Africa-America Institute

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The Africa-America Institute (AAI) is an international education organization dedicated to advancing the continent’s development through higher education and skills training, convening activities, and promoting greater engagement between Africa and the United States. AAI’s mission is to empower African youth to become globally competitive.[1]


Horace Mann Bond, President of Lincoln University and Professor William Leo Hansberry, of Howard University founded Africa-America Institute in 1953 to provide financial assistance and hospitality to Africans studying in the US.[2]

As African nations gained independence, AAI offered higher education scholarship programs in the United States to support African scholars in gaining a higher education and skills that could be applied in post-colonial Africa. Its programming expanded to provide academic and professional skills training opportunities for Africans in both the U.S. and Africa in the 1990s. AAI's programs evolved in the early- 2000s to focus on increased U.S.-Africa engagement on issues impacting the African continent with policymakers and business leaders from the U.S. and Africa.[3]

In 2013 the organisation celebrated its 60th anniversary in the New York Hilton. The event included a discussion by Hailemariam Desalegn, the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Hifikepunye Lucas Pohamba, the President of Namibia and Foreign Affairs Ministers of Ghana, Hanna Tetteh and Tanzania as regards Africa’s past, present and future.[4] The organisation highlighted how more than 23,000 individuals from 54 African countries had been supported by the organisation.[4]

AAI Programs[edit]

Transformational Leadership Program (TLP)

The Transformational Leadership Program (TLP) is a leadership and management training program for leaders of African civil society organizations and small micro-enterprises (SMEs). TLP educational partners include United States International University (USIU) in Kenya; Pan-Atlantic University in Nigeria; UNISA–The University of South Africa, and University of Stellenbosch Business School (USB) in South Africa.[5]

AAI Future Leaders Legacy Fund

The AAI Future Leaders Legacy Fund provides scholarships for African students to earn bachelor's degrees and vocational and technical training certifications at high performing African institutions. Partner institutions include Ashesi University, Ghana; United States International University (USIU-Africa), Kenya; and UNISA—The University of South Africa.[6]

The State of Education in Africa

The State of Education in Africa (SOE) conference provides a platform to discuss and put forth solution on education at levels in Africa. Previous SOEs were held in New York City in 2014, and in Lagos, Nigeria in 2015.[7]

AAI Speaker Series

The AAI Speaker Series and Conversations on Africa (COA) series in Washington, D.C. offer a platform for thought leaders on U.S.-Africa policy.[8]

EADB Math, Science, Technology and Engineering University Scholarship Program

The East African Development Bank (EADB) scholarship program for experienced teachers and lecturers to earn a post-graduate degree in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) at Rutgers University and New Jersey Institute of Technology in the United States.[9]

Past AAI Programs

Past programs include: The African Graduate Fellowship Program (AFGRAD), Advanced Training for Leadership and Skills Project (ATLAS), African Scholarship Program of American Universities (ASPAU), International Visitors Program (IVP) and International Fellowship Program (IFP).[10]

Board of Trustees[edit]

Trustees Emeriti
President Emerita
  • Mora McLean

Past board members[edit]

Former members are listed with their affiliation at the time of their service.[11]

AAI Annual Awards Gala[edit]

Held annually during the week of the United Nations General Assembly, AAI’s Annual Awards Gala brings together African Heads of State and diplomats, business and philanthropic leaders to celebrate African achievement.[12]

Prominent AAI Alumni[edit]


  1. ^ "About AAI". The Africa-America Institute. Retrieved 2016-09-02.
  2. ^ "The Africa-America Institute Announces 60th Anniversary Celebration: "Unlocking Africa's Greatest Asset for 60 Years"". Archived from the original on 11 November 2016. Retrieved 10 November 2016.
  3. ^ "Our History". The Africa-America Institute. Retrieved 2016-09-02.
  4. ^ a b Omisore, Bolanle. "Africa-America Institute Celebrates 60 Years". Ebony Magazine.
  5. ^ "Transformational Leadership Program (TLP)". The Africa-America Institute. Retrieved 2016-09-02.
  6. ^ "AAI Future Leaders Legacy Fund". The Africa-America Institute. Retrieved 2016-09-02.
  7. ^ "State of Education in Africa". The Africa-America Institute. Retrieved 2016-09-02.
  8. ^ "AAI Speaker Series". The Africa-America Institute. Retrieved 2016-09-02.
  9. ^ "EADB Math, Science, Technology and Engineering University Scholarship Program". The Africa-America Institute. Retrieved 2016-09-02.
  10. ^ "Previous Programs". The Africa-America Institute. Retrieved 2016-09-02.
  11. ^ "Board of Trustees". The Africa-America Institute. Retrieved 2016-09-02.
  12. ^ "Previous Awards Gala Events". The Africa-America Institute. Archived from the original on 2016-12-22. Retrieved 2016-09-02.

"Envoy Seeks Clarity On U.S. Energy Plans for Africa", The Wall Street Journal, January 31, 2014 Africa’s secret weapon – The diaspora

Kenya’s Daily Nation: Africa takes centre as US campaigns hot up:

Voice of America: US Campaigns Tackle Africa Policy With Some Unexpected Results: Africa-America Institute Honors African Female Heads of State at 2012 Annual Gala

Radio France Internationale – Africans in New York Africa-America Institute Will Kick Off 60th Anniversary with Career Expo

External links[edit]