Word from the President – Spring 2013

April 16, 2013

Dear Friends,

As we usher in the spring season, the AAI team has been busy with Transformational Leadership Program (TLP) trainings in Africa and preparations for our 60th anniversary celebrations.

First off, I’d like to offer some of my observations and learning from the TLP training in South Africa where I traveled to the University of Stellenbosch Business School (USB). I had the pleasure of meeting program managers and nearly 30 nonprofit South Africa leaders enrolled in the Nonprofit Organization (NPO) Leadership and Strategy Programme, a partnership between USB, Coca-Cola Africa Foundation and The Africa America Institute.

This program focuses on equipping leaders in the social sector with the tools to lead effectively in a rapidly changing South Africa where autocratic styles of leadership are no longer appropriate or appreciated. One of the program facilitators noted that the five-day program will be a “journey of discovery.”  Indeed, this journey sought to deepen an individual’s understanding of true leadership and the facilitative tools necessary to transform the institution and the community.

NPO leaders were all committed to solving the development challenges in their respective communities. But without the tools for effective leadership, there would be lots of missed opportunities for personal transformation and community change.

At the training’s conclusion, program participants expressed gratitude for the training and partnership between the university, Coca-Cola Africa Foundation and AAI. If it were not for this partnership, most participants would not have been able to afford the fee to enroll in this highly-regarded program. I will attend the TLP trainings that will take place in Nigeria in May.

I am excited to announce upcoming dates for AAI’s 60th Anniversary Celebration. We hope you’ll join us for our anniversary celebrations in New York City during the opening week of the United Nations General Assembly. So, please mark your calendars!

  • AAI First Annual Career Expo – September 21. Continuing our mission to strengthen human capital in Africa, AAI will host our first annual career expo on Saturday, September 21. The career expo aims to match talented and professional Africans in the U.S. with private companies, NGOs and African governments working in Africa for jobs, internships or volunteer opportunities.
  • AAI’s 60th Anniversary Awards Dinner Gala – September 25. AAI’s Awards Dinner Gala continues to be one of the largest and most anticipated events celebrating African achievement in New York City. This year’s 60th Anniversary Awards Dinner Gala will be held on Wednesday, September 25 at the New York Hilton. The Awards Dinner will recognize the African Union’s 50th Anniversary, highlighting the shared histories and partnership between AAI and the AU. And, the gala will include the first AAI Special Conversation with up to 4 African Heads of State about the past, present and future of Africa.

Honorees will include Chevron for the 2013 Corporate Award and Dr. Kandeh K. Yumkella, Director-General of the United Nations Industrialization Development Organization (UNIDO) for the 2013 Distinguished Alumnus Award. Other honorees are still in formation, so please stay tuned for gala updates. Visit aaionline.org for more information.

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All the Best,

Amini Kajunju, President and CEO of The Africa-America Institute

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