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.[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 organization 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 organization highlighted how more than 23,000 individuals from 54 African countries had been supported by the organization.[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]

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.[7]

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.[8]

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).[9]

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.[10]

State of Education on Africa Conference[edit]

AAI's annual State of Education on Africa (SOE) conference is a space for learning and dialogue between students, parents, teachers, leaders, and innovators interested in transforming K-12 education by infusing it with scholarly and unbiased knowledge about Africa and the worldwide Diaspora through effective teaching that supports student academic achievement. The 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.[11] 2021's SOE, “Teaching Africa in the World,” explored recovered histories that center the contributions of Africa and its worldwide Diaspora in the making of the modern world. The conference has featured renowned academics such as Dr. Michael A. Gomez, Dr. Pearl T. Robinson, and Dr. Lyra Monteiro.[12]

Board of trustees[edit]

Current members[edit]

  • Nik Amarteifio
  • Ousseina Alidou
  • Kofi Appenteng, President & CEO
  • Mamadou Beye
  • Rebecca Lowell Edwards, Vice Chair
  • Michelle Gavin
  • Christal Jackson, Chair
  • Humble Lukanga
  • Bob McCarthy, Vice Chair
  • Peter McKillop
  • Khumo Shongwe


Trustees Emeriti[edit]

President Emerita[edit]

  • Mora McLean

Past board members[edit]

Former members are listed with their affiliation at the time of their service.[14]

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. ^ "AAI Speaker Series". The Africa-America Institute. Retrieved 2016-09-02.
  8. ^ "EADB Math, Science, Technology and Engineering University Scholarship Program". The Africa-America Institute. Retrieved 2016-09-02.
  9. ^ "Previous Programs". The Africa-America Institute. Retrieved 2016-09-02.
  10. ^ "Previous Awards Gala Events". The Africa-America Institute. Archived from the original on 2016-12-22. Retrieved 2016-09-02.
  11. ^ "State of Education in Africa". The Africa-America Institute. Retrieved 2016-09-02.
  12. ^ "AAI's 7th Annual State of Education on Africa Conference". The Africa-America Institute. Retrieved 2022-03-18.
  13. ^ "Leadership". The Africa-America Institute. Retrieved 2022-03-11.
  14. ^ "Board of Trustees". The Africa-America Institute. 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]