The Africa-America Institute Celebrates 70 Years

AAI Unveils Additional Details for 70th Anniversary Gala Including

A Presidential Fireside Chat with H.E. Hage Geingob, President of The Republic of Namibia and AAI Alumnus
H.E. Mokgweetsi Eric Keabetswe Masisi, President of the Republic of Botswana

Evelyn Jones Rich and the MTN Group Announced to Join 2023 Class of Honorees Debra Lee and the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation

Hosted by Bozoma Saint John

Tuesday, September 19, 2023
Cipriani’s 42nd St. in NYC

NEW YORK--()--The Africa-America Institute (AAI) today unveiled additional details for its much-anticipated 70th Anniversary Gala. For this year’s Gala, AAI will feature a Presidential Fireside Chat with H.E. Hage Geingob, President of the Republic of Namibia and AAI alumnus and H.E. Mokgweetsi Eric Keabetswe Masisi, President of the Republic of Botswana. Additionally, the institution announced that joining its 2023 class of honorees - which includes Debra Lee and the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation – will be technology giant and Africa’s largest wireless telecom provider MTN Group and activist, educator, and author Evelyn Jones Rich who oversaw AAI educational programs in the mid-to late 1970s. The 70th Anniversary Gala will take place on Tuesday, September 19, 2023 at Cipriani 42nd St in New York City during the week of the United Nations General Assembly.

Hosted by Hall of Fame Inducted Marketing Executive Bozoma Saint John, the Gala will spotlight AAI’s distinguished alumni, its historic programs and partners in commemoration of 70 years of building a global bridge of understanding, education, communication and partnership. For the Presidential Fireside Chat with President Geingob and President Masisi, the conversation will center around the importance of education and scholarship across Africa. The evening will also include a performance by much lauded mezzo-soprano Alicia Olatuja and an original poetry reading by Storyteller & Narrative Architect, Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship at MIT Donovan Beck.

The 2023 Awards and Honorees Include:

Corporate Responsibility Award – MTN Group to be accepted by President and CEO, Ralph Mupita

Legacy of Teaching Africa and Excellence Award – Evelyn Jones Rich

Business Leadership Award – Debra Lee

Philanthropic Impact Award – The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation to be accepted by President and CEO, Peter Laugharn

“For any institution to reach 70 years is a remarkable achievement and I am so exceptionally proud to be part of this journey” said Kofi Appenteng, AAI’s President. “Throughout its seven decades, AAI has stayed true to our purpose, and will continue to carry the torch. This year’s honorees are so closely connected to our mission and, in some cases, our history as with Evelyn. I can’t think of a more fitting group to recognize as part of this milestone moment.”

“I can think of no better way to mark such an important milestone than with a vibrant evening celebrating AAI’s rich history and looking ahead to its incredibly bright future – and the work still to be done,” said AAI Board Chair, Christal Jackson.


The Africa-America Institute (AAI) strives to enrich the social fabric of humanity by connecting students and leaders across sectors, facilitating access to reliable information about Africa, and transforming the way we understand Africa and its worldwide diaspora.

Since its founding in 1953, AAI has awarded scholarships and fellowships to over 23,000 Africans. These individuals comprise an esteemed network of alumni, many of whom are leaders across public, private, and governmental sectors in Africa and globally including Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Wangari Mathaai and Barack Obama, Sr.


Nina Flowers

Release Summary

AAI 70th Anniversary Gala to Include Presidential Fireside Chat with Namibia President Hage Geingob and Botswana President Mokgweetsi E.K Masisi

Social Media Profiles


Nina Flowers