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The Africa-America Institute Announces 30th Annual Awards Gala: “Powering Africa’s Future through Regional and Global Partnerships

The Africa-America Institute Announces 30th Annual Awards Gala: “Powering Africa’s Future through Regional and Global Partnerships”

During the opening week of the United Nations General Assembly,The Africa-America Institute will host a spectacular 30th Annual Awards Gala on Monday, September 22, at Gotham Hall, 1356 Broadway at 36th Street,in New York City.

Hosted by CNN International anchor Isha Sesay, distinguished U.S. and African leaders and top diplomats will gather for one of the largest and most anticipated events celebrating African achievement in New York City. The black-tie affair will begin with a reception at 6:00 p.m. followed by dinner at 7:00 p.m.

The Africa-America Institute (AAI) is a premier U.S.-based international education and policy organization dedicated to strengthening the human capacity of Africans and promoting the continent’s development through higher education and skills training, convening activities, partner engagement, and research.

The Awards Gala theme is “Powering Africa’s Future through Regional and Global Partnerships”. The gala will draw attention to how education empowers African youth to reach their full potential while being catalytic in society’s socioeconomic transformation through regional and global partnerships.

The evening’s program will feature the presentation of awards followed by a moderated “Conversation on Africa” focusing on fostering greater regional and global partnerships for development with honorees.

We are deeply honored to present these distinguished awards to extraordinary African leaders and General Electric for their tremendous achievements in being on the frontlines of spurring economic productivity and development in Africa through research, development banking and investment in workforce development,” said Amini Kajunju, President and CEO of The Africa-America Institute. “We will salute and celebrate all of our honorees.

At the Awards Gala, H.E. President Alassane Ouattara, President of the Republic of Cote d’Ivoire and former chair of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), will be honored with the AAI 2014 Lifetime Achievement Award.  A pathfinder and role model throughout his career, AAI will recognize President Ouattara’s achievements in working towards creating socio-economic progress in Africa and globally by promoting regional and global partnerships throughout his lifelong career as a public servant.

Starting as an economist at the International Monetary Fund, President Ouattara went on to serve as an economist at the Central Bank of West African States before becoming Prime Minister and then President of Cote d’Ivoire.  As President, he also served as Chair of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) from 2012 to March 2014.  An esteemed alumnus of AAI, President Ouattara was a recipient of AAI’s African Graduate Fellowship Program (AFGRAD) in 1972, where he received a PhD at the University of Pennsylvania.

An experienced banker and international business lawyer, Vivienne Yeda Apopo, Director-General of the East African Development Bank (EADB), will receive the AAI 2014 Business Leader Award for her over 20 years of  leadership in practical and comprehensive development banking, finance and business in Africa.

Professor Thandika Mkandawire will be presented with the AAI 2014 Distinguished Alumnus Award.  Mkandawire is the former Director of the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development and was the first person to assume the position as Chair of African Development at the London School of Economics (LSE). A recipient of a scholarship from AAI, Mkandawire attended Ohio State University where he received a Bachelors of Arts in economics.

General Electric will receive the AAI 2014 Corporate Responsibility Award, in recognition of its commitment to empowering livelihoods in Africa through education and employment of Africans in senior leadership positions, and promoting trade and economic growth. Jay Ireland, President and CEO of General Electric Africa, will accept the award on behalf of GE.

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