(Washington, DC) – On Friday, July 15, 2016, the Mayor’s Office on African Affairs (MOAA) hosted its second annual Young African ConneXions Summit titled Impact through Leadership, Civic Engagement, and Social Entrepreneurship. The summit was held at the Howard University School of Business Auditorium as part of MOAA’s 10 Year Anniversary Celebrations and its Youth Engagement program. Over 155 members of the public attended the summit which created a platform to bring together bright minds for idea-focused peer-topeer exchange in support of Mayor Bowser’s policy priorities. The summit fostered interactions between the District’s African immigrant community and young professionals from the continent on topics such as leadership, technology, education, and the importance of civic engagement.
Anthony K. Wutoh, Ph. D., Howard University Provost and Chief Academic Officer, welcomed all attendants and Commissioner Nana Ama Afari-Dwamena officially began the program. Mamadou Samba, Director of MOAA provided congratulatory remarks on the tenth year anniversary celebration of the Mayor’s Office on African Affairs and Commission on African Affairs and highlighted significant accomplishments achieved under the Bowser administration. H.E. Omar Arouna, Ambassador of the Republic of Benin delivered the keynote address, and shared personal reflections and challenges encountered on his path to success. The summit featured two panel discussions, the first of which was titled Cultivating Leadership, Galvanizing Volunteerism for Community Building. Panelists shared views on innovative solutions and how prospective young leaders could strengthen their leadership potential. The panelists included Delano Hunter, Executive Director of Serve DC, Pape Samb, President and CEO of Global Youth Innovation Network, Selvon M. Waldron, Executive Director of Life Pieces to Masterpieces, and Ntombenhle Mkhize, of the Howard University Mandela Washington Fellow. Dr. Menna Demessie, Vice President of Policy and Research at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, served as moderator.
The second panel, titled Inter-continental Youth Dialogue, Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation, focused on creating a generation of entrepreneurs that will generate opportunities for the African community. Discussants were Rebecca Enonchong, Co-Founder of I/O Spaces, Elvis Ndansi, Wagner College Mandela Washington Fellow, Samuel Suraphel, Founder of Mansa Colabs, and Guy Djoken, Executive Director of UNESCO Center for Peace. Mubuso Zamchiya, Director of Global Partnership at the Ashoka Organization, moderated.
The summit was held in partnership with the Commission on African Affairs, Mandela Washington Fellowships, Howard University and Wagner College, UNESCO Center for Peace, Action Moves People United, and Forest Nation. The corporate sponsor for this event was South African Airways which provided a free raffle prize of a roundtrip ticket to South Africa. The lucky winner was District resident Terence W. Daniely.