AAI to Host Press Briefing on Awards Gala

September 25, 2013

WHAT: The Africa-America Institute, a leading New York-based international education and policy organization, will hold a press briefing to preview its 60th Anniversary Awards Gala on Wednesday, September 25 at the New York Hilton in New York City.

Held annually during the opening week of the United Nations General Assembly, distinguished U.S. and African leaders and top diplomats will gather for one of the most high profile Africa-focused event in New York City.

Four African Heads of State will participate in the Gala’s exclusive, unscripted “Conversation on Africa’s Past, Present and Future” on Africa’s successes and challenges since independence, and will present their vision for accelerating the continent’s development and socio-economic progress in the future. Confirmed Heads of State include: H.E. Hailemariam Dessalegn, Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and Chair of the African Union; H.E. Jakaya Kikwete, President of the United Republic of Tanzania; H.E. John Dramani Mahama, and President of Ghana; and H.E. Hifikepunye Pohamba, President of Namibia.

AAI Awards Gala Honorees are the African Union, accepted by H.E. Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, the first female Chair of the African Union Commission; Nigerian financier and philanthropist Tony O. Elumelu, Chairman of Heirs Holdings Limited and Founder, Tony O.Elumelu Foundation; and Dr. Kandeh K. Yumkella, CEO of UN Sustainable Energy for All. Chevron will receive the Corporate Leadership and Philanthropy Award.

For 60 years, AAI has been dedicated to advancing education and professional training for Africans, and promoting engagement between Africa and America through education, training and dialogue.



  • Amini Kajunju, President and CEO of The Africa-America Institute
  • H.E. Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, the first female Chair of the African Union Commission;
  • Tony Elumelu, a Nigerian entrepreneur, a philanthropist and the Chairman of Heirs Holdings Limited, will receive the 2013 AAI Leadership Award in Business and Philanthropy award.
  • Dr. Kandeh K. Yumkella, newly-appointed Special Representative of the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and CEO of Sustainable Energy for All Initiative, will receive the 2013 AAI Distinguished Alumnus Award. A native of Sierra Leone, Yumkella previously served as former Director-General of the United Nations Industrialization Development Organization (UNIDO).

**Media accreditation is required to cover the Awards Gala, and will not be granted on site.

WHEN: Wednesday, September 25, 2013


 5:30-6:00PM – Press Briefing with Gala Honorees, 4th Floor New York conference room

6:00-7:00PM – Cocktail Reception

7:00 PM – Dinner and Awards Ceremony


WHERE: Hilton New York, 1335 Avenue of the Americas, New York City, 4th Floor, New York conference room


CONTACT: Shanta Bryant Gyan 646.290.8211• shanta@sbgcommunications.com • www.aaionline.org

ABOUT AAI: Founded in 1953, the Africa-America Institute (AAI) this year celebrates its 60 year anniversary by commemorating its ongoing mission to help strengthen Africa’s human capacity through advanced education and professional training for Africans, educating Americans about Africa, and leveraging the capacities of the AAI Alumni Network—a multinational, multigenerational, and multidisciplinary force for positive change, and resource for expertise, in Africa. For more information on AAI, please visit http://aai1.wpengine.com




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