, but also for their contributions to philanthropy.  Their awards were evidence of the role the private sector is playing in African economic growth.  Among the many high profile dignitaries present at the celebration were Congressmen Bobby Rush, Ed Royce and Jeff Fontenberry as well as Congresswomen Karen Bass and Barbara Lee.  These Members of Congress, who were all honorary hosts of the events, shared their sentiments on their support on African economic growth as well as the importance of changing the negative perception of Africa globally. 

Africa Day on The Hill

Africa Day on The Hill

Photo Credit: Menelik Major 

Africa Day on The Hill

Photo Credit: Menelik Major 

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