July 22, 2024

U.S. Africa Institute hosted the People’s Summit on the margins of the U.S. Africa Leaders Summit in Washington D.C.

Dr. Tadios Belay, President and CEO of U.S. Africa Institute and other members of the U.S. Africa Institute during the People's Summit in Washington

U.S. Africa Institute, an international organization established to advance the strategic relations between the United States of America and Africa through education and public diplomacy, hosted ‘The State of U.S.-Africa Relations: The People’s Summit’ on the margins of the U.S. Africa Leaders Summit in Washington D.C. from Dec. 10 to Dec 16.

The U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit was organized by the U.S. government to advance U.S.-African collaboration on the most pressing global and regional priorities of our day. The aim was to reflect the breadth and depth of American partnerships with African governments, businesses, civil society, and citizens –partnerships based on dialogue, respect, and shared values that harness the ingenuity and creativity of our peoples.

The People’s Summit hosted a week of art, speakers, debate, workshops, panel discussions, book signing and community conversation and mixer engaging people of African descent both in the diaspora and on the continent of Africa. The Summit also discussed the U.S. Africa relations pertaining to education, development, gender equality, democracy and peace building, public diplomacy, and U.S. foreign policy towards Africa in general.

It was attended by community organizers, civil society leaders across the U.S. and from over 11 African countries.

‘We convene The People’s Summit to ensure meaningful participation and inclusion of Africans and the voice of the African diaspora are heard in any and all discussion about Africa. We strongly believe that discourse on Africa should be led by Africans, and fundamentally should include the voice of women, and young people in the diaspora and on the continent of Africa.” said Dr. Tadios Belay, President and CEO of U.S. Africa Institute.

As part of the People’s Summit, Nyajuok Tongyik also shared her inspiring journey as a survivor of arranged, child marriage and domestic violence during her book signing event “I Am My Mother’s Wildest Dream”.  

“The USAI’s People’s Summit side event was an important component of the overall Summit as it provided a space for real engagement amongst African immigrants and the Diaspora to share their stories and to learn about the various organizing and business initiatives in their locals. It’s precisely this type of civic engagement that is needed to build trust and connections amongst African Americans and African immigrants in order to advise effectively the newly established President’s Advisory Council on African Diaspora Engagement in the United States (PAC-ADE).” Said Dr. Jill M. Humphries, adjunct assistant professor, Africana Studies Program at the University of Toledo.

The Institute also hosted virtual panel discussion titled “The State of U.S. Africa Relations: Mandela Washington Fellowship Alumni Perspectives”. The panelists were from Kenya, DRC and Liberia. The alumni shared their work and perspectives on the state of U.S. and Africa relations. The panel discussion was an opportunity to reflect on the role of young Africans in promoting US Africa relations, and on our shared challenges and successes in advancing peace and security, promoting economic development, trade and investment, strengthen democracy and governance, promoting opportunity and development in Africa.

“The event organized by the U.S Africa Institute was a gathering of energetic and resourceful African scholars, activists, and emerging African leaders, where the emphasis of reorienting Africans to key on the already established relationships with the United States bearing in mind the Unification of Africa through strategic projects that will put Africa in a good light. For example, Africans in diaspora must be giving equal opportunities to contribute to the development of the motherland.

One of the valuable contribution during the event is for Africans to see Africa as Africa not different countries under a continent, this will help to shaped how we think and our attitudes towards addressing the numerous challenges such as poverty, youth unemployment, youth restiveness, gender inequality, early child marriage, leadership, religious crisis, and electoral malpractice amongst others facing the motherland. As part of instrument for development, the US Africa Relationship should be sustained and more focus should be channeled towards African youths through human capacity development training to enable Africa youths compete for global jobs and to filled the already identified areas of skills mismatch and shortages globally without immigration restrictions.” Said Igberadja Serumu, Vice President, IVETA East and West Africa Region.

To learn more about U.S. Africa Institute visit http://www.usainstitute.org/

To support U.S. Africa Institute work, donate: http://www.usainstitute.org/donate/

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