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News from AAI’s Washington, DC Office

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Austin R. Cooper, Jr., AAI’s Government Affairs Representative.


By Austin Cooper


It is both a pleasure and honor to return to The Africa-America Institute (AAI) as the Government Affairs Representative in Washington, DC. For me, I’m returning home because I represented AAI in Washington from 2002-2005.

Indeed, a lot has changed on the global political and economic landscapes during that time period. George W. Bush is no longer President of the United States. Today, President Barack Obama, the first Africa-American president with roots from Kenya, occupies the White House. And seven of the fastest growing economies in the world are in Africa: Ethiopia, Mozambique, Tanzania, Congo, Ghana, Zambia and Nigeria.

As AAI’s Government Affairs Representative, I am responsible for developing and executing AAI’s government relations program, under the vision and leadership of AAI President and CEO Amini Kajunju. In this position, I will focus on building and maintaining contacts with Obama Administration officials and Members of Congress to promote the mission and priorities of AAI. Additionally, I will also work with our development consultant to identify and secure funding from both the public and private sectors.

AAI’s Washington, DC office will re-launch and re-brand what was formerly known as the Africa Thursday Congressional Series. The new Washington forum, AAI: Conversations on Africa (COA), will hold its first panel discussion entitled “Why Extend AGOA? Benefits to Africa and the United States” on February 26 at the Rayburn House Office Building, B-338. The African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) will be a hot topic of debate during the second half of the 113th Congress. AAI will be working diligently to ensure that the law does not expire on September 31, 2015.

Future Conversations on Africa are being planned for April 30, June 26 and November 13.

In Washington, I can be reached at (202) 550-1149 or email, austinrcooper@gmail.com.


Austin R. Cooper Jr., is AAI’s Government Affairs Representative.

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