Africa-America Institute Honors Perseverance, Innovation and Achievement During 37th Annual Awards Gala

(NEW YORK, New York – September 3, 2021) – The Africa-America Institute (AAI) will once again celebrate the many successes of Africa and the worldwide African diaspora during its 37th Annual Awards Gala, taking place virtually on Tuesday, September 21, 2021.

Since 1984, the AAI Annual Awards Gala has been the most anticipated African-centered event in New York City. As always, the Awards Gala will showcase AAI’s focus on improving education in and about Africa. 

In the spirit of interdependence, we’re excited to recognize:


The People of the Republic of Malawi
Accepted by His Excellency Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera, President of the Republic of Malawi

National Achievement Award

Ablade Glover, Artist, Educator and AAI Alumnus

Lifetime Achievement Award

Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), to be accepted Dr. John N. Nkengasong, MSc, PhD, Director of the Africa CDC

2021 Special Award – Global Health Solutions Champion

World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for Africa, to be accepted by Dr. Matshidiso Rebecca Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa

Global Health Equity Award

“Please tune in to hear the inspirational story of the People of the Republic of Malawi’s contribution to the democratic project; the improvements in public health made by the World Health Organization’s Regional Office for Africa during the pandemic; how the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention enriched then successfully changed the conversation about pandemic response; and how our alumni have made lasting contributions that continue to inspire us all. All of these stories illustrate the theme for this year’s Gala: “Interdependence” said AAI President, Kofi Appenteng. 

“In my first year as Chair of the Board of Trustees, I want to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the passing of one of our co-founders, Henrietta Van Noy, an outstanding university administrator whose contributions were essential to our founding. I also want to thank Steve Pfeiffer, who served on our board for 20 years and whose leadership as Chair for the last five years has set a standard I will strive to emulate”, said Christal Jackson, AAI Board Chair.

This year AAI will celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the African Scholarship Program of American Universities (ASPAU) was a cooperative effort between AAI, American universities, USAID, and African governments to provide U.S. undergraduate training for 1,600 scholars from 32 African countries.

Graduates of AAI’s ASPAU Program include leaders and influencers in the non-profit, corporate and governmental sectors, including those we will celebrate: Nik Amarteifio, AAI Trustee and leading Ghanaian entrepreneur; Tralance Addy, the first executive director of the Stanford Institute for Innovation in Developing Economies (SEED) and founder of Yaro Capital; Adaeze Otue Ezekoye, community leader, teacher, human services executive and the namesake of the Lewis-Ezekoye Distinguished Lecture in Africana Studies at Barnard College; and Augustine O. Esogbue, the world’s first Black Ph.D. in the field of industrial engineering, the first Black tenured professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology, and the first African to have served on the board of NASA.
For more Information and to Register for AAI’s 37th Annual Awards Gala please visit


The Africa-America Institute (AAI) is a nearly 70-year-old institution with the mission of promoting enlightened engagement between Africa and America through education, training and dialogue. Among our principal co-founders were Horace Mann Bond and William Leo Hansberry, two pioneering African-American scholar activists whose work straddles the divide between African and African diaspora studies. AAI continues to embrace the philosophy of education for liberation that Bond and Hansberry espoused – a philosophy that affirms the humanity and cultivates the intellectual aspirations and excellence of all people.

AAI’s dual program focus has always been on improving education in and about Africa. Since its founding in 1953, over 23,000 Africans have received scholarships and fellowships from AAI. These Africans are now an esteemed network of alumni, many of whom are leaders and influencers across public, private, and governmental sectors in Africa and globally. Included in this network are current Heads of State, H.E. Hage Geingob, President of the Republic of Namibia; H.E. Alassane Ouattara, President of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire; H.E. Mohamed Bazoum, President of the Republic of Niger; and H.E. Cyril Ramaphosa, President of the Republic of South Africa. Many of AAI’s alumni have left an indelible imprint, including the late 2004 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Wangari Mathaai, and the late Barack Obama, Sr.

For more information about AAI’s 37th Annual Virtual Awards Gala, visit 

#AAIGala2021 #AAIVirtualGala #AAIAfrica

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