Upcoming Events

Ambassador Series: The African Union

Date : Feb 27, 2018
Time : 6:00PM To 8:00PM
Place : HORIZON BALLROOM, Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave. NW Washington, DC

6:00pm-6:45pm Reception, 6:45pm-8:00pm Program. This event will be in the HORIZON BALLROOM.


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On February 27, 2018, the World Affairs Council- Washington, DC hosted Her Excellency Dr. Arikana Chihombori Quao for an Ambassador Series program. Former US Ambassador to Senegal and Gambia Herman Cohen moderated the discussion.

The ambassador began by discussing the history of the African Union, stating that the first true “African Union” happened in 1958 when the president of Ghana created a union with Mali and Guinea. The purpose of it, she said, was to strengthen their countries’ economies and oppose colonialism. She explained that this eventually led to the founding of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), which encourages Pan-African unity, growth and prosperity. The OAU was eventually renamed the African Union.

Her Excellency also discussed the current issues that the African Union faces, which include fighting terrorism as well as regional and continental integration. However, she emphasized that economic issues remain at the forefront for Africa. African land is either misused or overworked.  African resources are taken to foreign countries for manufacturing and then sold back in Africa. To remedy this, she stated that there must be manufacturing of African goods in Africa. Additionally, African governments and people must have full control of their countries’ resources.

Throughout the event, the ambassador spoke passionately about Africa’s wealth and potential. However, the effects of colonialism are still present on the continent, preventing Africa from achieving success. Along with Mr. Cohen, she emphasized the importance of the relationship between the African Union and the United States, and how it would help Africa achieve its goal of becoming more prosperous.

Mr. Cohen asked Dr. Chihombori Quao several questions about African Union states, including Africa’s spending on food imports, and the African Union’s relationship with China. Afterwards, both ambassadors took questions from the audience. 

This program brought in sponsorship with