Biden appoints Negash to the Advisory Council on African Diaspora Engagement as ADN collaborates with ASU on USAID's $80 million YALI award.

Biden appoints Negash to the Advisory Council on African Diaspora Engagement as ADN collaborates with ASU on USAID's $80 million YALI award.
The African Diaspora Network (ADN), run by Almaz Negash, will also be partnering with Arizona State University (ASU) to implement the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) $80 million award to empower Africa’s youth through the Young African Leaders Initiative Legacy Localization (YALI LL) program.

The award is part of President Biden’s commitments made at last year’s U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit (USALS) to develop and expand initiatives to empower African institutions and people, a continent expected to parade 42 per cent of the world’s 15 to 35-year-olds by 2030.

ADN will be assisting ASU to assemble a coalition to empower Africa’s youth with the tools, education and network to succeed, while an African team of experts will implement day-to-day activities across 49 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, operating from four hubs based in Nairobi, Kenya; Dakar, Senegal; Accra, Ghana; and Pretoria, South Africa.

This is coming on the heels of ADN’s founder and Executive Director, Negash’s appointment to serve on the President’s Advisory Council on African Diaspora Engagement. On September 26, President Biden announced the establishment of the 12-member inaugural Advisory Council, comprising individuals who have distinguished themselves in government, sports, creative industries, business, academia, social work, and faith-based activities.

Negash was selected alongside other council members for her dedication to advancing sustainable development in Africa through innovative U.S.-Africa engagements and initiatives over the past 13 years.

Vice President Kamala Harris pictured with members of the President’s Advisory Council on Africa Diaspora Engagement (PAC-ADE)

Members of the council include Silvester Scott Beaman (Council chair), Mimi E. Alemayehou, Rosalind Brewer, Viola Davis, Helene D. Gayle, Patrick Hubert Gaspard, C.D. Glin, Osagie Imasogie, Almaz Negash, Chinenye Joy Ogwumike, Ham K. Serunjogi, and Kevin Young.

The Council will provide invaluable guidance to reinforce cultural, social, political, and economic ties between the U.S. and Africa, and promote trade, investment, and educational exchanges between the United States and Africa. Deniece Laurent-Mantey serves as the Executive Director of the Council.

Members of the Council were officially sworn-in on October 30 in the presence of the U.S. Vice President, Kamala Harris; U.S. Secretary of State, Antony Blinken; and U.S. Senator, Chris Coons.

Addressing members of the Council and their guests during the ceremony, Harris said: “The work of this Council is an extension of the work that we do on behalf of the United States, to show our sincere interest in partnership, understanding mutual connections, and seeing where alignments exist. This is critical in reinforcing relationships and our democratic principles. I am also excited that the Council will be a way to reintroduce the U.S. to the continent.”

Almaz, who has been a champion for diversity and social impact in Silicon Valley, was recently highlighted in De.Coded, a Human Atlas of Silicon Valley. Almaz and ADN are driving innovative approaches for diaspora engagement that go beyond remittances and extend to sustainable investments on the continent through initiatives such as the African Diaspora Investment Symposium, Impact and Innovation Series, the Builders of Africa’s future, and Accelerating Black Leadership & Entrepreneurship (ABLE). She will continue to use the ADN platform to mobilize, engage, and activate the African Diaspora to sustainably build and invest in the future of the African continent.

In his reaction, ADN Board Chairman, Josh Ghaim, Ph.D, said: “ADN holds a distinctive position for making a meaningful impact, notably underscored by the appointment of our founder and executive director, Almaz Negash, to the inaugural Advisory Council on African Diaspora Engagement in the United States under the Biden Administration. I extend my heartfelt congratulations to Almaz for this well-deserved recognition.”

Accepting the privilege to serve, Negash said: “I am honored to serve on the President’s Inaugural Advisory Council on African Diaspora Engagement. I extend my heartfelt gratitude to President Biden, Vice President Harris, and their dedicated team for their unwavering commitment to Africa and the African Diaspora. I am also delighted that ADN will be a part of the ASU-led coalition to empower Africa’s youths through the Young African Leaders Initiative Legacy Localization (YALI LL) award from USAID. I look forward to the opportunity to learn, exchange ideas, and pool resources, with the goal of making an impact on the African continent and the communities we call home.”

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