Some 300 distinguished U.S. and African leaders and top diplomats gathered for The Africa-America Institute’s spectacular annual awards gala and the official launch of the Future Leaders Legacy Fund, a new scholarship fund, on September 29 at 583 Park Avenue in New York City.
Hosted by Zain Asher of CNN International’s ‘Marketplace Africa’, the Future Leaders Legacy Fund Awards Gala is one of the most anticipated and high profile events celebrating African achievement. The gala theme was “Achieving Excellence through Scholarship, Opportunity, and Innovation”.
The 2015 Awards Gala Honorees were H.E. Hage Geingob, president of the Republic of Namibia and AAI alumnus,with the AAI Lifetime Achievement and Distinguished Alumnus Award; Dr. Strive Masiyiwa, Zimbabwean technology entrepreneur and philanthropist with the AAI 2015 Business Leaders Award; and IBM with the AAI 2015 Corporate Responsibility Award.
Proceeds from the Awards Gala will support the Future Leaders Legacy Fund, an exciting new initiative which will provide Africa’s brightest, yet under-resourced, students with scholarships to study in high-performing African universities and technical colleges to earn bachelor’s degrees and vocational and technical training certifications.
“Today, the world average is that 1 in 4 people will attend university. In Africa, only 1 in 20 will attend university,” said Amini Kajunju, President and CEO of The Africa-America Institute..
“We must change that…,” Kajunju added, citing a recent report stating that education is a “powerful predictor” of the wealth of African countries in the long term.
The Legacy Fund’s inaugural partner institutions are: Ashesi University, Accra, Ghana; United States International University (USIU-Africa), Nairobi, Kenya; UNISA – The University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa.
WATCH Dr. Strive Masiyiwa’s award acceptance video:
Stay tuned for full coverage of the Future Leaders Legacy Fund Awards Gala!