On Tuesday, April 3, 2012, The Africa Society of the National Summit on Africa in collaboration with the African and Middle Eastern Division of the Library of Congress hosted a South African poet and political activist Keorapetse Kgositsile. He discussed the state of contemporary African culture, including poetry and literature. Kgositsile is a South African poet who has authored nine books of poetry. In December of 2006, Kgositsile was named Poet Laureate of South Africa. Kgositsile studied in different universities in the United States while in exile from his native South Africa.
Conversation with Africa Poets and Writers: Donato N’dongo
As a continuation of the Conversation with African Poets and Writers program series on April 4, The Africa Society, the African and Middle Eastern Division of the Library of Congress, in collaboration with the Embassy of the Kingdom of Spain, hosted writer and journalist Donato N’dongo, a native of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea. N’dongo discussed and read his work through an interview format discussion conducted by Laverne Page, Area Specialist of the African and Middle Eastern Division while Georgette Dorn, Chief of the Hispanic Division served as N’dongo’s translator.
Conversation with African Poets and Writers: Helon Habila
Helon Habila, award-winning Nigerian author, became the last presenter for the spring session of our Conversation with African Poets and Writers program series partnership at the Library of Congress. On Tuesday, May 1, Habila read scripts of his novel “Oil on Water” and also discussed his other book “The Granta Book of the African Short Story.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Hill. Africa 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.
Photo Credit: Menelik Major
Photo Credit: Menelik Major