Last week, after an exciting and successful year, we celebrated AMEL’s first anniversary! With our anniversary falling the day after Nelson Mandela’s centennial, we felt that it would be most meaningful to combine our celebration with those commemorating Madiba and his legacy. Joining forces with the DC Mayor’s office on African Affairs and other DC-area partners, we marked the occasion with a series of engaging dialogue and celebration events.
Kicking off the centennial was the Fourth Annual Young Africans ConneXions Summit featuring the Mandela YALI Fellow of Howard University, DC policymakers and community members, academia, African government officials and Diaspora. The event, hosted at Howard University and co-sponsored by South African Airlines, explored Mandela’s impact on Africa and the world and what his legacy means for diverse leaders of today.
In the evening we joined Howard University, the Unesco Center for Peace and other community partners in hosting Mandela Fellows from 23 countries across Africa for a fantastic Gala evening. Opened with a moving tribute, the Gala was a beautiful reflection on Mandela's legacy and what it means to Africa's emerging leaders of today. The event also featured the awarding of five Unesco Center for Peace Awards to Khadija Ali, Kweku Amoako, Dr. Lori Wilson, Dr. Elsie Scott and El Hadj Cheick Souleymane Sidibe. The Gala was closed with a lively celebration featuring music from all over the Continent, courtesy of Afropolitan.
With such a full and rewarding day, AMEL's first anniversary was honored in a truly meaningful and unforgettable way.