Educational Outreach and Policy

AAI Zimbabwe conference

Under the Educational Outreach and Policy (EOP) programs, AAI organized forums to inform Americans about Africa’s realities—both its achievements and challenges. The EOP brought together Africans and Americans around issues of mutual concern to expose Americans to African perspectives, and to provide U.S. policymakers, journalists, and citizen advocates with balanced information about Africa and the interconnectedness of Africa and the U.S.  Study tours and exchange programs, discussion series and symposia, policy analysis, and advocacy were some of the activities carried out under this program.


African Perspectives, 1999 – 2007

This multi-year initiative provided a platform for Africans to inform and shape U.S. and international policies toward Africa. Through discussion sessions in Africa and online dialogues, AAI mobilized a broad cross-section of African views on specific topics related to U.S. policy toward Africa. These perspectives were analyzed and synthesized in a comprehensive report for policymakers, news media and advocates working on Africa.

Africa Thursday, 1998 – 2007

Africa Thursday, a series of congressional seminars,  focused high-level attention on issues affecting U.S. policy toward Africa. Launched in 1998, the series was co-sponsored by the ranking Democratic and Republican leadership of the House Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health. Africa Thursday offered informed perspectives from African policymakers and opinion leaders to members of Congress, their staff, administration officials, corporate leaders, and representatives of Africa-focused NGOs.

Speakers included AAI alumna Dr. Wangari Maathai, Nobel Laureate and scientist; H.E. Lapologang Lekoa, Ambassador of the Republic of Botswana to the United States; H.E. José Maria Neves, Prime Minister of Cape Verde; Cindy Courville, Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director of African Affairs for the National Security Council; and Florizelle Liser, Assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Africa.

Africa Thursday events included: Diamonds, Conflict and Development in Africa, 2006; Democracy and Governance: Cape Verde’s Vision for the Millennium Challenge Account Grant, 2005; and The African Growth and Opportunity Act: Moving AGOA III Forward in the U.S. Senate, 2004. A complete archive is available on AAI’s website.

Analysis and Advocacy Of Africa Policy Issues, 2007

AAI policy positions on selected issues and legislation related to AAI’s core mission and focus areas were widely circulated to policymakers and the Africa advocacy community. AAI actively participated in the foreign policy advocacy efforts of several coalitions of non-governmental groups, including the Advocacy Network for Africa, the Coalition for American Leadership Abroad, and the Alliance for International Educational and Cultural Exchange. Opinion pieces and interviews by AAI’s President and Board Chair have appeared in The Washington Post, Foreign Policy, Boston Globe, on and, and in many other print and online publications.

Symposium: Africa’s Response To Terrorism, 2006

This half-day symposium was organized by the Africa-America Institute in collaboration with the office of United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Ibrahim Gambari. The symposium aimed to help generate policy analysis regarding the United Nations counter-terrorism strategy, in preparation for the deliberation on this subject that will take place at the UN throughout the coming year.

Contact: Africa, 1993 – 2001

The fifth (2001) edition of this popular directory of organizations involved in African Affairs lists over 500 non-profit organizations working on Africa, 25 federal agencies and over 500 “Africa-focused” employees, and officials in the U.S Congress, the World Bank, and the African diplomatic corps. The publication was an important resource in bringing together the wide array of American institutions and agencies interested in or working on Africa.

 Fulbright-Hays Seminar Abroad, 1992 – 2001

AAI administered U.S. Department of Education-funded seminars for almost a decade. Educators and media specialists from across the U.S. were chosen on a highly competitive basis to participate in a four-to-six-week study tour in selected African countries. The seminar was geared toward exploring contemporary and historic issues impacting African countries’ social, political, economic and cultural development.


American and African Business Women’s Association Conference, 2002

The David Morse Fellows Program 1993 – 1998

Civitas Africa Conference 1998 – 1999

National Summit On Africa 1997 – 2000. Convener of East Coast Regional Summit On Africa In September 1999 And Active Participant In Other Summit Activities

The Constituency Development For Africa Program, 1990 – 1994

The AAI Forum Series, 1986 – 1992

“International Trade And Intersectional Cooperation In Southern Africa,” A 1997 Symposium Co-Sponsored With The University Of Delaware

Hosting of Major Addresses On U.S. Africa Policy, Including Those By Former Secretary Of State Albright And Rev. Jesse Jackson

Volkswagen/South Africa Fellows Program, 1998