NEW YORK – During the United Nations General Assembly, The Africa-America Institute (AAI) will host its Future Leaders Legacy Fund Awards Gala — one of the most anticipated and high profile events celebrating African achievement — on Tuesday, September 29, at 583 Park Avenue in New York City.
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Hosted by Zain Asher of CNN International’s “Marketplace Africa,” hundreds of distinguished U.S. and African leaders and top diplomats will gather for the black-tie evening affair. The gala will begin with a reception at 6:00 p.m. followed by dinner at 7:00 p.m.
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 gala theme is “Achieving Excellence through Scholarship, Opportunity, and Innovation.” The Awards Gala will officially launch the Future Leaders Legacy Fund, an exciting new initiative which will provide Africa’s brightest, yet under-resourced, students with scholarships to study in high-performing African universities and technical colleges to earn Bachelor’s degrees and vocational and technical training certifications. Proceeds from the Awards Gala will support the Future Leaders Legacy Fund.
“We are proud to launch the Future Leaders Legacy Fund at our annual awards gala to support the next generation of African leaders. Investing in higher education yields tremendous returns for individuals and society, as a whole,” said Amini Kajunju, president and CEO of the Africa-America Institute.
At the Awards Gala, H.E. Hage Geingob, president of the Republic of Namibia and AAI alumnus, will be honored with AAI’s Lifetime Achievement and Distinguished Alumnus Award. A leader in the liberation movement in Namibia, H.E. Geingob chaired a constituent assembly, which drafted the Southern African country’s constitution at independence.
Since independence, H.E. Geingob has devoted his career to public service. From 1990 to 2002, H.E. Geingob served as prime minister of Namibia, and once again in that position from 2012 until 2014. He was also Minister of Trade and Industry. H.E. Geingob was elected president in November 2014.
Dr. Strive Masiyiwa, Zimbabwean technology entrepreneur and philanthropist, will receive the AAI 2015 Business Leaders Award. Masiyiwa is founder and chairman of Econet Wireless, a global telecommunications group with operations and investments in Africa, Europe, North America, Latin America, and the Asia Pacific.
IBM will receive the AAI 2015 Corporate Responsibility Award, in recognition of its commitment to boosting the capacities of Africa’s people and institutions, including skills, technology infrastructure, governance and basic science and research.
“It is such a privilege to present these distinguished awards to extraordinary African leaders and IBM for their remarkable achievements in advancing development progress on the African continent and investing in Africa’s future.”
Honorary Co-Chairs are Danny Glover, acclaimed actor, film director and political activist; Angelique Kidjo, Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter and activist; Amb. Alice Dear, A.M. Dear & Associates; Nuno Santo, Pfizer; and Somi, Singer and Songwriter.
Visit the AAI Gala Page for more details on the awards gala.
ABOUT THE AFRICA-AMERICA INSTITUTE (AAI): Founded in 1953, 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. For more information, visit www.aaionline.org.