In 2015, Barack Obama became the first-ever U.S. president to address the African Union, speaking at its headquarters in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa.
Two years later, as Africans citizens say goodbye to the 44th president, they continue to celebrate his various achievements through the African Union Commission, including multiple initiatives in academic, financial and empowerment programs specially designed for the commission.
The former president visited Africa four times during his eight years in office, addressing issues affecting youths within the continent.
“I wanted to come here because that Africa exchange,” he told students in Kenya in 2015, africanews.com reported. “The growth of Africa is one of the fastest in the world.”
Commission Chair Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, who organized the 2014 U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit in D.C. — the largest gathering of African leaders to be hosted by any U.S. president — lauded Obama as he officially left office on Jan. 20.
“I take the opportunity to also wish [Obama] and his family the very best,” Zuma tweeted. “As the 44th POTUS he made us very proud. I look forward to [the Trump administration’s] continued cooperation and interaction with the AUC for the mutual benefit of Africa and the USA.”
Powering Africa Summit Heads Back to D.C.
The annual Powering Africa Summit — supported by Power Africa, a U.S. government interagency created to establish 60 million new household and business connections by 2030 — returns to D.C. in March, in hopes of providing a platform for Africa’s energy sector stakeholders and developers.
Proposed by former President Obama four years ago with the goal to add 10,000 megawatts of power and supply electricity to 20 million households within five years, this year’s meeting is expected to present backbone energy and infrastructure projects that seek partnerships with leading technology companies, governmental agencies, the World Bank, IFC and others to advance African projects already under development.
DC Liberian Community Finds New Leadership
The Liberian Community Association of the Washington DC Metropolitan Area held a special session of the association’s General Assembly at the Laurel Branch Library in Laurel, Maryland, on Jan. 22, when the induction of a new group of officers was announced.
The induction ceremony, which came after a two-year period of unorganized leadership, included a call from interim Executive Council President Mainlehwon Ebenezer Vonhm to unite the area’s Liberian community through revitalization and mobilization.
Vonhm announced plans to meet with the leadership of the various Liberian organizations in the D.C. region to foster a united approach in tackling issues affecting the Liberian community.