Strategic Vision and Direction

With 60 years of strong leadership in strengthening Africa’s human capacity, AAI is transforming itself into an innovative, vital hub of African talent, a convening forum for leading thought leaders on issues related to Africa, and a repository of extensive history, research and information on the continent.

The three pillars of Education and Skills Building, Convening Activities, and Partners Engagement and Research provide a strategic direction and vision to guide our work.


Education & Skills Building


Our approach seeks to empower youth with advanced education and skills to strengthen their talents to become economic drivers in their communities. We also work in partnership with leading accredited African education institutions to develop quality, rigorous program coursework and expand skills building activities to Africa’s next generation of leaders.

 Transformational Leadership Program (TLP)

Launched in 2007, the Transformational Leadership Program, known as TLP, is a multi-year program that provides nondegree professional certificate and business degree training for African managers of Africa-based NGOs working in the fields of health, education, environment, women and youth empowerment, and African small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Through TLP, African professionals receive rigorous leadership and management training curricula to strengthen the professional managerial capacity in African civil society and small business sectors at a consortium of African business schools, including: United States International University (USIU) in Kenya; Pan-Atlantic University in Nigeria; and the University of Stellenbosch’s Business School in South Africa.


African government-sponsored scholarships

Selected African scholars will receive advanced educational opportunities and professional development training at top universities in the U.S. or on the African continent. Their home government and private donors will provide scholarships to enable students to pursue their degree in various fields of study ranging from economics, finance, technology, business and public administration to agriculture, rural sociology, public health, and the environment.


Technical and Vocational Skills Training

AAI’s short- and long-term technical and vocational skills training programs aim to equip African workers with the required workforce skills and tools to maintain infrastructures and effectively improve the quality of the labor force to stimulate competitiveness and productivity in Africa. With more skilled labor, we will see a considerable reduction in unemployment among the youth of Africa.


Advancing entrepreneurs on the African continent

Since its inception, AAI has been committed to advancing entrepreneurs on the African continent.  We aim to support entrepreneurs with training and business development tools so that they can build businesses that provide critical goods and services, create jobs and increase the wealth of African nationals.


Convening Activities

AAI leverages its convening power to bring together U.S. government officials and congressional leaders, private sector and diplomatic corps to dialogue on key issues to shape U.S and international policy and promote greater engagement between Africa and the United States.

AAI Awards Gala

AAI Annual Awards Gala

Held annually during the week of the United Nations General Assembly, AAI’s Annual Awards Gala is one of the largest and most anticipated Africa-focused events in New York City. Distinguished U.S. and African business, philanthropic, academic, political and diplomatic leaders gather each year to celebrate African achievement. The Awards Gala presents two major awards each year. The AAI National Achievement Award honors the people from an African nation for their country’s remarkable achievements. The Gala also recognizes AAI Alumni and other accomplished individuals who have demonstrated a commitment to the African continent and in strengthening its human capacity.


AAI Annual Talent Summit

aai-talent-summit-logo-with-aaiThe Talent Summit offers participants firsthand insights from top experts and keynote speakers on launching or enhancing a successful career with prominent Africa-focused organizations and companies operating in the U.S and on the African continent. The “Talent Central” section on AAI’s website features a jobs board, career tips, resources, and blog posts.


The State of Education in Africa

The annual State of Education in Africa conference will track the progress of primary, secondary, tertiary, technical and vocational education in Africa and explore thematic, country and sector approaches to strengthening the capacity of Africans and educational institutions.


AAI Speaker Series

The AAI Speaker Series provides an engaging forum for prominent U.S., international and African leaders to offer fresh insights, perspectives and viewpoints on issues relevant to Africa. Our Conversations on Africa (COA) series in Washington, D.C. offers a platform for congressional leaders, U.S. government officials, policy experts and diplomatic corps to discuss U.S.-Africa policy.


Partners Engagement and Research

We foster partner engagement to expand access to advanced educational and professional training opportunities for African students. Our research helps to guide and shape U.S.-Africa policy and tracks the progress of education on all levels and sectors to strengthen human capacity and educational institutions in Africa.


Fiscal Sponsorship for non-501 C 3 organizations

AAI offers fiscal sponsorships to select qualifying non-profit organizations that support our mission.