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Dangote votes $20m for African Center to change continental narratives

As part of his drive to cause positive change on the battered African policy, business and culture narratives in the global community, Chairman, Aliko Dangote Foundation, Aliko Dangote has made a philanthropic donation of $20 million to The Africa Center in New York, United States of America towards reversing the trend.

Business Hilights gathered that the Africa Center is a leading non-profit institution focused on challenging historical stereotype around the African continent and a hub for creating an intersection of African policy, business, and culture and recreating narratives about Africa’s economic and cultural significance today and into the future.

Sharing in Dangote’s vision, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, also announced a new $5 million grant at the Future Africa Forum. The Gates Foundation grant is directed to the Center’s capital campaign and for the development of its policy initiatives.

Other foundations, corporations, and individuals that provided leadership support for the capital campaign, including the Mo Ibrahim Family, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, were also recognised at yesterday’s event, which marked the conclusion of the second phase of construction.

Accordingly and in recognition of his love and unusual passion for the continent, Dangote was honoured as the main hall of The Africa Center, was named after him.

Named “The Africa Center at Aliko Dangote Hall”, speakers at the event which was part of The Future Africa Forum, praised the efforts of Dangote describing his various philanthropic interventions in Africa and beyond as very significant. The Forum was this year’s signature policy and business dialogue event of The Africa Center in partnership with the Aliko Dangote Foundation.

In his speech while announcing the donation, Dangote, Africa’s leading entrepreneur had announced that the donation was towards the completion of the second phase of The Africa Center’s physical space, which he described as transformative.

Dangote said the donation through the Aliko Dangote Foundation is focused on supporting The Africa Center’s work in transforming global understanding of the continent and promoting partnership and collaboration between Africa and the rest of the world.

He said “the Africa Center is showcasing Africa in a contemporary, multifaceted manner as a center of innovation, growth, and limitless potential, which makes this project extremely important and worthy of support through my foundation.

“There is an opportunity to establish new narratives about Africa today, with its unrivaled mix of people, ideas, and resources, which are both its greatest strength and the basis for its tremendous, untapped promise. The connections The Africa Center will make between Africa, the United States, and the rest of the world, including members of the Diaspora, are needed more now than ever before.”

Earlier in her remark, President of the Center and a Group Executive Director of Dangote Industries, Halima Aliko Dangote, who is also leading the Center’s successful capital campaign, described The Africa Center as an important gateway to understanding contemporary and future Africa and Africans.

In his goodwill message, the Chief Executive Officer of The Africa Center, Dr. Uzodinma Iweala said the Center was proud of the humongous support of the Aliko Dangote Foundation and the Dangote Family, whose vision for the future of the African continent is perfectly aligned with The Africa Center’s mission to advance African policy, business, and culture of the 21st century

The Africa Center is a platform for sharing new ideas and strategies that challenge the structures and systems that support one-dimensional narratives of the continent, and that inform policies and ultimately affect the lives of African people, those of African descent, and the future of Africa.

The event included a fireside chat with Mr. Dangote, Mr. Gates, and Mo Ibrahim, founder of Mobile Systems International (MSI), Celtel International, Founding Chairman of Satya Capital Limited, and Chair of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, about the future of African business.