19 June 2012

Second Africa Day on the Hill Celebrating Africa's Renaissance

press release

Washington, DC — Focus to be on Africa's Economic Transformation, Trade and Titans

On Wednesday, June 20, 2012, The Africa Society of the National Summit on Africa, in collaboration with the Congressional African Staffers Association (CASA), will host the second Africa Day on Capitol Hill in the Cannon Caucus Room, Cannon House Office Building from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

This year's Africa Day, "Celebrating Africa's Renaissance", will focus on the continent's economic growth and prowess as well as trade with Africa following the 2012 African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Forum that took place on June 14-15 in Washington, D.C. The program will also recognize a few of Africa's most notable business titans in recognition of the role of the private sector in Africa's ascendency.

The Honorary Hosts for this program are U.S. Senators Patrick Leahy and Mark Begich; and U.S. Representatives Chris Smith, Bobby L. Rush, James Clyburn, Sheila Jackson Lee, Danny Davis, Barbara Lee, Gregory Meeks, William Lacy Clay, Ed Royce, Jeff Fortenberry, Yvette Clarke, Steve Cohen, Andre Carson, Karen Bass.

According to Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Energy and Power, "When we held the First Africa Day on the Hill in July of 2010, we commemorated Africa's Political Independence. In 2012, for the Second Africa Day on the Hill, we are celebrating Africa's Economic Transformation."

"Africa Day on the Hill commemorates the valuable contribution Africa makes to the world and the increasingly important economic relationship between the United States and the nations of Africa," said Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health and Human Rights. Ranking Member on the Africa Subcommittee, Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA) added "I stand with my fellow colleagues in recognition that this year's Africa Day on the Hill is a day for all Members of Congress to acknowledge the important social, political and economic history of Africa and its many nations. The Africa of today boasts the promise of a strong and vibrant continent on the verge of tremendous growth and opportunity."

"Six of the fastest-growing economies in the past decade are in sub-Saharan Africa. It is fitting that this year's Africa Day on Capitol Hill celebrates this economic renaissance and connects policy leaders in the United States with many of those individuals who are working to strengthen economic opportunity for Africans—and for Americans doing business in Africa." said Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE).

"We must continue to work with t hose in the African Diaspora (including the Caribbean and African Americans) to ensure that we bolster our diplomatic, social and cultural relations around the world. "Africa Day on the Hill" is a shining example of how we can merge on all levels to create a better society in this increasingly globalized world. I want to congratulate CASA and look forward to their continued success," said Rep. Yvette D. Clarke (D-NY).

Rep. Rush in citing the role of Congress said, "Africa has a bright and promising future despite facing some tough challenges. Specifically, Congress should reauthorize the African Growth and Opportunity Act and further extend the third country fabric provision. The House of Representatives should also pass HR 4221 "the Increasing Jobs Through Greater Exports to Africa Act of 2012," which is a bipartisan bill that I introduced along with Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) on March 20, 2012."

Among those business titans being honored are Captain Hosa Wells Okunbo and Sir Babunde Lucky Omoluwa. Captain Okunbo is a Director at Phil Nugent Nigeria Ltd. with over 30 years in energy-related business experience. He is a well known patron of the arts and is engaged in supporting the film industry in Nigeria. Sir Lucky Omoluwa, Chairman and CEO of Pinnacle Investments Limited, has been recognized internationally for his philanthropy, including being appointed as a Papal knight by Pope Benedict XVI for his outstanding contributions to humanity.

The Africa Society of the National Summit on Africa is a non-profit organization that engages and educates Americans about Africa and creates, through partnerships, a better understanding of its peoples, diverse cultures, histories, and economies. For more information visit www.africasummit.org.

The Congressional African Staff Association (CASA) is a bipartisan organization which strives to educate staffers on today's substantive Africa issues, highlighting best practices, success stories, and innovative initiatives on the continent.

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