AAI Hosts 30th Annual Awards Gala

Conversation on Africa panel

VOA “Straight Talk Africa” host Shaka Ssali moderates a “Conversation on Africa” with three honorees.

Nearly 400 U.S. and African leaders and top diplomats paid tribute to extraordinary leaders and African achievement at The Africa-America Institute’s 30th Annual Awards Gala on September 22, at Gotham Hall in New York City.  Held during the U.N. General Assembly, AAI’s Awards Gala has become one of the largest and most anticipated Africa-focused events in New York City.

The Awards Gala honored H.E. President Alassane Ouattara, President of the Republic of Cote d’Ivoire; Vivienne Yeda, Director-General of the East African Development Bank; Professor Thandika Mkandawire, Chair of African Development at the London School of Economics; and General Electric. The Awards Gala was held at Gotham Hall in New York City.

Isha Sesay,CNN International anchor, served as Mistress of Ceremonies at the Awards Gala. Under the theme, “Powering Africa’s Future through Regional and Global Partnerships”, the black-tie affair drew attention to how education empowers African youth to reach their full potential while being catalytic in society’s socioeconomic transformation through regional and global partnerships.

Legendary singer Yvonne Chaka Chaka performs a musical tribute to 20 years of South African democracy.

The Gala Honorary co-chairs were The Honorable George Monyemangene, South African Consul General; Ambassador Alice Dear of A.M. Dear & Associates; Somi, A Rwandan Singer & Songwriter; Malaak Compton-Rock of The Angelrock Project; Nuno Santo, Global Marketing Director at Pfizer; Actor Jeffrey Wright; and South African Singer Yvonne Chaka Chaka.

The evening’s program featured a presentation of awards followed by a moderated “Conversation on Africa” focusing on fostering greater regional and global partnerships for development with honorees.

Legendary singer Yvonne Chaka Chaka performed a musical tribute to 20 years of South African democracy.



Watch a video segment from the AAI awards ceremony!


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