Atlantic Council hosts ten African leaders at welcome dinner for US-Africa Leaders Summit

WASHINGTON – DECEMBER 12, 2022 —The Atlantic Council hosted ten African heads of state and government, members of Congress and the administration, business leaders, diplomats, and high-profile civil society leaders at a dinner Monday evening to kick off the White House’s US-Africa Leaders Summit.

“Our dinner welcomed some of the most influential figures in Africa for important business-oriented conversations on the shared opportunities for African nations and the United States,” said Atlantic Council President and CEO Frederick Kempe. “I am grateful to the many heads of state, policymakers, and executives who joined us. Engagement between the US and our partners in Africa is vital to advancing democracy, security, and prosperity around the globe.”

The event included presidents and prime ministers from Senegal, Republic of the Congo, Tanzania, Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia, Somalia, Seychelles, Mauritius, Madagascar, and the African Union Commission.

“It was an honor to host dignitaries from across the African continent,” said Ambassador Rama Yade, senior director of the Atlantic Council’s Africa Center. “Africa is home to enormous vibrancy, creativity, entrepreneurship, and promise. In the week ahead, the Africa Center looks forward to highlighting these qualities on the world stage and to forging new opportunities—for both the people of Africa and the world.”

John F.W. Rogers, chairman of the Atlantic Council, gave welcoming remarks alongside Macky Sall, chair of the African Union and president of Senegal. The dinner featured keynote remarks from Katherine Tai, United States trade representative; Congressman Gregory Meeks, chairman of the United States House Foreign Affairs Committee; James Mwangi, managing director and CEO of Equity Group Holdings; and Olusegun Obasanjo, former president of Nigeria and African Union high representative for the Horn of Africa.

The evening also included performances highlighting the strong diaspora connection shared between Africa and the United States. Featured artists included renowned jazz trombonist and composer Delfeayo Marsalis; award-winning Congolese singer-songwriter Fally Ipupa; and actress and singer Morgan James. Poet Mahogany L. Browne recited a poem highlighting the restitution of African arts to the continent.

The Atlantic Council’s Africa Center promotes a dual-track approach toward strengthening security and bolstering economic growth and prosperity on the African continent. It recently expanded its areas of regional expertise with the addition of eight new fellows in September 2022. In addition to producing sharp analysis on US and European policies toward Africa, the Center convened the Africa Creative Industries Summit in Washington in October 2021 and the Sports Business Forum in Senegal in March 2022.

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