The Africa Institute is an American Jewish Committee (AJC) funded and organized lobbying and think-tank organization. Its main purpose is to establish contacts between African government officials and academics with Israeli or American Jewish counterparts.
Their own description
From an American Jewish Committee press release :
The American Jewish Committee will launch next month at the Centennial Annual Meeting its latest international advocacy initiative, the Africa Institute. "Our vision is to bridge the gulf of understanding between Americans and the peoples and nations of Africa," said Stanley Bergman, a member of AJC's national board and founding chair of the Africa Institute.
Institute research and activities will focus on engaging political, business and religious leaders to deepen understanding and to identify collaborative projects. In recent months, the Institute has focused on Nigeria, the nation with the largest population in sub-Saharan Africa, with a population that is approximately fifty percent Muslim.
Last month, AJC hosted at its New York headquarters a daylong advocacy training workshop for board members of the newly formed Nigerians in the Diaspora Organization (NIDO). There are an estimated four million Nigerians living in the U.S. "More than 80 percent of the world's population lives in the developing world, and the Diaspora communities from those countries now living in the U.S. will comprise about half of the U.S. population in coming decades, " said Bergman. "As Americans, and as Jews, we have a role to play in nurturing relations with Africa, as well as to help foster relations between Israel and Africa."
To further ties between Israel and Nigeria, the Institute arranged for Nigerian Minister Obiageli Ezekwesili to visit Israel in March, where she addressed a gala dinner in honor of AJC's Centennial, and also met with Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, and officials involved with Mashav, the Israeli Foreign Ministry's technical assistance division, which in the past was active in Africa.
Since its founding in 1906, AJC has been a leader in intergroup relations in the U.S. and around the world through advocacy, diplomacy and education. Establishment of the Africa Institute is an extension of this important work, which also includes the Transatlantic Institute, Asia and Pacific Rim Institute, Latino and Latin American Institute, and Jacob Blaustein Institute for the Advancement of Human Rights.
- On 5 June 2006 a "Private Sector Forum" organized by the Corporate Council on Africa and listed among the convenors one finds:
- "The 2006 AGOA Private Sector Forum is being organized in partnership and with the sponsorship of Boeing, The Africa Institute-American Jewish Committee, Chevron, Mars Inc., and the World Cocoa Foundation."
Principals and Staff
- ^ American Jewish Committee, American Jewish Committee starts Africa Institute, ImpactWire, 11 April 2006.
- Larry Luxner, AJCommittee’s Africa Institute to promote economic development, JTA, 16 May 2006.
- ^ Corporate Council on Africa, U.S. Businesses Convene for AGOA Private Sector Forum on June 5, AllAfrica, 2 June 2006.
- Abdullahi Mohamed, American Jewish Funds Supporting Israeli Efforts for Somalia, Han-Geeska Afrika, 3 March 2007. (Info on AJC assisting humanitarian effort in Somalia).