Peeved with the negative perception of Africa by the outside world, president of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, yesterday donated a sum of $20 million to The Africa Centre in New York, United States of America towards reversing the trend.
Africa Centre 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 Centre’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.
In recognition of his love and unusual passion for the continent, Dangote was honoured as the main hall of The Africa Centre, 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.
Dangote, Africa’s leading entrepreneur had announced that the donation was towards the completion of the second phase of The Africa Centre’s physical space, which he described as transformative, thus enabling the Centre to accelerate its capital campaign, to further activate its public spaces and programming, and support ongoing operations.
Dangote said the donation through the Aliko Dangote Foundation was focused on supporting The Africa Centre’s work in transforming global understanding of the continent and promoting partnership and collaboration between Africa and the rest of the world.According to him, the Africa Centre is showcasing Africa in a contemporary, multifaceted manner as a centre 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.”
President of the Centre and the Group executive director of Dangote Industries, Halima Aliko Dangote, described The Africa Center as an important gateway to understanding contemporary and future Africa and Africans.
Expressing appreciation towards the landmark gesture, the chief executive officer of The Africa Center, Dr. Uzodinma Iweala, said the Centre 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
He stated, “We are profoundly grateful to the Aliko Dangote Foundation, the Mo Ibrahim family, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and all those whose generosity is enabling us to realise our plans to create a vibrant and essential center of ideas and action focused on the 54 nations and people of Africa and its Diaspora.”