The Africa-America Institute Hosts 60th Anniversary Celebration

September 25, 2013

African Union to be presented with 2013 Institutional Legacy Award on its 50th Anniversary.

 Tony Elumelu, Nigerian financier and philanthropist, Dr. Kandeh K. Yumkella, CEO of UN Sustainable Energy for All Initiative, and Chevron to be Honored


NEW YORK, September 25 – During the opening week of the United Nations General Assembly, The Africa-America Institute’s 60th Anniversary Awards Gala will pay tribute to the African Union, honor outstanding African leaders for their contributions to Africa and the world and recognize Chevron’s corporate social responsibility efforts in Africa on Wednesday, September 25 at the Hilton New York in New York City.

The Africa-America Institute (AAI) is a premier U.S.-based international education and policy organization that works to advance higher education and professional development training for Africans, and promote engagement between Africa and America through education, training and dialogue.

The Awards Gala anniversary theme is “Unlocking Africa’s Greatest Asset for 60 Years”. The black-tie affair has become one of the largest and most anticipated events celebrating African achievement in New York City. In addition to the Awards Gala, this milestone year will be marked by the launch of AAI’s Career Expo: Inaugural Talent Summit in late-September.

“In celebration of our 60th anniversary, we are pleased to host anniversary activities that highlight AAI’s ongoing commitment to bolstering Africa’s human capacity for development,” said Amini Kajunju, President and CEO of The Africa-America Institute. “As AAI moves into a new era, the anniversary celebration will launch the new strategic vision and direction for AAI’s programming and engagement with our powerful network of alumni.”

Four African Heads of State will participate in the Gala’s exclusive “Conversation on Africa’s Past, Present and Future”. H.E. Hailemariam Dessalegn, Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and Chair of the African Union; H.E. Goodluck Jonathan, President of Nigeria; 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 will engage in a half-hour discussion highlighting 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.

At the Anniversary Gala, AAI will present the African Union with the first-ever AAI Institutional Legacy Award, in recognition of the organizations’ intertwining histories since their respective creation. AAI will honor the tremendous success of the Organization of African Unity, predecessor organization to the AU, in liberating African countries and in fostering development, peace and security in Africa for 50 years. H.E. Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, the first female Chair of the African Union Commission, will accept the award on behalf of the African Union.

 Chevron will receive the 2013 AAI Award for Corporate Leadership and Philanthropy, for its corporate social responsibility efforts in Africa. Chevron has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in programs that support communities in Nigeria, Angola, Liberia, and South Africa. Its efforts are successfully helping to prevent HIV/AIDS transmission; diagnose and treat sickle-cell disease, malaria and tuberculosis; educate thousands of children in remote areas; and reduce poverty. Chevron is also playing an active role implementing peace-building programs in The Niger Delta, while in Angola, it leads a program to diagnose and treat sickle cell anemia in newborn infants –the first such program on the continent.

Nigerian entrepreneur and philanthropist Tony Elumelu, Chairman of Heirs Holdings Limited and Founder, Tony O. Elumelu Foundation, will receive the 2013 AAI Leadership Award in Business and Philanthropy. 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).

 This year’s major corporate sponsors are Chevron, Norton Rose Fulbright, SNR Denton, Schlumberger, Exxon Mobil, Shell, Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women, The Coca-Cola, Company, GoodWorks International, Heirs Holdings Ltd., Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, DMG Events, Mai Family Foundation, Sasol Limited, UBA (United Bank for Africa), Lazare Kaplan International, and Arik Air.


CONTACT:  Shanta Bryant Gyan


ABOUT THE AFRICA-AMERICA INSTITUTE (AAI): Founded in 1953, the Africa-America Institute, a leading New York-based international education and policy organization, is dedicated to advancing education and professional training for Africans, and promoting engagement between Africa and America through education, training and dialogue. Today, more than 23,000 individuals from 54 African countries have benefited from AAI’s higher education scholarship and professional training programs. AAI alumni are at the forefront of Africa’s public, non-profit, and private sectors. For more information, visit


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