January 30, 2023
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US-Africa Leaders Summit: State Secretary Blinken stresses importance of diaspora at reception for African innovators

At a reception for African innovators, United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken stressed the importance of the diaspora to the states on Tuesday 13th.

He made a number of remarks while he spoke at the African and Diaspora Young Leaders Forum at the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington D.C.

Remarking the museum as “a national treasure,” he explained how the museum floor exhibits “Cultural Expressions […] which explores, in part, the contributions of the African diaspora and how its members have shaped American culture and life – through fashion, the arts, dance, language, food, music.”

“As this museum shows, the United States continues to be enriched immeasurably by the African diaspora: from the piercing comedy of Trevor Noah, who we will miss on “The Daily Show” […] to the Alté of Tems, […] to the speed-skating of Maame Biney, among so many others.”

Blinken explained how the diaspora has continued to shape the narrative in America. “The importance of the diaspora – to the past, to the present, to the future – of both African nations and the United States is why this is one of the very first events of the Africa Leaders Summit.”

“The United States is committed to ensuring that young people can continue to bring their talents and hard work to the benefit of people across the continent and to the benefit of people in the United States. We’ve got a number of programs that are doing just that – programs like the Young African Leaders Initiative – and through our economic development programs, like the Academy for Women Entrepreneurs program. Now, since its inception in 2019, that program has provided more than 5,400 women throughout Africa with the training and the networks that they need to start and to scale small businesses.”

He added that more plans are in place to make innovations easier for students to benefit from exchange programs. “Each of these investments is guided by one overarching goal: to continue building our partnership so that we can better address the shared challenges we face. And ultimately, we can build a safer, more secure, more prosperous future for all of us.”

Blinken expressed gratitude to members of the African diaspora, African and American youth leaders, students in the United States and Africa. He thanked everyone “for all that you do to strengthen the bonds between African countries and the United States.

Among the attendees include President Weah of Liberia, President Maada Bio of Sierra Leone and Greg Meeks, the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

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