AAI’s 70th Anniversary Gala
On the evening of September 19th, AAI had the pleasure of hosting its 70th Anniversary Gala – bringing together distinguished guests including Heads of State, diplomats, government officials, business and civil society leaders, scholars, journalists, and other leading figures for an unforgettable evening at Cipriani’s 42nd in New York City. Hosted by Hall of Fame Inducted Marketing executive, author, entrepreneur, and longtime AAI supporter Bozoma Saint John, this year’s Gala was centered around spotlighting AAI’s distinguished alumni, its historic programs, and partners in commemoration of the institution’s rich legacy and seven decades of global bridge building.
After the evening kicked off with opening remarks by the Mayor of New York City, Eric Adams, and AAI President, Kofi Appenteng, AAI had the pleasure of bestowing awards upon this year’s distinguished honorees including: Civil Rights Activist, Scholar, and Educator Evelyn Jones Rich; Technology Giant MTN Group, accepted by Group President & CEO, Ralph Mupita; Philanthropic Leader the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, accepted by President & CEO, Peter Laugharn; and BET CEO Emeritus, Debra Lee.
Attendees of the gala were then treated to a fireside chat between H.E. Dr. Hage Gottfried Geingob, President of the Republic of Namibia and AAI Alumnus, and H.E. Dr. Mokgweetsi Eric Keabetswe Masisi, President of the Republic of Botswana, moderated by Bloomberg TV anchor and Correspondent, Jennifer Zabasajja.
View the Gala Photo Gallery
The ceremony also included an incredible performance by much-lauded mezzo-soprano Alicia Olatuja and an original poetry reading by Storyteller & Narrative Architect at the Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship at MIT Donovan Beck.
We at AAI would like to extend a heartfelt thank-you to all those who attended and contributed to this most wonderful celebration of 70 years of the Africa-America Institute. Throughout its 70-year history, AAI has provided over 23,000 scholarships and fellowships to African students. The Annual Awards Gala raises funds to support AAI programs and initiatives, such as its work to assist K-12 districts and schools in the United States that want to expose students to scholarly, unbiased knowledge about Africa, and advanced education and training scholarship programs for professionals across the African continent. We hope to continue our mission for many years to come.
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